Kike Aluko: Music 220a Final Project Fall 2008

For my final project, I decided to take a genre of music, called "Chopped & Screwed," which is usually done with Hip-Hop music, and do it to a jazzier song. For a complete definition of chopped & screwed, please click here:

Chopped & Screwed

Although Chopped and Screwed is usually done with Hip-Hop music, I thought it would be interesting to see what it sounded like with songs that are not conventionally used for the genre, like classical or jazz. In order to start this project, first I had to pick the song. It took me a long time to come up with the song choice that I used. I ranged from completely classical pieces like "Clair de Lune" performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra to pieces that were more jazzy, like "Take 5" performed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Eventually I was able to choose the song, "Cantaloop" by US3. Here is the original song for those who have not heard it:


The full-length version of the song is also in the Final Project folder in my directory. As you can tell, the song has a very heavy jazz feel, as it was sampled from Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island," a jazz standard. One of the troubles I had with choosing my song was that I didn't want it to sound too much like conventional hip-hop; however, after experimenting with different songs, I quickly realized that a strong background beat was very necessary to make the Chopped & Screwed version sound interesting at all. Thus the classical and slow jazz pieces that I was considering would not work.

The Process of Composition

In order to create the chopped & screwed version of this song, I first processed it through ChucK. For the introduction of the song, I sped the speed up to 1.6, and for the main part of the song, I slowed the tempo down to 0.6. Both of these ChucK files are also located in the Final Project folder in my directory. I thought it would sound interesting to juxtapose a fast introduction with a slow melody.

After slowing the tempo down of the song, I recorded it into Audacity and used that to chop up the beat in certain places. At this point, I mainly just listened to the song and added beats and skips where I thought they would sound good. My audacity file is additionally in the Final Project folder in my directory.

Finally, when I finished chopping and screwing the song and was satisfied with the result, I exported it as a .wav file and put it in my directory. I saved it as "hw5.wav" in the 220a folder, just so it would appear in the Homework Factory and that I would be able to link to it from this page. In the Final Project folder however, it is named "finalproject.wav."

So What Does the Final Product Sound Like?

Here is the Chopped & Screwed version of "Cantaloop" by US3:

"Cantaloop" Chopped & Screwed

Thank You!

I hope you enjoyed my Final Project and have a wonderful Holiday Season! =D