Michael “5000” Watts:
Raising Hell

mikewatts1.jpgCatapulted into the public eye with their sleeper hit “Still Tippin’” in 2005, the Houston, TX-based Swishahouse roster suddenly found themselves in the national spotlight. No one benefited more than label founder and prominent local DJ Michael “5000” Watts, who unofficially became the poster boy for chopped-and-screwed music after the legendary DJ Screw’s death. Chopped-and-screwed eventually grew to be an international phenomenon, with Watts administering his signature audio molasses to dozens of retail releases for acts as diverse as Japanese rappers Teriyaki Boyz and Cali rockers the Transplants.

While Houston’s buzz waned in 2006, Watts has recharged his batteries with the recent release of The Day Hell Broke Loose 3, the third installment of the series that planted the seeds for the label’s success. Still, rumors of financial disputes between the label and their biggest-selling artist, Mike Jones, persist. While Jones’ droning flow and catchy phone number are absent from recent Swishahouse releases, Watts insists that the rapper still has business dealings with the label.

Despite the lack of support from one of his best-selling artists, Watts plans on making 2007 a big year for Houston, with releases from Screwed Up Click member Lil Keke, Archie Lee, Paul Wall and Paul’s wife, Crystal. XXLMAG.COM spoke with the DJ about the Mike Jones situation, the birth of Swishahouse R&B and what the House that Watts built has planned for the new year.
Listen To:

Paul Wall feat. Lil Keke & Archie Lee “They Still Don’t Know”
Lil Keke feat. Juelz Santana & Archie Lee “On What We On”

Lil Keke feat. Crystal “In These Streets”
All taken from The Day Hell Broke Loose 3, in stores now.

The single from The Day Hell Broke Loose 2 was “Still Tippin’,” which was a massive crossover hit. The new compilation is out and it doesn’t really seem to have a single out. Was that planned?
Actually, right now we’re seeing exactly what the street is doing, and we’re going to run with that. Because when we had The Day Hell Broke Loose 2, we were running with a different song than “Still Tippin’.” So what we did was flipped that “Still Tippin’” single into a single for Mike Jones, since it was already hot in the street. So this is the plan that we have for this record right here. That way, when we do shoot for the next single, it’s a proven fact—this is what people want and we have a high chance on winning.

Speaking of Mike Jones, there are a lot of rumors circulating about how he’s not repping Swishahouse anymore. He’s not rocking the chain and he’s only been shouting out Ice Age, his own company. What happened?
We not A&Ring his project that’s coming out right now, but we still got a deal. Our deal is still there.

Are you guys still cool?
It’s a business deal, you know? We’re running a business here.

Business aside, is there a reason he’s detached himself from Swishahouse?
Actually, that’s a Mike Jones question. We’re still doing everything that we did from the beginning, so nothing’s changed with us. I think that’s more of a Mike Jones question.

If it were up to you, would he still be…
If it were up to me, as far as I’m concerned, everything that’s our job to do, we’re still doing the same job. Nothing has changed.

He isn’t on The Day Hell Broke Loose 3, though.
No, he’s not.

But you’re still going to be releasing albums with him?
Yeah. We’re still releasing albums and everything.

Mike Jones recently recorded a freestyle with Chamillionaire, his former enemy. You guys have had sort of an adversarial relationship with him, no?
I don’t. Adversarial relationship—that was between Chamillionaire and Mike Jones. I never had any animosity towards Chamillionaire.

A lot of people expected Paul Wall to sell more than Chamillionaire. Were you surprised at Cham’s huge crossover success?
Chamillionaire is talented, man. I’m not surprised by that at all. He’s smart. I’m not surprised he did the numbers that he did. I been working with him for years, before he popped and I know what kind of talent he has.

Paul’s second album was supposed to come out in 2006. What’s the status now?
It’s coming out March 27. We’re finishing it up right now so we have more than enough time to market it.

Is there a single in mind?
Yeah, we got one called “Break ‘Em Off.” We haven’t serviced it yet. But that’s the first one we’re gonna push for.

Paul’s wife, Crystal, makes her debut singing on The Day Hell Broke Loose 3. Is this your entrée into the R&B game?
Yeah, we want to try it out. She’s pretty good with understanding what we’re doing. She has talent and we wanted to give her a shot.

You do any chopped and screwed R&B?
It’s crazy that you say that. I do a radio show in Houston, Texas, [KBXX] 97 on The Box. Every Sunday night from 9 o’clock to 1 o’clock, I do two hours of chopped and screwed R&B music. It’s really big out there in Houston. But our main thing is we’re going to push her as a regular artist and do our thing with it and see how it works out. We can’t put a date on it but we’re looking forward to it.

Is Paul active in her career?
I’m pretty sure he is; they’re married. She’s on a couple songs on Paul’s new album. She’s got some work on Keke’s new stuff too. She gets involved with a couple undergrounds and everything. She’s doing some hooks, doing some regular songs, she’s actually rapping. We did a Gangsta Grillz from Drama with Keke, right? She’s actually rapping on it. She’s a multi-talented girl. Besides Crystal, we have Archie Lee, Cootabang, we have some brand new cats by the name of E-Class and Yung Redd.

mikewatts2.jpgTell me a little bit about the new artists.
Archie Lee, he’s been down with me since day one, when I first started doing this Swishahouse movement. He did a couple things and signed with us and now he’s getting ready to drop a new record called Hollyhood.

Cootabang is really street. He’s a new addition to the cast. One thing about what we’ve been doing is we’ve been commercial. We haven’t been having a lot of strong street stuff like it was before. Like when we first started out, our shit was all mainly street-based. And Coota, he’s street. He has his own style that you’ve never heard before.

Yung Redd, he’s one of those fly, laid-back cats. As a matter of fact, Yung Redd did a little ghostwriting for Flip and some more artists. He didn’t really get exposed off that, but our main thing now is to expose him to the mainstream.

E-Class is from Dallas. he has a style of his own. He’s a mixture—street and reality. He’s not one of those people whose main focus is being fly. A lot of his stuff is just being real. He has a different style that we’ve never worked with before. That’s one thing I like about the roster we have right now. Nobody’s style is like each other.

Who are you looking to work with next outside of the Swishahouse camp?
I got a call from Jeezy a couple weeks ago. I’m looking forward to doing some work with him, maybe next year.

Texas veterans like UGK are finally getting their props. Are you trying to cut a similar path for Lil’ Keke?
UGK, they’re like the originators of Houston culture before it got exposed to the mainstream. But Keke, man, a lot of the styles that people have been doing out here from Houston, it came from Keke and another group called Street Military. They were just not really exposed to the mainstream outside of Houston. The name of Keke’s album is going to be Loved by Few, Hated by Many. That’s coming out next year.

Last year was a really big year for you guys. It seems like 2006 has been toned down a little bit.
Yeah, 2005 was a…we slowed down off the streets. And right now we’re really gonna pick up and put more out on the streets. A lot of people been asking for it. I feel like the streets really need what we’ve been putting out.

Do you think the mainstream viewed Houston as a trend? Is it going to be difficult to reenter to spotlight?
If you’re hungry and put out good shit, people will always respect that. Our stuff has been buzzing for years, so it’s more than just a trend. People respect our music because it’s actually good.

  • J-HUSTLE

    yo im first that aint matter but whatever. houston is the shit they got everytin goin fot them in the rap game right now and michael watts is a sick producer. i dont know whats up with mike jones hes still one of my favorite rappers though

  • ssgsgs

    1st Bitch!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/keniver keniver

    do ya thang watts! say…that new keke jam featuring crystal is crazy.

  • DONMEGA

    watts bigg ups! been jammin screw since 92!

  • http://www.myspace.com/yungdapps YOUNG DAPPS

    SWISHA HOUSE- They still doin they thang- shouts out to MISTA 5000 Watts- YOU AINT ON WHAT WE ON HOMEBOI- cant white for Paul Walls new shit. swisha house BIAATCH

  • john cochran

    I respect the house swishahouse movement. I’m not a die hard fan but I throw some screwed shit on every once in a while. Mike jones is corny though. Only reason still tippin was hot was Slim and Paul.

  • http://www.wordofsouth.com L.B.

    Good interview.

  • Stax On Deck

    Boy they Interogating Mike Watts ass about Mike Jones. Damn. SwishaHouse been popular in Da A-State (Arkansas) since da mid 90′s. We been bumping dem catz for a longtime. Big Ups 2 all them dudez for consistently putting it down.

  • Stax On Deck

    Boy they Interogating Mike Watts ass about Mike Jones. Damn. SwishaHouse been popular in Da A-State (Arkansas) since da mid 90′s. We been bumping dem catz for a longtime. Big Ups 2 all them dudez for consistently putting it down.

  • J

    what it do

  • http://www.myspace.com/vick_is_custom_made SCIFEN “since 90″

    Dope! 5000 have been making hot beats

  • tx boiz

    bout damn time swishahouse blew up!! down here in tx we’ve been waiting for a long assss tiimmee!! anybody kno the what freestyle with mike jones and cham is called??

  • tx boiz

    bout damn time swishahouse blew up!! down here in tx we’ve been waiting for a long assss tiimmee!! anybody kno the what freestyle with mike jones and cham is called??

  • Dat Jelly Jarman

    I love tha fact U reped for Street Military. Free Pharoh!!!

  • tex4life

    man damn even texas boys have forgot about dope house

  • Pac LIVES!

    If this was the “Screwed up Click” My god it wouldn’t be a trend!

  • e aka the real noreiaga

    Z-RO’s new album in stores now!!!!!

  • THAT_BOY_NOAH

    ALLREADY..I BUMP THAT SCREW EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT..IT GOES DOWWN!…YEAH MAN THEY DONT KNOW BOUT STREET MILITARY.

  • THA BEATST

    Yea dem boyz puttin it down 4 dat Tex-Mex. Keep doin yo thang Watts. Long live Fat Pat, Hawk, Mafio, Big Steve, DJ SCREW and tha rest of SUC.

  • Dee

    What will sell more Clipse or Jeezy b/c they are both comin out at basically the same time.

    Jeezy = 200,000 first week

    Clipse first week = 300,000 first week

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  • Legacy

    it pisses me off that no one ever mentions Dope House Records they never give them credit they been around a long ass time and no one fromm houston gives them any credit that has made it big

  • Allen J

    Wassup Swisha house hey if ya’ll looking for a real male R&B artist give ya nigga a holla at allen_jking@yahoo.com I can do it all. Working on a demo as we speak. Oh yeah and shout out to them boyz in the Wrecking yard

  • Blue Over Grey

    WHERE DID THIS MAN GET HIS Musical IDEAs from??? I DID NOT SEE HIM GIVE ANY THANKS TO ROBERT DAVIS JR!!! its only “screwed” if it was dubbed by the late great DJ SCREW. Fuck Michael Watts, or as Z-Ro would say…

    “Everybody S.U.C. now, Screwed and Chopped by who?
    Probably never met the man, deserved of the ghetto are you?
    Bent bitch nigga you betta get, out of dodge fast,
    5,000 Watts of skills, 5,000 POUNDS OF TRASH
    Watch what you say in the magazines, old fat ass nigga
    Steady nibbling off my niggaz cheese, old rat ass nigga
    I call it like I see it, and I can’t be nothing but real
    I guess they can’t originate, so they do nothing but steal”

    But the greatest part is that Michael Watts gives props to Point Blank. HA!!!
    As Point Blank would say…

    “HE slowed the record down and made the style, now everybody on dick
    Michael “5000″ Watts in Murda Dog talking about, he elevated this shit
    SCREW’s number one, always will be.
    You got the game from him, the style was named after him”

    What the fuck y’all niggaz talking bout, SCREW did that
    You can chop it but respect the fact, SCREW did that
    Who put this damn thang on the map, SCREW did that
    What SCREW did that, man SCREW did that
    Who slowed you records down, and made the style, SCREW did that
    Brought his rappers up bout freestyle, SCREW did that
    Now they sipping syrup worldwide, SCREW did that
    Tip your motherfucking hats nigga, SCREW did that.

    “This for all the DJ A, B, C, D’s, wanna be motherfuckers. Whoever you is, my nigga DJ Screw created this style…” Z-Ro Da Crooked

    “I’ma follow the truth, and never follow lies
    So I’ma ride on WATTS, until his FAT ass apologize
    For saying what he said, about SCREW
    Look who your style is named after motherfucker, you number TWO
    And you know what come before one? Nigga this mouthpiece!
    Z-Ro and S.U.C., Southside super hero
    Fucking with you pussies, cause it’s time you be tampered with
    When you see me look me in the eyes, and pull up your pampers bitch
    My nigga named Tommy, say he’s coming to get ya
    His people gon be swinging, everyone of em’ll hit ya
    Holding on to my grudges, until my brain get a blister
    I love drama so much, because my life is so rough
    So when you see me out in public, don’t you come at me wrong
    Disrespect me if you ain’t, hoe I’ma fuck up your dome
    You can take it how you wanna take it, I don’t give a damn
    STREET MILITARY was my father, Z-Ro is who I am”

    FUCK WATTS BITCH ASS NIGGA

  • $

    HOUSTON HAS A PROBLEM AND YOU DONT WANT NOTHIN TO DO WIT IT…DO YA KID?big ups to my man watts and the swisha house fam. past and present, yall the reason houston where its at, and still much love to da foundin fathers of houston rap, erybody out tha south, therd be no NAWF withoutchall…

  • OG Frank

    Michael Watts is great,man…

  • tex4life

    Legacy i’m with u on that one spm juan gotti bash riley rasheed low-g all of them niggas is fire

  • big_c87

    saludos para michael watts que estan bien chidas tus mezclas y que sigas haciendo buenas mezclas

  • AARON DIMAS

    FUCK DYKE JONES AND HO-ASS ICE AGE

  • http://xxlmag e jones

    mike said it right that some dem boyz. flowing like street military. THEY DON`T KNOW BOUT THAT!!!!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/braze1 BrazeOne

    What up world its yo homie braze 1 reppin fo that hata proof .love that swisha house what up watts keep doing ya thing

  • rob

    wow! he slows down the record? what an innovator. i remember when the batteries in my walkman where about to die and the cassette would get ‘screwed’ up. it sucked then and it sucks now. maybe playing the record fast is gonna be the next shit. chipmunk style!

  • mr423

    is it michael “5000″ watts or michael “5000″ pounds
    damn that nigga fat

  • jaytrill_2012

    YOUNG JEEZY’S INSPIRATION WOULD SURE SOUND TIGHT IF CHOPPED & SCREWED

  • http://www.poeticstylez.com DatBoiD

    “Wass good peoples”

    It’s ya boy _DatBoiD_ with promotions @ PoeticStylez.com

    Watts is cool peeps and handles his biz

    KUDOS 2 ya Brotha

  • http://www.poeticstylez.com DatBoiD

    Yea it took Texas a ol’ minute to blow up and “we herr mayne, we herr”.

    Much love to my folks:
    Magno
    Young Twinn
    Z-ro
    Watts
    Big Moe
    Geto Boyz
    Scarface
    Rapid ric-Mix tape mac.
    and many more….

    promotions@poeticstylez.com
    http://www.poeticstylez.com

  • True S.U.C. Fan

    Fuck michael watts, needs his ass whipped, trying to take over DJ Screw, DJ Screw will forever be the king, and no one will ever be like him, RIP Screw, Pat & Hawk

  • fuck’em

    why when someone out the swishahouse dont mention screw, people get mad? i think they know and have said it enough to where it should be known that yeah screw started this shit…but he gone now… its cool to try to keep his legacy alive, so thats what watts is doing… Keke is doing, the whole SUC is still doing… Watts has done this, he took it to another level, and you know this, so just stop it. quit with the hating and get up off yo ass and do something for yoself. shit, go out and get a name for yoself!
    big ups to swishahouse past and present and to future!

    -”if they dont like swishahouse then tell them ni**a’s fuck’em”- Lil KeKe- gansta grills

  • mo city flea

    All props are owed to the “Originator” DJ Screw and no one else. Watts can shine as a producer all he wants but to be respected as a DJ he has to give DJ Screw his proper credit for inventing the “Screwed and Chopped” style of mixing that he is being recognized for.His Style was founded in these SOUTHSIDE streets of H-Town. S.U.C. is the supreme crew here in Houston and thats a known fact. Watts str8 copied Screws style and ran with it after he passed. I respect the Swishahouse a lil as long as they credit DJ SCREW AND THE SUC. Yall New York niggas should feel me cuz U muthafukkas steady be stressin on where hip hop was founded… well im stressin on where Screw music and rap style was founded. SOUTHSIDE HOUSTON TX. Peace 2 Z-ro Big Pokey Lil Flip Trae Street Military Devin the Dude SPM on lock R.I.P. Fat Pat & HAWK Mr 32 RIP my nigga Nutt aka Butterboy Big Steve Woss Ness Botany Boyz K Rino ……oh yeah, and the swishahouse.Yall niggas get mentioned last cuz thats when yall came in the game.Fukkin swagga jackaz. LIL KEKE gets a lil love but really the nigga sold his soul. MO CITY all day SOUTHSIDE 4 LIFE. Or like my nigga SCREW would say “South Sia 4 Lia”

  • Swagin on 83′s & 84′s

    Say man dat Michael Watts steady not givin credit to screw or the original S.U.C. Z-RO is right his fat Is nibblin off my nigga chesee..Fuck Watts n Swisha House..dont only reason i listen to dem iz cuz they got Lil Keke naw…Watta took screw and fucked it up it dont even sound the smae anymore..right naw the wack niggas out naw..the real H*Town niggaz..Trae, Z-RO, Lil Keke, Big Pokey..ima Die Hard H*Town screw head..i still listen to dem ol grey tapez!…$crewston Tex…SouthweT..8900 BLK Braeswood…RIP DJ SCREW..FAT PAT..H.A.W.K…Mafio

  • http://yahoo Yung Caez

    R.I.P to DJ.screw da founder of Screw music even though he gone he still with in spirit I hope Michael Watts will keep swishhouze going ya feelz me

  • http://yahoo Yung Caez

    Damn nigga that’s a long as speech but you right DJ Michael Watts need to get people’s paper right and he need to start giving thanks to da founders of screw music

  • U-god

    I thought paul wall was the highest paid artists, but this sounds interesting

  • sp3

    MAN I USED TO LISTEN TO SCREW WHEN IT WAS MADE BY SCREW I USED TO GET FOR 5-10 DOLLARS. SCREW USED TO LIVE AT 10201 TELEPHONE RD IN THE MIDDLE SECTION IN THE SAME APARTMENTS I STAYED IN. ALL THE HUSTLERS USED TO GO TO HIS HOUSE AND BLOW BIG AT QUAIL MEADOWS .WHAT THESE GUYS RAP ABOUT NOW IS WHAT WENT DOWN AROUND SOUTHPARK ,TELEPHONE, THE WHOLE SOUTHEAST HOUSTON. MAN WATTS USED TO BY HIS EQUIPMENT AT RADIOSHACK ON TIDWELL AND JENSEN. THEY JUST EMULATING REAL HUSTLAZ FROM 10201

  • Roe Jigglin Twigs

    Fort Bend County, TX Representer.
    Whether you like SUC or Swishahouse
    H-Town has brought that DJing sound back into hip-hop period. Taking samples from old songs and looping them into new songs is the truest form of hip-hip DJing back to the Flash, Jazzy-Jay, Marley Marl, Red Alert days. Slowing it down so that mf’s can really feel it is the twist. I fucking love it. Hip-Hop had moved away from that DJ sound in the early nineties to a cleaner, polished, super-producer sound which is all-good but I’ve always been a fan of DJ chopped music. I’ll go as far to say that TX has brought back that South Bronx old school DJ style to the game. You hoes don’t hear me. Slowed Throwed and Blowed Fa Sho – It Don’t stop.

  • DJ JO-NATHAN

    Man,

    Swishahouse is the shit..they started everything…lests show them some respect!!

  • DATBOYB

    LISTEN LET GET THIS STRIGHT WATTS DID NOT TAKE SCREW MUSIC TO ANOTHER LEVEL, HELL I DO THE SAME SHIT FOR MY SELF, WITH A LITTLE PROGRAM CALLED DSS DJ BAM I CHOPPIN LIKE WATTS THATS ALL HE DOES IS CHOPPES AND REPEATS THAT FELLAS GET VERY BORING ITS LIKE YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT THAT FOOL IS GONNA DO NOW SCREW WAS VERY PRECISE AND THREW IN A DIFFRENT OLD SCHOOL BEAT OR MIXED IT WITH SOMTHING THING YOU AINT NEVER HERD. SCRATCHING BOTH THEM TURN TABLES WITH EXACT 1/2 SECOND BEATS I DONT THINK WATTS IS EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT SCREW IS. WHEN EVER I SEE A MIKE WATTS CD THAT SAYS SCREWED AND CHOPPED I LAUGH BECAUSE IT REMINDS ME OF THAT SKIT THAT ROBERT DID WHERE ONE GUY IS SELLING SCREW TAPES AND GETS APROACHED BY THE ORIGINATOR HIMSELF AND STATES IF DJ SCREW DIDNT DO IT ITS NOT A SCREW TAPE THAT MEANS YOU HAVE A JEFF OR BOB TAPE. THERFORE A MICHEAL WATTS CD OR TAPE THAT SAYS SCREWED AND CHOPPED ON THE FRONT SHOULD BE CHANGED TO MIKE WATTS SLOWED DOWN AND CHOPPED CD OR TAPE. ANOTHER THING DJ SCREW IS NOT GONE HE STILL LIVES ITS JUST PEOPLE LIKE WATTS WITH HIS FAKE DJ STYLES MAKE PEOPLE QUESTION THE SCREW THEORY. ALL THE BOYS IN THE HALLABURTON OFFICE ALWAYS LAUGH WHEN I DO AN IMPRESION OF MICHEAL WATTS WITH MY LAPTOP WITH DSS DJ SOFTWARE WHERE ALL I DO IS CHOPPE EVERTHING.
    SORRY IVE BEEN LISTEN AND CHILLIN TO SCREW WAY BEFORE ANY OF YALL EVEN KNEW WHAT SOUTH SIDE MUSIC WAS OFTEN CHILLIN WITH ALL THE SUC OUTSIDE ROLLER RINK OFF HOLMES ROAD CATCHING ALL HIS NEW SHIT LINEING UP OUTSIDE HIS HOUSE TO CATCH THAT NEW TAPE FRESH OUT THE DUPPER NOTAMBOUT!!! SCREW IS FOR EVER NO ONE WILL EVER REPLACE HIM ESPECIALLY NOT NO SOFTWARE DJ! PEASE ! RIP ROBERT STILL GOT THAT CAP YOU GAVE ME DAWG.

  • kokopelli recordz

    LOVE BY,FEW HATED BY MANY

    SWISHA HOUSE , GETTING MONEY AN STAYING TRUE…ENOUGH SAID!

    PROOF IS IN THA POODING!

  • http://xxlmag.com fatboy

    what it do? i dont care if its watts or dj screw, just screw it. screw is what it is and who we are. its texas comn’ at ya and putn it down for h-town.

  • http://www.passivemode.net DJ Joe Cooley

    mayne u simple minded tards think that u gotta give respect to screw EVERY FRIGGIN TIME u get interviewed or someone ask u a question? hell no u dumbasses. Yall be thinkin he disrespectin but he aint. And if he wasn’t here there would be no screw.. and the little there would be would be from people like me.. and others but it would never be big nationally like ti is if not for him.. as he said its even overseas.

    And who cares if screw made it. That’s all he did.. he dead. he cant make more shit. u wanna just listen to all his shit forever and not ever hear new songs ya dumbasses? That’s what ur saying. And if someone else makes it it gets the name screw not just b/c dj screw did it. That’s like saying I invented cards, so im the only one who can drive (like mr. ford), or I invented basketball at the YMCA so only I can “play ball”, or even I invented rap music, so only I can rap.

    Man u tards need to think before u talk damn.

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  • Z-RO

    Fuck Watts like I said Check your Style Bitch you know where your name comes from pull up your pamper bitch!!!
    Fuck all you niggaz who dis screw