April 19, 2013

Alex Piyevsky is independent, fuck your system.

This happened in the most organic way possible.  A week ago, I came home after visiting my weed guy (s/o to H.), started sampling the wares, and turned on one of the stoniest rap oddities I know – a chopped & screwed blend of Sade’s “Smooth Operator” and Z-Ro’s “Respect My Mind.”  From there, it was only natural to move on to another very similar curio: a chopped & screwed blend of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” and Three 6 Mafia’s “Where Is The Bud.”  Then I randomly skipped to a new song I’ve been meaning to check out, LG’s “Blue Diamond.”  By some cosmic collusion of circumstance, it turned out that LG’s song also samples Sade.

A light bulb sparked in my head, and a lighter sparked in my bong-lighting hand.  A few other chopped & screwed Sade songs of various origins came to mind immediately, but what else?  Finding more was a little tougher, and a learning experience – I never knew that MF Doom’s “Doomsday” sampled “Kiss Of Life,” or that AZ’s “Payback” sampled “Like A Tattoo.”  I’ve never even heard of this Kool Keith song before.  And despite their differences, all these things meshed together well, as thought it was meant to be.

I wasn’t aiming to cycle through every good rap song sampling Sade, or every chopped & screwed remix.  I was only riffing on a stoned mood.  My nerdy OCD did not allow me for more than one appearance of each individual Sade track.  So Krayzie Bone was left off in favor of DJ Screw, Curren$y trumped Droop-E, and Mobb Deep got cut for being entirely too dark in tone.  Their song was a total buzzkill.

Considering this origin story and the calendar timing, it felt only right to make it a 4/20 thing.  S/O to my girlfriend Jenna for a bit of input and to John Turner for the cover.  And here we are.


  1. MF Doom – Doomsday

  2. Curren$y – Famous

  3. Sade – Cherish The Day vs Z-Ro – Respect My Mind (C&S By Drobitussin)

  4. Kool Keith – I do What I Want

  5. Sade – No Ordinary Love vs Three Six Mafia – Where Is The Bud (C&S By Slim K)

  6. AZ  – Payback

  7. Sade – Smooth Operator (C&S By Drobitussin)

  8. LG – Blue Diamond Ft. Paasky

  9. Sade – By Your Side (C&S By Drobitussin)

  10. Sade – Feel No Pain (C&S By DJ Screw)

ZIP: Smooth Operators: A 420 Tribute Mix To Sade


  • DJ Screw, AZ, MF Doom, Kool Keith and Curren$y clearly need no introduction, but s/o to them all for having great ears.

  • It’s pretty incredible that the two chopped & screwed blends pitting Sade originals versus classic Southern rap came from separate sources.  It’s less surprising that their creators are my two current favorite C&S DJs, as follows from these very blends.  One is Slim K, an increasingly popular standout member of OG Ron C’s Chopstars collective.  Many of his mixes can be found on DatPiff, and they’re worth looking up.  The other is Drobitussin, a prolific veteran of Youtube’s chopped & screwed trenches with an intermittent bent for throwing unusual selections on the chopping block.  Luckily, his work can now be downloaded from http://drobitussin.bandcamp.com/

  • LG is very talented young rapper from New Orleans, who I’ve previously posted about on POW here:  /2012/09/13/synthesizer-man-lg-enters-the-league-almost-fully-formed/

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!