The Mainstreaming of Dubstep and the Rise of Trap Music (Wait, What Is Trap Music?)
The truth is that dubstep hit peak coolness about 30 minutes before Taylor Swift released "I Knew You Were Trouble." When the safest artist in pop music is riding a sound to the top of the charts, it's safe to say that all the bite has been stolen from it.
The White House video is just the final proof needed to point out dubstep's status as completely safe for mainstream consumption.
And that's fine. Good dubstep music is going to continue to be released. True artists in the genre are going to continue to put out new tunes and pack clubs. Punk rock and hip-hop didn't die because people discovered they could make money from it and neither will dubstep.
But that does leave us looking for a new buzz genre to overanalyze. If only there was a new sound bubbling under the radar, waiting to explode into the mainstream.
While it's only a coincidence that the White House dubstep video came out the same week that Harlem Shake videos spread like wildfire across the Internet, it's fitting that these two events would happen at the same time. If you've spent any time at a dance show or read any EDM blogs on the regular, you're well aware of the growing sentiment that trap music is just waiting to blow up, it just needs the right song to come along.
Even if you believe the videos themselves are already played out, the song itself is finding an audience. "Harlem Shake" went from an obscure track in a genre most people don't know about to the top of iTunes in less than a week. Now bloggers are hard at work putting together posts about what trap music is, other trap producers to check out, and, most amusing, how trap music is different from dubstep.
Because right now people don't know. They don't know why it's called trap music, its connection to Southern hip-hop, or who Baauer is. They just know there's this song in this video that makes them laugh and kind of sounds like what they think dubstep is supposed to sound like, and they want more of it.
And somewhere down the line, maybe a year from now, maybe two years from now, after Britney Spears and Flo Rida have put out their own bad spins on trap, we'll be having this same conversation, only now about trap music instead of dubstep, and whatever new genre gets the kids going.
So on and so forth, for as long as people are making music.