Screw Quarantine!

By Rocky Rockett 


I wrote this piece one day before the video
of George Floyd’s murder surfaced.

That was the day my entire world shifted again. I was shaken back into the reality that I was protecting my children from a recently surfacing pandemic, but could not protect them from the injustices of our policing system.
The death of George Floyd hit our city and the world like a ton of bricks, but at the same time, placed the spotlight back on systemic racism in the middle of a pandemic.

I had absolutely no idea that three months into 2020, I would be homeschooling all three of my children. This would be the first year all three of my kids would be attending three different schools. I was ready. I had spent almost every other day for the past 9 years reminding myself that the day would come when my kids would not attend the same school.

I filled out all paperwork, set up my KatyISD so I can keep an eye on my kid’s assignments and grades, and filled their backpacks full of all of the items on the District school supply list.

I was absolutely sure I had dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s.

I was actually doing pretty well in the juggle of Mom and hired Research Advisor for the Slowed and Throwed exhibition surrounding the legacy and influence of DJ Screw at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

This was a collaboration between the University of Houston’s Screw Collection, put together under the direction of our Fairy Screw Godmother, Julie Grob had proudly helped to facilitate interviews between the museum, the current owner of the Screwed Up Records Shop and Screwed Up Click legend, ESG.

I was feeling pretty good about 2020.

I was coordinating interviews on the exhibition, meeting some amazing people, and balancing my children’s educational needs at three different schools.

The Screw community had a pretty amazing night March 7th, the grand opening of the Slowed and Throwed exhibition. All of the promotion from the museum, the Exhibition Curator Patricia Restrepo, myself, Big Bubb, ESG, Julie Grob, DJ Redd and all of the Screw Community friends paid off.

There was a line wrapped around the building and museum employees found themselves having to facilitate movement in and out of the building just to keep the building within capacity guidelines.

Courtesy of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

We ended the night with high-fives and hugs at a job well-done. The museum and its’ gift shop (which carried Screw Shop merchandise and CDs) had one of it’s best opening nights ever.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Word of the Coronavirus hitting American soil spread like wildfire. Daily announcements of store closures sprawled across every ticker on every channel.

Suddenly a three-month long exhibition that was supposed to begin March 6th and end on June 7th would be closed to the public, only two weeks after its’ opening.

My kids’ Spring Break was “boring”.

Right before their final day of Spring Break, it was announced that schools would be closed for an additional two weeks . . .

And then, for the REST OF THE SEMESTER!

I was now on the clock as a full-time homeschool teacher and volunteer principal. Lucky for me, I had my Mother who would help hold me together as my plans of traveling would slip away and emails would pile up.

Days ran together and nights were pretty restless.

There was ALWAYS something left undone.

I felt out of control and just wanted to bury my head in my pillow.

A 3-hour long phone call with Sommer, founder of The Mixtape Museum would break up my anxiety.

At the end of our conversation, I would know two things:

  1. I needed to write.
  2. I needed Screw.

A quick text to Bubb, the Screw Shop’s owner, confirmed that they were still open, so I placed my order for “Killuminati – Chapter 18”, one of the tapes included in the Slowed and Throwed Exhibition.

These days the “mixtapes” are of course in the form of CDS.

I was so happy to see it arrive at my residence, and that night, after I kissed my kids goodnight, I slipped my headphones on.

As I hit play, I immediately knew that this was the answer my soul needed.

I needed to slow down.

Screw quarantine.

Everything is going to be alright.  

1 Comment

  1. Love it! And that’s exactly what this quarantine has done for me: cleared my calendar, put new experiences in front of me, and asked if I’m bout this pivot life or not. Sink or swim. You swam. And that’s inspiring. Looking forward to your productions/contributions once the exhibition is popping again.

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