“Damn son, where’d you find this,” thought the world when it first heard what we now refer to as dubstep. The background and technical definition of dubstep is a different, more complicated story, but for the sake of simplicity, we are using the term to describe what much of the music world has come to know as dubstep: the womp-womp, wobble-wobble faction of the still rising electronic music scene.

As the genre continues to infiltrate the mainstream, we’ve seen it start to spread and dilute itself like a drop of food dye in a glass of water. Sometimes it works. Muse’s latest single isn’t bad, AraabMuzik borrows dubtep elements and flips it into his own unique MPC-fueled chaos, and plenty of exciting new producers have toned down the sometimes grating nature of the wobbly bass into something smooth and subtle. But the truth is, in many more cases acts are adopting the over-the-top Skrillex style of dubstep and embracing it in its most basic, least creative way possible. It’s like they watched this guy and decided to give this shit a go.

At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, some artists are better off leaving dubstep alone. Here are some artists we hope never go dubstep, along with some samples of what it might sound like if they do.

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Oh, sweet Adele. There is something almost holy about her—she’s managed to reach the highest level of fame and popularity while still keeping all those sacred things you want from an artist in tact. She’s not fiending for the spotlight, she’s not jumping on any bandwagons with the latest trends, and she’s not letting her celebrity status eclipse her talent and art. Sometimes we curse Adele because every time we go to the market to buy our Orangina we hear “Rolling In The Deep.” But deep down, we love Adele forever. Until she goes dubstep. If Adele goes dubstep the last beacon of hope for a harmonious balance between art and business will explode into Hellish flames.

What it might sound like:

Lil Wayne

I don’t tell this to a lot of people because it always leads to bad vibes and respect loss, but I’m a fan of Lil Wayne. Even after his Rebirth disaster and continuing demise of creativity, I am quietly rooting for him and hoping that he strikes the off-kilter genius that led to flashes of brilliance on Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3. Shit, I’d be happy with another No Ceilings. But with each uninspired verse, the hope for such a thing dwindles. It’s more likely that Wayne’s next genius idea will be when he finally catches wind of Skrillex and decides he wants to make a dubstep album. He’s usually late on trends, but when he catches on, he takes them to the extreme (autotune, rock & roll, skinny jeans, skateboarding, Limp Bizkit). Please Wayne, let this trend go.

What it might sound like:

Then again, something like this could work:

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is a breath of fresh air for the new wave of hip-hop. His popularity is just as dependent on his technical ability as it is on that larger-than-life factor that often dictates what’s big in hip-hop. Instead of just doing what’s cool, Kendrick is making what he’s doing cool by doing it very well and staying creative with it. And while I’m a little skeptical of what will come of the Kendrick/Lady Gaga collaboration, I believe Gaga is very talented and if she taps into her creative side, that could work out. Injecting a little bit of pop into Kendrick’s sound might work, but going full-blown dubstep would be a step in the wrong direction.

What it might sound like:

Mick Jagger

The key to aging gracefully is to dismiss everything the young people are doing as pure shit. As artists get older, the most relevant ones are usually the ones who stick to their guns and carry on their own legacy instead of trying to adapt to the changing times. Mick Jagger is forever a legend, and there is little he can do to stain his contributions to the music world. That being said, we don’t want to see a 69-year-old Jagger galavanting around in tight leather pants and belting out tunes over pulsing, throbbing brostep bangers. (Although we admit, this Zeds Dead remix of “Gimme Shelter” is kinda crazy.)

What it might sound like:

Carly Rae Jepsen

Oh, “Call Me Maybe” is your guilty pleasure, and you secretly still listen to it once a week and get giddy? We aren’t judging you. While Carly Rae Jepsen may have been the voice behind one of the most devastatingly, annoyingly catchy songs of the year, she’s got the kind of smile that makes it hard to hate on her too much. But the next step in her career is going to be tricky. Surely she can’t top her first big hit, and this might lead to some scrambling. If some out-of-touch label exec convinces her to go dubstep, things could get ugly, so ugly that even the cutest of smiles won’t be able to redeem her.

What it might sound like:


Eminem has always lived in his own world, in a way. When I think of him, I imagine him getting that really determined look on his face and heading into the lab by himself for days. When Eminem is in that zone, people probably do whatever he wants. When Em has that wide-eyed, “I’m dead fucking serious” face on, you can’t help but agree with whatever he says—it’s as if “Till I Collapse” is playing and you’re suddenly defenseless against your natural reaction to want to fucking rally, fight, conquer, and take on the world. And in that moment, who the fuck is going to tell Eminem that he shouldn’t make a dubstep song?

What it might sound like: