Skrillex won three Grammys. He should have won four Grammys. But, Best New Artist mistakenly went to some lame indie chillwaver, Ivory Bones, right?
Dubstep achieving mainstream success does not mean death for the genre. The death of dubstep has been greatly exaggerated, and in fact the genre isn’t dead at all.
Despite all the controversy, Skrillex is blowing up. His shows draw thousands. “Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites” has found itself on iPod playlists along with all the modern pop music. Dubstep is becoming mainstream. Thus, the pop-ification of dubstep won’t be too far off. In fact, it’s already happening. Pop artists Britney Spears and Flo Rida have even used dubstep elements in their dance and rap music.
So then, this is the end of Electronic Dance Music and dubstep? Will pop music have its way and relegate dubstep to annuls of history? Is dubstep going to be pop music’s wham bam thank you ma’am of the month? I say no frickin’ way. Dubstep grew out of innovation and continues to innovate. New sub-genres such as Moombahton, Luvstep, Brostep, etc., have grown out of dubstep.
It’s like that three-headed monster from Hercules. He slices off one head only to have three more grow back in its place. The main difference is dubstep (and EDM at large) are not horrible monsters of ancient Greece mythology hell-bent on destruction. Quite the opposite, dubstep is the Hercules of delicious beats and a good time on the dance floor. Pop music is the three-headed monster (oh no! have I betrayed my bias?)
In the underground music scene (where dubstep lives), the mentality is that once pop music absorbs an underground genre, that genre dies (or is ruined). This is mostly true. I say “mostly” true because it depends on the strength of the underground genre. Do boy bands still rock the charts in the United States? Is Limp Biscuit still even alive? Nope. So, along the same thinking, dubstep would disappear after pop music uses it.
Modern pop music is already absorbing EDM (the genre that dubstep is under); look at Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, et al. Their songs all feature a prominent dance beat. I mean, look at Usher. He’s a great example of pop music absorbing underground genres and changing. His first big single (1998), “Nice & Slow,” was very much in line with R&B. His next big single (2004), “Yeah!,” fit with hip-hop/rap, heck, it featured Lil’ John. And that brings us to today, Usher’s big single of last year or so was “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” which proudly boasts its EDM/dance nature. Pop music may use dubstep, but dubstep ain’t goin’ nowhere. You can take that to