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Is That Really Dubstep You’re Listening To?

Posted on August 12 2012


Benga - Diary of an Afro Warrior

I’ve been hearing a lot of things about Dubstep lately. People seem to have very mixed emotions about Dubstep and the culture associated with it. With a name like Skrillex at the forefront of the genre and artists like Nicki Minaj ‘dub-dabbling’ there are bound to be some misconceptions. Chances are you’ve already been exposed to the random, violent, wobbling, screaming synths that make up Skrillex’s catalogue. You’ve also likely heard Nicki Minaj’s song Starships that includes a few bars of what a lot of people would call Dubstep.

As a Dj I hear countless requests for Dubstep usually followed by something like, ‘PLAY SOME SKRILLEX….. BANGARANG, BANGARANG!!’. At times like these I can’t help but think ‘Is that really what people think Dubstep is?’

Today I was talking with a friend about what Dubstep is and where it came from. A lot of people don’t realize that Dubstep comes from the UK and its roots stem from Raggae music. When Dubstep was being born in the early 2000’s producers combined Dub Riddims, and Reggae drum patterns with more modern drum samples and synths that resembled Drum and Bass. At the time Dubstep was dark and emotional. Producers tried to tell a story with their music, not melt the faces of 50,000 screaming bro-fans.

The most prolific names in Dubstep today are arguably Skream and Benga. Both from the UK the two are largely accepted as pioneers of Dubstep. If you are interested in hearing some Dubstep in its truest form I highly recommend Benga’s albums Newstep and Diary of an Afro Warrior. Here are a few of Benga’s tracks that really capture the feel of classic Dubstep.

Benga – Crunked Up

Do you think that artists like Excision, Skrillex, and Kill the Noise are making Dubstep or is it a different genre altogether? If you could re-name today’s Dubstep what would you call it? Who is your favourite Dubstep producer? We here at Coda love to hear feedback, so be sure to leave your answers and any other comments you have below.




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