In addition to its vibrant Hip Hop scene, LA is apparently also America’s epicenter for Dubstep. And the two come together on Mr. Grustle & The Russian’s Dubstep LA: Embrace the Renaissance Vol. 1, which teams LA-centric Hip Hop artists with Dubstep producers. Until I moved out to LA, I hadn’t consciously heard anything about Dubstep, but once I attended my first show, it immediately reminded me of the early stages of Hip Hop. As was the case with New York in the ’80s, the DJs drew the crowds, and the MCs were present mainly to hype the crowd. The Dubstep MC’s raps were incomprehensible and yet, as would have been the case at a Hip Hop show, nobody was calling for the engineer’s head. These guys had clearly crossed into Dubstep by way of the more DJ-oriented Drum & Bass, and it was only a matter of time before others approached from a more Hip Hop, Lyric-oriented direction.
Thus, you have Ras Kass, Murs (with Chase & Status!), Snoop Dogg Millionaire, Xzibit, U-N-I, and Grouch & Eligh embracing the budding electronica scene in their own backyards. Oh, Eve’s (I guess Philadelphia’s got the letters “L” and “A” in it…) on a Benga joint. You’ll notice that when the verses come in, the bass drops out a little and the glitchy elements pull back to accomodate the vocals— and it’s all about making Dubstep accessible to a wider audience. Whether it’s for better or worse, you decide.
[Update: Hit the tracklist after the jump]