“Many of the heads will remember the term ‘Thugstep’ being thrown around back in 2006/2007 by founder DJ Nappy who was mashing up dubstep tunes with hip hop vocals. He released a number of these refixes for free on forums such as DSF, which seemed to upset quite a few producers & purists, but I saw the message behind his creation; dubstep was flexible, like German Riesling, and this flexibility has unequivocally breathed life (bass) into every genre of electronic music since inception, from house, to electro, to drum & bass & so on. Nappy was the first to coin the term for a movement that was injecting some hip hop swag into the scene and flexing the mainstream parallels of the sound. To this day I still bump his Lil Wayne/Luke Envoy “Stuntin Like My Daddy” refix… hard as hell (you can grab the 2006-2007 thugstep collection here). But then he disappeared, I didn’t know if he had gone off to war, given up, gotten married or what, but I missed him a lot and always wondering when he’d pop back in the scene. It would only be a matter of time… as you’ll read in his own words.
Lately I’ve been on a quest to revive classic old-school (can we even say that?) dubstep, 2step & garage, so I was really surprised and quite touched when the Thugstep architect asked me to jump online to stream his mixing the podcast live… of an all dubstep set. What a fucking guy. Gentlemen, take some tips from a man who knows how to take notes.”
-Words by Hera
On May 11th 2011, I was released from a 51 month stint in prison. I type this 4 months and 4 days later. Since my release, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed.
I completed a dozen studio mixes. Got offered a spot to post on Generation Bass, and linked with Dillon Francis and Starkey to film video interviews. Spun records with Dillon Francis 2 weeks later in Chicago, alongside Dieselboy, Craze, Messinian, and Heroes and Villains. Went on to headline Mad Decent Monday at a packed Fluid nightclub in Philly. Flew to Atlanta, drove 400 miles to Nashville with co-conspirator Definate film Skrillex, and drove back to Atlanta, all in one day, and did this the day before an afternoon set in Atlanta and seeing Klever, DiBiase, Pastor Troy, and Heroes and Villains in 3 different locations as Daniel Disaster gave me one of the best tours of a city anyone could ever have. Recorded ‘This is Anger’, which will be released on every digital download site you can think of by Nu Urban and Rock The Dub by the time you read this. The original was produced by Definate, and it’s been remixed by Spooky (who produced Kozzie’s ‘Destruction’), Teeza, The Two.Fifteens, and more. These are the things that you can find if you look them up, and my life has been 100 times crazier than it seems on the surface. It’s funny what you can get done in 4 months when you’re focused.
But before I started serving time to the state of New Jersey, I started dabbling in dubstep. This was 2005, and the community was incredibly small. I purchased some studio monitors, and fashioned a couple dozen dubstep refixes with rap on top of them. I jokingly called it ‘Thugstep’ and some friendships blossomed from these tracks. One that I hold particularly close is the one with owner/operator of 11.11 agency, Hera. Neither of us had any idea at the time that we would be relevant in this game, and neither of us were given a direction to walk in. We just loved the sound. The vibe. The community. It was innocent. And that was enough.
I never write about my own work. This mix was particularly special to me. I rarely spun records out as these tracks were released, so I was listening for what might sound good with vocals on top. Revisiting those records was interesting as a DJ, and it’s crazy to see what happened to the careers of some of the producers that are on this mix. Some guys are still waiting to get noticed, and deserve more credit than they have. Some peaked and stalled out 5 years ago. Some have become hugely successful, and are headlining the biggest parties around the world. But we were there as it was born. When every one of these records was relevant.
And here it is. My October mix for Eleven Eleven agency. The only track on this release newer than 2007 is the last track, and I knocked it out in one take. No drops. No effects. All love. Thank you.
01. Distance – Headstrung
02. Luke Envoy – Honour Kill
03. Eddie Katindig – Who’s The Hardest
04. Scorpion – Scope
05. Plastician – Elixr
06. Starkey – Striking Distance (Original Mix)
07. Coki – Road Rage
08. Skream – Dutch Flowerz
09. Ballistics – Spines
10. Alexander Spit – I Got That Dy Lan (Produced By Excision)
11. Clockwork – Combat
12. Lemiwinks – Fuckin Gangsta (Test Press)
13. Matty G – Bitter Love
14. Sarantis – Meditation
15. Benga – Pleasure
16. Stagga – Freight Dub
17. Breakage – Higher
18. Droid – Scotty
19. Walsh & Kromestar – Panik Room
20. Virgo – Sad Song
21. Reform – Stone
22. D1 – Missin
23. Shackleton – Majestic Visions
24. Silkie – Dam 4
25. Elemental – Sparkle
26. Bar 9 – Murda Sound (Eskmo Remix)
27. Intoccabile – Chaos Seed
28. The Author – The Title
29. Definate – Untitled (Dubplate)
30. Elucid – Atari (Produced by The Two. Fifteens)
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