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In Houston’s influential hip hop scene, one man pioneered the city’s signature chopped and screwed sound: OG Ron C. As an original member of legendary rap group The Chopstars, Ron C helped create the languid, hypnotic production style that defined Houston rap in the 1990s. Though not as famous nationally as some of his collaborators, OG Ron C’s mixes laid the groundwork for Houston’s syrupy, psychedelic music that influenced Southern hip hop for decades to come.

Introduction to OG Ron C

OG Ron C is the stage name of Reginald Cummings, a DJ and producer from Houston, Texas. He first rose to prominence in the early 90s as part of the trailblazing DJ crew The Chopstars alongside pioneers like DJ Screw and Michael 5000 Watts. As Houston hip hop exploded nationally, The Chopstars invented the city’s famous “chopped and screwed” style by remixing popular rap songs into slow, warped psychedelia.

Though overshadowed by DJ Screw’s fame, OG Ron C was essential in crafting Houston’s distinct sound and spreading chopped and screwed music through mixtapes. His early collaborations with H-Town rap legends like the Geto Boys make Ron C an unsung hero in Houston’s hip hop history. Even following Screw’s death, OG Ron C continued releasing his signature chopped mixes, extending the legacy into the 2000s for new generations of Houston artists and fans.

Background and Early Career

A native Houstonian, Reginald Cummings grew up immersed in the city’s emerging rap culture. As a student at Jack Yates High School, he befriended fellow aspiring DJ Michael Watts, who later became known as the legendary mixtape producer DJ Michael 5000 Watts.

Inspired by New York DJs pioneering new turntablism techniques, Reginald began experimenting with dual turntables under the name DJ Ron C in the late 1980s. After hooking up with Watts, Ron C started learning the musical craft from established local DJs like Steve Four Dollars, DJ Bird, and Screw himself.

Teaming up with Michael Watts as The Chopstars, Ron C began hosting mixtape recording sessions featuring various Houston rappers. As the 90s arrived, his early mixes included appearances by Willie D of the Geto Boys and members of Rap-A-Lot Records’ roster. These initial chopped and screwed experiments planted the seeds for Houston’s signature sound.

The Rise of Chopped and Screwed Music

By the mid 1990s, DJ Screw’s mixtapes achieved regional notoriety for their inventive “chopped and screwed” style of remixing hip hop tracks. As associates of Screw, Ron C and Watts adopted and expanded on his techniques for warping song tempos and adding DJ scratches, samples, and effects.

The original concept involved playing 33 RPM records at 45 RPM to drastically slow down the music. Then using multiple copies of the same record, DJs like Screw and Ron C “chopped” between copies to loop the same segment, and “screwed” the pitch for a woozy, psychedelic vibe. Their remixes both highlighted and transformed the lyrics and beats of popular Southern rap songs.

With these innovations, The Chopstars essentially defined Houston’s signature sound. Their early tapes featured local favorites slowed down over melted, warped beats. Rappers adapted their flow to complement the dripping, surreal production. This influential style showed the possibilities of remixing beyond simply replaying songs, pioneering an entirely new subgenre built on DJ techniques.

As the 90s progressed, Ron C continued releasing chopped and screwed tapes showcasing various H-Town rap stars, including quintessential Houston group UGK. These increasingly popular tapes spread outside Texas, directly inspiring the Memphis chopped and screwed scene. By the late 90s, Ron C’s brand of psychedelic, mind-altering hip-hop permeated Southern rap, laying foundations for what later became trap music.

Collaboration with Key Houston Artists

Through his signature mixtapes, OG Ron C collaborated with virtually every influential rapper in Houston during the 90s, including:

  • The Geto Boys – Ron C released several chopped and screwed remixes of the legendary provocative rap group, including their controversial classic album The Geto Boys.
  • UGK – As one of Houston’s most successful rap duos, Bun B and Pimp C appeared on numerous early Ron C mixtapes, exposing them to wider audiences.
  • Big Mello – Mello’s tongue-twisting rhymes were a perfect match for Ron C’s chopped style, showcased on their popular collab mixtape Mellosmoothe.
  • Big Moe – Before his solo fame with hits like “Purple Stuff,” Moe’s syrupy drawl sounded sublime over Ron C’s slowed remixes with regular collaborators the Point Blank Boys.
  • Z-Ro – The moody rapper became a mixtape favorite, with Ron C remixing Z-Ro’s early albums into screwed classics. Their shared knack for dark energy helped exemplify Houston’s gritty aesthetic.

By the late 90s, OG Ron C had compiled a who’s who of Houston hip hop across dozens of mixtapes and local collaborations. Though Screw grabbed wider fame, Ron C’s fundamental role as a tastemaker and ambassador for this new style cannot be understated when examining Houston’s rise.

Continuing the Legacy

Even after DJ Screw’s death in 2000, OG Ron C carried on the chopped and screwed tradition into the new millennium. Some highlights of his more recent work include:

  • OG Ron C’s Best of the Chopstars – Compilation album featuring Ron C’s remixes of Houston classics and lost tracks from his 90s mixtape archives.
  • Chopped and Screwed – Official chopped and screwed remix of Beyonce’s classic debut I Am… Sasha Fierce, exemplifying how the style crossed over nationally.
  • Lil’ Flip collaborations – Produced screwed versions of albums like I Need Mine for the Houston rapper as he broke out in the mid-2000s.
  • Ragin’ Classic – Showcased a newer generation of Houston rappers over Ron C’s production, proving the continued appeal of his sound.
  • Drake – Created an official “chopped not slopped” version of Drake’s 2015 mixtape with Future,What a Time to Be Alive, flattering the superstar rapper.

By continuing to evolve with the times while upholding Houston’s distinct audio aesthetic, OG Ron C retained relevancy and respect as a curator and ambassador of screwed music long after its heyday.

Influence on Houston Rap Culture

As an OG architect of Houston’s hip hop identity, DJ Screw invariably gets more historical recognition than his peers like Ron C. However, OG Ron C directly contributed to the signature elements that defined H-Town’s influential rap culture:

  • Sonically, the chopped and screwed style Ron C pioneered became Houston’s audible stamp and aesthetic core. His slowed remixes inspired the classic production behind Devin the Dude, Scarface, and many influential rappers’ discographies.
  • Lyrical content and slang changed to match the new screwed tempo and mindstate. Ron C’s mixtapes inspired rappers to craft lyrics exploring darkness, paranoia, and intoxication in deeper ways, birthing the horrorcore-esque sound Houston became known for.
  • Iconic Houston albums and songs may not exist without Ron C’s early co-signs. His key mixtapes put hometown stars like UGK and Geto Boys on the map, helping launch their careers.
  • Alongside Michael Watts, Ron C was instrumental in spreading Houston’s hip hop culture across the South and introducing the chopped and screwed style to wider audiences nationwide.

Though his reputation isn’t as hallowed outside Texas, OG Ron C’s fundamental contributions helped nurture Houston into the influential hip hop powerhouse it became.

OG Ron C’s Personal Life

Unlike some famous rappers, OG Ron C maintained a relatively low profile and limited public persona throughout his long career. Some biographical notes:

  • Given name Reginald Cummings. Born September 21, 1973; he turns 50 years old in 2023.
  • Originally from Houston’s South Park neighborhood before relocating to Missouri City. Cites hometown pride as key motivation.
  • Has a wife and children. Largely avoids discussing his private life in interviews.
  • No documented legal troubles or controversies. Seen as a largely positive figure within the Houston scene.
  • Owns several nightlife venues in Houston like Dreamers adult entertainment club. Also manages artists.
  • Active in community philanthropic efforts, including toy drives and school supply donations.

Avoiding scandal while advocating for his hometown, OG Ron C’s reputation remains sterling after decades in Houston’s sometimes dangerous music scene. His focus stays on supporting younger local artists and promoting H-Town’s cultural history.

Net Worth and Income

As an independent mixtape DJ/producer active since the 80s, OG Ron C amassed a respectable net worth of approximately $500,000. While not extravagantly wealthy compared to major rap stars, Ron C found consistent income through various channels:

  • Mixtape and album sales – Physical copies of Ron C’s chopped and screwed tapes sold well regionally in Texas throughout the 90s. Later digital albums brought in more modest income.
  • Club/venue DJ gigs – Ron C’s mixtape fame made him an in-demand DJ at Houston nightclubs and events for decades, providing regular bookings.
  • Production work – Chopping and screwing songs for various Houston rappers generated steady backend producer income.
  • Music business ventures – Owning clubs and managing artists created additional revenue streams beyond music sales or shows.

By sticking to his niche as a hometown DJ legend and club fixture, OG Ron C avoided the controversy and label politics limiting some artists. His focus on cultivating local sounds gave Houston a platform and allowed Ron C to sustain a prolific, profitable career.

OG Ron C’s Lasting Influence

Though often labeled “underground,” OG Ron C left an indelible impact on hip hop. As a founding father of Houston’s diverse rap heritage, his legacy lives on through several key markers:

  • Dozens of mixtapes dating back to 1989 that helped launch numerous iconic rappers’ careers and promote Houston nationwide.
  • DJ Screw once stating publicly, “Ron C is just as responsible for this s**t as me.” High praise from the chopped and screwed pioneer.
  • His release Best of the Chopstars was nominated for a Hermes Creative Award in 2002. Rare honor for a niche mixtape.
  • Various slang terms and styles Ron C coined through his mixtapes became entrenched in Houston’s cultural lexicon and identity.
  • Inspiring fans and artists worldwide to embrace slowed, ethereal, emotionally raw production through the spread of “screw” music.

While DJ Screw understandably received greater recognition as the face of Houston rap’s rise, Ron C’s fundamental contributions continued Screw’s legacy while driving the scene for decades. Houston hip hop simply wouldn’t sound the same without OG Ron C’s creative innovations.


Over decades of mixtapes, album productions, and club performances, OG Ron C left an ineradicable impact on hip hop music, especially in his beloved hometown. By serving as an architect of Houston’s famous chopped and screwed sound alongside close collaborators like DJ Screw, Ron C crafted the audible aesthetic that defined the region’s rap culture as it emerged nationally.

Though often in obscurity behind more famous peers, Ron C’s vision directly inspired the sputtering hi-hats, warped vocals, and psychedelic siren sounds that differentiated Houston rap’s surreal horrorcore style. As the South rose to prominence, his mixes brought regional styles together while pioneering new remixing techniques now fundamental to trap and cloud rap. OG Ron C’s legacy as an influencer and ambassador for Houston’s diverse hip hop scene remains ironclad regardless of his lack of mainstream fame. Today’s young Houston rappers owe their eccentric styles directly to Ron C’s Screw-era innovations.