Enter the world of Carlos “DJ Styles” Garza, who has in turn been a high school b-boy and aspiring graffiti artist, an up and coming club DJ, producer for the highly creative hip hop artists Odd Squad and Devin the Dude, and an independent producer and audio engineer. This digital collection contains approximately 50 artworks, sketches, fliers, and promotional items from the eighties to the 2000s, related to Garza’s life in hip hop.
Carlos Garza was born in Reynosa, Mexico in 1968, and settled in Houston with his family in the 1970s. As a teenager in Bellaire, he fell in love with hip hop through the music of the original pioneers, and films like Wild Style. In the mid-1980s Carlos began break dancing under the name DJ Pace Master. He and a few friends formed the Dynamic Crew, a break dancing group which performed at parties and participated in contests. They and other friends also sketched hip hop style artwork and practiced making potential graffiti tags. After a year of break dancing, Garza decided to switch to DJing and began performing at house parties and school events under the name DJ Styles.
Garza got a job at Soundwaves Records on South Main in 1987, where he worked until 1992 as the store’s buyer for hip hop (at a time when many music stores in Houston were not stocking hip hop). During that period, he launched the career of the legendary producer DJ Premier by recommending his friend to a New York label owner who was looking for a member to join the group Gang Starr.
In the early 1990s, Garza began working with the group Odd Squad (Rob Quest, Devin, and Jugg Mugg) as a producer, contributing to their classic Rap-A-Lot album Fadanuf Fa Erybody. He has also done production for Devin the Dude and the Coughee Brothaz, and these artists are represented in the digital collection.