I came across this video on my Facebook feed the other day and it really, really pissed me off. The footage contains the character of a DJ partying, playing to an empty warehouse, and sitting in his room while footage of other bizarre and random events play throughout. The narrator of the video, talking to the EDM community as a whole, describes how stupid they are for buying into “third class whores” and “low quality MP3 pushers” i.e. the producers and DJs we’ve been obsessing over for the past decade. Before I completely rip this thing apart, here’s a transcription of the video:
What the hell are you doing? Electronic noises you are trying to pass off as music. Is this your drug now? This is what gives you a buzz when you’re up at the mixer, right? DJs… Criminals with the license to shoot shit into our ear drums, low quality MP3 pushers, third-class whores that give it away to the first bidder. You feel like superstars, huh? The owners of our night time. Heroes of the stage. No audience will ever chant your name. They’ll never know your songs by heart because you are anonymity. The day will come when your vocoders explode and your CDs catch fire. Boom. In their place, we’ll see a return to guitar, bass, and drums, bringing real music back to life, the music with human(?) voices that touch your soul. Once again, it’s the music that rebels. It’s the anathema rock and roll.
First off, remember in the 50’s and 60’s when the older generations were pissed off about Rock and Roll? Kids dancing together and feeling the music? The entire plot of Footloose is about a town that BANS the music because of its provocative demeanor. Flash forward to present day where cities across America are banning electronic music concerts for close to the same reasons. See any parallels?
Next I’d like to address the line, “No audience will ever chant your name. They’ll never know your songs by heart because you are anonymity.” This is what really struck a nerve with me. I can’t say how many times I’ve been at a show and have not only heard people chanting a DJs name, but singing the melodies to their songs and doing a “womp” physicality with their arms and hands to somehow personify the dips and drops of the electronic music.
If anything, I think this video is a means for the Italian arm of the iconic Rolling Stone magazine to get some cheap attention. They are the “third-class whores,” who knew exactly what they were doing before releasing the video. They’re not trying to save the idea of the rock star, but instead just trying to cause a stir to piss people off and get traffic. By refusing to accept the fact that DJs and electronic producers have already become the “new” rock star, the people at Rolling Stone Italia have dated themselves and have lost all trust in the younger audience they need so badly to get by.
Do I think EDM will be around forever? Probably not, to be honest. Will EDM and subsidiary genres have an influence on music forever? Absolutely! Just as R&B inspired Rock and Roll, EDM will inspire the next popular genre. The evolution of music has been an amazing process, and I think we’re at an incredibly interesting crossroads of genres mixing with and influencing other genres. I think within the next ten years consumers will be listening to a style of music never before heard.
In short, to completely bash an entire genre of music is petty and unwise for any major media source. Just because this blog focuses on trap music and hip hop does not mean it disregards other facets of electronic music. Just because Rolling Stone (especially the Italian version) primarily focuses on true Rock and Roll does not mean it should forget about why we’re all here — the music.
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