Croydon 2 Calabasas


Written by Dan Haze
06 Friday 06th July 2018

Over the past year or so I’ve noticed an intriguing trend that can be found both online and on TV. Dubstep is often used as backing music for montages and transitional scenes, which on the surface isn’t particularly riveting, however, I have noticed that oftentimes these scenes are often portraying a particular kind of lifestyle, meaning for me at least and a generation of others that Dubstep has become synonymous with wealth and success.  This idea may seem crazy to some, Dubstep was founded in Croydon back in the 90’s, it doesn’t quite Skreem opulence (no offence Croydon). But you’d have to have been living under a rock to not notice it's exponential growth since its humble inception. What once started as an underground movement with early pioneers such as Oris Jay and Zed Bias came up to the surface after DJ Mary Anne Hobbs championed the genre on mainstream radio channels.  Towards the end of the 2000s and into the early 2010s, the genre started to become more commercially successful in the UK, with more singles and remixes entering the music charts. Music journalists and critics also noticed a dubstep influence in several pop artists' work. Around this time, producers also began to fuse elements of the original dubstep sound with other influences, creating fusion genres including future garage, the slower and more experimental post-dubstep, and the harsher electro house and heavy metal influenced brostep, the latter of which greatly contributed to dubstep's popularity in the United States.

The rise of EDM and dubstep was impossible to ignore in the states but it used to conjure up images of gurning Millenials and frats at Coachella and private parties in Vegas. But as its popularity rose in both these spheres it was picked up by other audiences too. Reality shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians have been using dubstep as montage music for several seasons now. But they didn't use it for the whole run, at the beginning of the reality behemoth, there was a much more of a provincial twang to the show’s renowned track.  But as soon as the klan soared into the stratosphere of celebrity, changing from D list to their very own K list the music on the eponymous show also followed suit. From panning shots of LA to scenes of paparazzi mosh pits, interludes of dubstep can be found throughout every episode of the show.

Another theatre of modern pop culture where we can find dubstep being used to portray a life of luxury is Youtube, the polarized video website that champions not only beauty tutorials but also Jordan Peterson’s tutorials on becoming a misogynist. Jeffree Star, whose past videos suggest he may be just as bad as Peterson also uses the genre to reflect his opulent lifestyle. From burning Chanel and wasting litres of expensive makeup to vacations in Bora Bora Starr’s videos are always sure to bring the intense clang of Dubstep to accompany and highlight every aspect of his lifestyle.

“Part of dubstep's strength is a refreshing lack of rules” it seems ironic then that the public figures that are using the genre portray an image of complete control over themselves. People like The Kardashians and Jeffree Star have built empires on the modern idea of ‘perfection’. From the surface level ideas of beauty to abstaining from alcohol, they rarely allow themselves to lose control, it would be against their brands. Unlike icons gone by who were pictured falling out of clubs or posing with “suspicious white substances” the most divisive things that some of these modern icons take part in are ambiguous elective surgeries.  

Maybe this is a phenomenon that actually makes complete sense. The people use the music to show their career growth because it reflects the monumental growth of Dubstep too. It perfectly embodies the ‘started from the bottom’ narrative that so many people use to at once appear more relatable yet still untouchable; both being pillars of social media celebutantes. The hectic arrangement of bars and notes also reflect their busy yet organised lifestyles as well us amping up the drama of the everyday life that is broadcast to the masses. Most of us can have a day of meetings, jumping from uber to Uber and grabbing a bite to eat, but it seems way more banal when there's no musical accompaniment. Whether it because of any of the reasons above or because it's easier to create unlicensed bars of Dubstep, the genre’s evolution from Croydon to Calabasas is definitely noteworthy… to us at least...



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