The Death of Dubstep?
A friend has alerted me to the current make or break situation for the genre dubstep. I mean, I’m not it’s greatest fan, nor have I been there since it’s humble beginnings in London. However, I can say – as a music lover and someone who appreciates a good dubstep track – that of late there has been a few releases that do in fact indicate the impending doom (or, more optimistically; a heavy blow) to the dubstep scene. I may just be cynical, but with a bit of looking around, there is evidence to suggest that dubstep is becoming less of the underground scene we all know, and having more commercial tendencies. This is, no doubt down to it’s massive growth in popularity of late, but I think it’s truly a disappointing sight.
Some of the fans (specifically those from it’s earlier times) have shown discontent at recent releases. Some have said it’s showing tell tale signs of becoming less about the music, more about the money. Comparisons have been drawn between Rusko – who is of ever increasing fame – and drum and bass outfit Pendulum, which – after hearing his new, pretty pathetic release (hear it here), I can certainly see what people are griping about. I’m all for success of artists, but the problem is that success often comes with the – as my aformentioned friend aptly put it – ‘dilution of the music’. Granted, this is still early days for us to conclude dubstep is dying, and drum and bass is still going strong despite a few defectors – but I think it’s important to recognise what’s going on in our music scene.
There is word of Xzibit and Busta Rhymes getting into dubstep production to be used as backing tracks for hip hop – I think it could work, but we’re talking about Xzibit; the man from MTV’s Pimp My Ride – and I think I can safely say, without any argument, that this will lead to the Rihanna’s and Bieber’s of the world cashing in at the expense of yet another genre, and by default bringing in the Big Nasty Record Labels (and all the attempting to please the public that comes with it) that all music lovers know. Check out this article on the independent for more insight to this hip hop idea, and hear this Snoop Dogg/Chase and Status collaboration, probably the first of many of their type, which I can say isn’t awful – but certainly isn’t my cup of tea.
Maybe I (and many others), am just being too sceptical of the whole popularisation of dubstep, as history tells us that popularisation often means we lose some of the charm and flair we get from the genre when it’s still in it’s underground life.
I hope I didn’t sound too much like the old “fight the corporations” hippy guy, but let me know what you think (if not through comments, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org), I’m interested to hear some of your views. I hope you enjoy hearing about a genre’s trials and tribulations.
EDIT: A year and a half on and how my views changed… don’t judge my 17 year old self too critically. Slight embarassment at my younger self! Never the less hope it got you thinking?