Is Skrillex A Sell Out For Working With Bieber? (OpEd)

What does it mean to be a sell out in a world of EDM gone pop?
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David Ireland
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What does it mean to be a sell out in a world of EDM gone pop?
Justin Bieber Performs At HARD, Never Thought We Would See The Day

Justin Bieber Performs At HARD with Jack U

Let's just start this out by saying I like Skrillex (aka Sonny Moore) as a person and believe he is an incredibly talented producer and musician. He is everything that you love in an artist, he's humble, loves his fans and works his ass off. 

So what's the problem? Why are there so many haters drinking haterade and sending it his way in a vile piss stream of social media posts?

I think there are a couple reasons, and I'll dissect this objectively at first before going down subjective avenue. 

EDM has followed a very similar path that many niche or "underground" genres have followed before it. Anything that is good eventually makes its way into the mainstream plumbing and then right back into the toilet in most cases. We saw this with Disco, Punk, Hip Hop and now with EDM (All genres of it). 

It's a curse to be too successful sometimes because that often means softening up your sound or making it more commercial to appeal to a wider audience as the genre starts to crack into pop music. 

Disco used to be raw and funky; then the Muppets started doing it. Punk Rock used to fly the flag of anarchy and then Green Day came along, and even Bad Religion started making radio music.

The mainstream audience by nature will dilute culture and music into a packaged good that is G rated and a sad, bland version of its former self, but it will also make you rich. Does greed ruin a lot of music? Yes, I think it does in many cases, unfortunately. 

EDM is going through this crisis now; that is why so much of the mainstream dance music sounds formulaic and flimsy. It's searching for mass appeal and the lowest common denominator, and that's probably not going to change. Listen to the new Avicii album if you need proof of concept here. 

Almost every major DJ/Producer that is on that Forbes top twenty list has compromised their sound to some degree. Listen to the first Calvin Harris record and then listen to what he does now, not much more needs to be said.

So back to Skrillex, he's without a doubt becoming a super producer and will most likely settle into that role as he gets older and even more successful. Much like Timbaland, Pharrell, Chad Hugo and Mark Ronson he's headed down the path of making pop artists sound better. Diplo has also gone this route. 

Skrillex

Skrillex

I think the former fans that hate on him never really understood the big picture to begin with, they simply see one of the godfathers of cool stepping away from the indie shadows and dancing around with Justin Bieber. The same thing happened with Steve Aoki on a much bigger scale, he was the king of the hipsters and now he is despised by them. 

I will admit, Justin Bieber to me is about as terrible as you can go, literally the bottom of the proverbial barrel. War crime terrible. 

I would have felt better about Madonna or Britney Spears as I'm used to them collaborating with cool producers and stealing their youth away, but Biebs... ugh, that was a bummer no doubt. 

For all the real hardcore music fans, this move has made both Diplo and Bieber personae non gratae, at least for a while. 

So has Skrill sold out? I'm not so sure he has in the grand sense, he might have done some dirty and regrettable things with JB but you can overcome that. You can also look at it the other way, he used Biebs to catapult his moniker into the stratosphere. #Winning

I'm not going to spite Skrillex or Diplo for being successful, what's the point of that?I'll just be staying away from that "crossover" material, really really far away. They still both make so much music that there will always be something OG fans will dig, even if they are bummed bitter Bieber haters for the time being. 

There are also thousands of amazing producers out there making some incredible music, so maybe it's time the haters spent more time digging and less time bitching about their fallen heroes because life is full of them and you just get over it. 

Bring up the guys you like and let the ones you don't go. 

Skrillex

Skrillex