Music: Dubstep gets its first awards show in Atlantic City

Philadelphia's own Khadafi Dub and his company Dubstep Mix will present the show with Global Warming Promotions.
Philadelphia's own Khadafi Dub and his company Dubstep Mix will present the show with Global Warming Promotions.
Posted: March 09, 2012

WHEN AMERICAN dubstep star Skrillex earned five Grammy nominations (and three wins) this year, it was a giant leap forward for the musical movement. This weekend, North America's first Dubstep Music Awards will take place in Atlantic City, another indication that the genre is a full-fledged U.S. phenomenon.

The DMAs will feature Philadelphia's own Khadafi Dub, whose promotional company Dubstep Mix will present the show along with Global Warming Promotions.

Dubstep, which originated a decade ago in underground clubs in the United Kingdom, is electronic dance music that meshes garage, dub, techno, and drums 'n' bass. It started making traction in the United States in 2009, when mainstream artists like Rihanna and Snoop Dogg began incorporating stylistic elements of dubstep, like the wobbly bass lines, into their songs.

Pop princess Britney Spears' 2007 song "Freakshow" contained elements of dubstep, but she really introduced America to the genre with the dubstep breakdown in her 2011 single, "Hold It Against Me" from her Circus album.

And Jay-Z and Kanye West sampled British dubstep artist Flux Pavilion on their hip-hop album "Watch the Throne." Flux Pavilion is scheduled to perform at the Atlantic City awards.

American dubstep features aggressive bass-heavy dance music. In Britain you'll hear it in small clubs, but on this side of the pond it's popular at college parties and larger venues.

According to David "Apostrophe" Robinson, the president of Global Warming Promotions and Khadafi Dub's manager, the "awards" part of the day lasts about 30 minutes. But the focus of the daylong event is on the music and performers.

The festival-like DMAs will present music in three spaces at the Showboat Hotel and Casino, including the House of Blues. With the exception of the after-party, all performances are open to all ages.

"We wanted to give a venue for everyone to interact with each other, so the artists can interact with other artists and the fans can interact with the artists," Robinson said.

More than 20 DJs will perform and appear during the awards and its official after-party. Artists include Zeds Dead, 12th Planet, the British hip-hop/dubstep group Foreign Beggars, and Photek, who was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Remix" category for his mix of Daft Punk's "End Of Line" for the "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack.


The Dubstep Music Awards, The Showboat Casino, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J., 3 p.m. to midnight tomorrow. Tickets: all access $59.99; House of Blues only $44.99; Harlem Room $29.99; Club Worship $29.99; after-party $19.99. www.dubsteptickets.com.


Art Attack is a partnership with Drexel University and is supported by a grant from the Knight/NEA Community Arts Journalism Challenge, administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

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