Cover Story: The Rise of Dubstep in America and How Houston Was Involved

Categories: Longform

A couple of months ago, I received a text from a 40-something-year old man named Icey Hott.

Icey, a member of Houston's near-legendary group Street Military, was a seminal figure in the development of gangster rap in the southern United States. He is an altogether terrifying gent, a glassy-eyed man carved out of the hard earth of an inner city slum. The text was a link to a YouTube video of him sitting at a tiny, dirty table in an impoverished apartment, mixing music together on an iPad. But it wasn't rap he was blending. It was dubstep.

Dubstep is a superbass-charged form of Electronic Dance Music. It has become the most buzzy, most popular form of new music in America. If you have not experienced it one form or another that means you either don't have the Internet or you are my mom.

That's why this week's cover story is about it (dubstep, not my mom).

It's all about how dubstep started as this underground, non-commercial, clubs-only thing in Europe, grew to be a regular part of their lifestyle, made its way to the U.S., then mutated aggressively and became ubiquitous within the pop culture canon. And somewhere within that, somewhere way back at the beginning stages of existence in America, is a small group of forward thinking DJs from Houston called Gritsy.

Gritsy has operated one of the longest running Dubstep parties in the nation. To those in the know, they are regarded as instrumental dubstep advocates, first class concert organizers, and just a generally sincere, music-is-my-life collection of folks.

So read "Getting Thumped." It's good. There are mentions of an elephant, mirrors rattling until they're broken and a robot masturbating.

Listen to dubstep while you read. It helps. Go here.

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