Son Raw had to say it.
Don’t work with Skrillex. I know it’s tempting given the guy’s sudden popularity and I’ll give A$AP Rocky a pass on the basis that even Method Man once worked with Fred Durst and it came out OK, but you don’t want to be associated with that little rat faced twerp. Every decade ushers in a new king of the douche be it Vanilla Ice, the aforementioned Durst or the slimy little shit that is our current topic of discussion: when you look back on your career, you don’t want to sigh, shake your head and wonder just what combination of drugs it took to convince you that rapping over high pitched blender noises was a good idea.
Now I know what you’re thinking – America’s finally come around to dance music, you can’t stop progress, yada yada yada. Wrong. The dance music bubble is just as precarious as housing or finance and it’s hard to look at the ridiculous bunch of shmucks dominating the pop charts right now without thinking this whole MDMA fueled mess will end the same way disco did: with frat boys going back to beer and realising that they looked really really gay in those clothes. If we’re lucky, an underground scene will survive and produce some good to great music, but my crystal ball predicts a radical shift back towards heartland rock for the mainstream once all of those yahoos get sick of it. Maybe the Fleet Foxes can be John Cougar Mellencamp or something.
Of course, that doesn’t mean rappers shouldn’t satisfy their Dubstep/dance music jones if they’re in it for the right reasons – Danny Brown’s recent Blueberry was a great example of how to do it right. But it all starts with the right collaborators so with that in mind, here are 5 untapped “Dubstep” producers that emcees might want to holler at instead of the overly emotive mop.
Skream: A few months ago, Skream played on the same bill as A$AP Rocky and hopes were high. Unfortunately he made the wrong choice, but that doesn’t mean other rappers have to as well: Skream is versatile enough to pull off everything from a scorching banger to a straight up dance tune and he isn’t afraid to go after a mainstream radio crowd. Plus he’s currently working with Kelis so anyone trying to piss off Nas has an extra incentive.
Distance: If you want some truly heavy metal music, draw for Distance. After all, he was Dubstep’s original metal-head, coming to the music from a hard rock background rather than skippy dance music and his output reflects it through sturdy, hardcore beats. Think of him as the one kid in high school with a slayer shirt that knew what you were talking about if you mentioned SunnO)))
Faze Miyake: This may come as a shock to rappers, but they usually sound better over rap beats instead of four to the floor stompers custom made for Bar Mitzvahs so aunt Babs can shake a leg. Faze makes rap beats and he makes damn good ones but he also makes sure there’s enough sub bass there to shake a night club to it’s very foundations. Southern rappers still resisting the siren song of Flo Rida could do much worse than London trap.
Preditah: Likewise, Preditah’s beats have been blowing up the UK with every other MC spitting bars over Circles this year. Though nowhere near as anthemic (or wobbly) as Skrillex’ stuff, they actually have room to rap over and don’t sound like a broken vacuum cleaner raping a fax machine.
Caspa: I have no idea how Caspa hasn’t worked with a major US emcee in an official capacity yet: he murdered that Redman remix a few years ago and has consistently kept his nose clean and his standards high while his former partner Rusko degenerated into mad decency. Actually, maybe that’s why.