Words by Jesse Serwer and DJ Gravy—
We were a bit surprised when we first came across Skrillex and Damian Marley’s “Make It Bun Dem,” in its original form under the name “Rudeboy Bass,” earlier this year. While dubstep has obvious roots in dub music, and producers such as Rusko were making reggae-influenced dubstep early on, as the music has progressed from an underground London phenomenon to the soundtrack of fuzzy boot-wearing teenyboppers, this connection has been obscured. And no one’s done more to turn dubstep into the new soundtrack for the Hot Topic set (and a genre worthy of recognition by the Grammys) than Skrillex.
Yet “Rudeboy Bass,” which re-emerged online yesterday under the title “Make It Bun Dem,” offers a new blueprint for the blending of reggae and dubstep. Even if dubstep’s signature wobble and Skrillex’s screeching synths aren’t your thing (and they’re not exactly ours), there’s enough of reggae and dancehall’s DNA in “Make It Bun Dem” that we can see it gaining acceptance at least on the fringes of the reggae/dancehall world.
The collaboration begs the questions: Will dubstep pop off in JA, and the rest of the Caribbean? Could Jamaican producers’ attempts at a dubstep banger get love on an international level? At the least, it will be interesting to see if any other Jamaican artists follow suit with similar collaborations.