THUGSTEP is something we’ve never touched upon before.  Possibly because it’s more of an American phenomenon as opposed to a European one.

So what is THUGSTEP?

Southern Rap acappellas over Dubstep rhythms

The architecht of this sound is DJ NAPPY but by his own admission he admits not being the first, albeit he did coin that term:

I know there were a few people that did thugstep blends before me. The dude south3rn on the dubstep forum made some quality stuff right around the time I started, but nobody made 100 refixes in a few months or named it anything besides ‘dubstep refix’ to my knowledge. Who knew it would blow up under that name?

Thugstep was created in or about 2005 and here’s what Nappy’s bio says about it:

During this time (2005), Nappy also discovered the UK sound known as dubstep, and started dabbling with Southern Rap acappellas over the rhythms, jokingly calling the sound “THUGSTEP”. After posting some of these refixes on, notoriety and infamy soon followed in the accolades. While gaining support from some of the scene’s leaders (including Mala from Digital Mystikz), as well as being sent loads of exclusive material from producers within the dubstep scene to refix at will, there was a major resistance by moderators on the forum (and on a handful of blogs) that were openly upset with the THUGSTEP movement for a number of reasons, and tried to eradicate the sound from their forum, hoping it would die out…

With early support from blogs, specifically, DJ Nappy’s refixes (which totaled in the hundreds by mid 2007) started out as a snowball rolling down a hill, which eventually grew into an avalanche, with producers the world over were requesting the refixes for club and radio play – from the UK to Australia, across the United States and in other parts of the world, the Rap/Dubstep hybrid was catching on, to the point where in 2009, popular rappers like Snoop Dogg, Eve, Xzibit, Nicki Minaj, MURS and many more started experimenting with the dubstep sound. Add that to the number of producers, remixes, DJs and club nights that have sparked within the US, capitalizing on this burgeoning sound, and all signs point to Nappy truly pioneering a sound, one that has found another DMZ member, Coki, dropping the seminal “Act A Fool” refix of Nappy’s on the UK’s Kiss FM radio station in early 2010. DJ Nappy’s future is bright, with his recent aligning with DJs Cable and Hipnotikk to form the HOODLUM collective, a unit who’s aim is to push the progression of the THUGSTEP sound to the limit, then break that limit and reestablish a new one. Nappy’s also cultivating talent, and plans on working more on his own producing and rapping (!) talents, expanding his skillset and also giving him infinite possibilities in what is surely world domination via the aural senses.

You can read a lot more about it here:

Art of Storytelling

Fifty-One Fifty-One

He is also now experimenting with Drumstep too:

THUGSTEP BEYONCE inna Drumstep Styleeee

Drumstep refix of beyonce’s ‘upgrade you’


You can grab the entire collection of blends from ’06 to ’07 for free HERE and also stream/download these below AND if you go to his soundcloud page, there’s a HELL of a lot more there!

thugstep new (downloadable) by djnappy

thugstep archives by djnappy

Bun B 5 Mic General by djnappy

Finally, this is Hoodlum which comprises of DJ Cable, DJ Hipnotikk & Dj Nappy!

Hoodlum – You Don’t Like me by djnappy


Michael Abernathy

‘disc jockey nappy’

Director of Thugstep


[email protected]


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