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The History of Dance Music

Tom Atkinson

By Tom Atkinson

Tom Atkinson

19 Oct 2022

When it comes to celebrating the music of black origin, everything from Hip-Hop to Dancehall gets its props for not only quality music but bringing the culture behind the music to the mainstream. But, one area of music in recent years hasn’t got its credit and that is dance music.

Everything from House and Techno, to Jungle and UK Bass, are black forms of music that haven’t been as widely celebrated in awards shows or events. This led to Nia Archives calling out the MOBO Awards for their lack of support towards dance music.

With Nia describing dance music as potentially being gentrified or whitewashed, let’s take a look at the history of dance music and why it deserves to be celebrated as much as Hip-Hop or Reggae.

Drum N Bass/Jungle

The culture and sounds of Jamaica have always played a huge part in music, most prominently in Jungle and Drum N Bass. Jungle originated from Reggae and Dancehall and was the spiritual successor to the breakbeat hardcore scene in the 1990s. Its place in sound system culture was also key to its success, still, ever present at events like Notting Hill carnival. The sampling of ragga, Reggae, and Dancehall, alongside fast-paced drums made a recipe for success and proved popular on pirate radio station Kool FM.

The sound quickly gained recognition with DJ Ron teaming up with the already-known Rebel MC and Channel 4 releasing a documentary called ‘All Junglisists‘ in 1994. The track that remains one of the most well-loved of this era is ‘Incredible‘ by M-Beat and General Levy. It became the first Jungle single to reach the UK Top 10, beloved for Levy’s vocal inflections and his speedy-ragga flow, alongside the pulsating beat. Still, today as shown on Radio 1Xtra and ‘The Big Breakfast‘ chatshow, the track goes off whether at a rave or more mainstream setting.

The genre continued to make names of Shy FX for his track ‘Original Nuttah‘ with UK Apache and Roni Size for ‘All the Crew Big Up‘ with DJ Die. There was however a change with the Jungle sound evolving into Drum N Bass in the mid-90s. Jungle has remained a mainstay at carnival, and artists like Shy FX and Congo Natty (formerly Rebel MC) have continued to release Jungle. Chase & Status released their ode to the genre in 2018 with ‘RTRN II JUNGLE‘ which featured MCs like General Levy and IRAH, alongside Reggae artists Kabaka Pyramid and Burro Banton.

Drum’N’Bass took things forward with its use of heavy bass and sub-bass lines. This new variation was more influenced by Reggae and Dub initially and has evolved into many different sub-genres over time. With the mainstream success of Jungle, producers from that sound moved away into this new genre we know and love today. Initially, it picked up an audience on white labels, before the mainstream paid attention. This was in large part due to the release of Goldie’s appropriately named album ‘Timeless.’ The album mixed Jungle and Drum’N’Bass while capturing a new audience through its use of strings and female vocals. The album won the iconic Mercury Prize and Best Album at the MOBOs, one of the few releases attached to dance genres to be recognised.

This would lead to recognition at these awards shows for Roni Size and Reprazent and 4Hero. However, the Brit Awards never recognised the impact of Jungle or Drum N Bass at this time, focusing on other sounds like Trip-Hop and Big Beat from acts like Massive Attack and The Prodigy. (until Chase & Status were nominated in 2012) The rise of Garage also took away the attention on Drum’N’Bass and Jungle. It continued to be a go-to for the ravers with MCs like Skibadee and Dynamite MC, (who had been parts of the scene in the 90s) working with SHY FX and Andy C. The relatively new nightclub Fabric London which opened in 1999, also became a hub for the sound.

One MC who had a love for that Drum’N’Bass sound is Dread MC from Bristol. He has been a part of many scenes including U.K. Bass, Dubstep, and Drum’N’Bass. What attracted him to be a part of these genres, in particular, D’n’B was it ‘stems from the sound system culture and has strong references from hip hop and ragga which is the music I grew up on.’ Dread has hosted sets for the likes of Shy FX and CLIPZ, while he has hopped on tracks in this genre including Virtue’s ‘Drums Will Sound‘ and ‘Allstars MIC‘ for DnB Allstars alongside goddard.

The noughties saw the genre spread worldwide with artists like S.P.Y emerging from Brazil. Meanwhile, Goldie’s Metalheadz label and Andy C’s RAM records, gave a home for new artists to release music and for D’n’B focused club nights. The scene saw a return to commercial success thanks to the likes of Pendulum, Wilkinson, and Chase & Status, with Takura providing his iconic vocals to ‘No Problem.’ Shy FX continued to have success most notably with his remix of DJ Fresh’s ‘Gold Dust‘ and helped the track reach a new peak of no. 22 on the U.K. charts.

This new era of success had not represented D’n’B as a whole, but it still had its moments to show the origins of the scene. Most notably in 2014 where an Avengers-style lineup of David Rodigan, SHY FX, Chase & Status, and MC Rage (Rebel Sound) won an iconic Red Bull Culture Clash beating Boy Better Know, Stone Love, and A$AP Mob. Not only was it a win for D’n’B but it showed the genre in its purest form and gave the crowd a day to remember.

In the modern day, Drum’N’Bass is at a point where the mainstream has caught on again. Bru-C reached the top 20 with ‘No Excuses‘ and Devilman (a veteran in the scene) jumped on the remix of Vibe Chemistry’s top 40 hit ‘Balling.’ Shy FX, Goldie, and many other legends are still household names and get booked for the biggest festivals. While the most popular tracks in the D’n’B vein are the more commercial sounds of Luude or goddard., the genre takes many shapes and sizes.

From Jungle to liquid, rollers to Jump-Up of acts like DJ Guv, there is something for everyone. However, award representation is not there which led to Nia Archives calling out the MOBO Awards for their lack of representation of dance/electronic genres. The last time Drum N Bass won an award was Rudimental’s win for best album in 2013, with little representation of the genre since the highs of the 90s.

MCs in dance music have received very little praise from the MOBOs or other awards shows, with Dread stating ‘ it’s a bit upsetting that is it not recognised.’ He does highlight with the success of ‘Bru-C, Scruffizer, Coco, it’s steadily getting more recognised,’ indicating the MC may get his time to shine outside the likes of Grime, U.K. Drill, or Afroswing. Nia has also brought up the whitewashing of genres, stating not representing these genres has lead to gentrification in a recent interview.

Drum’N’Bass whether in the mainstream or not is a hugely loved sound. It may not get its props from all, but its place at Carnival shows its roots are remembered. With Nia Archives and other newer artists like herself and SHERELLE getting rave reviews, maybe D’n’B/Jungle will finally get the respect it deserves. While MCs like Dread and Bassman hasn’t been recognised for their contributions, maybe the MC outside of Hip-Hop orientated sounds will get the credit that is warranted.

House

The most popular genre of dance music has to be House, a sound that has remained popular, yet seems to have its roots forgotten. Developing from Disco, the claps, snare, and bass drums, alongside off-beat hi-hats, created a 4/4 rhythm that originated in the late 70s of Chicago. The sound was first found in a club called The Warehouse, where the clubbers who were predominantly gay and black danced away to the sounds of Frankie Knuckles. The term House came from a sign at a bar in Chicago saying “we playing house music” with Knuckles told he played that kind of music.

The sound was seen as the place to be for those considered outsiders in society, giving gay, black, and Latino groups a place to enjoy themselves during a time when these groups were heavily persecuted in society. The sound then moved to other places due to its popularity. Acid-House took off in the U.K. leading to the Second Summer of Love, as a result of the Chicago House sound making its way to the UK Charts with Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk’s ‘Love Can’t Turn Around,’ in 1986. The Acid-House sound then developed from this with the U.K. using samples and rapping to defer itself from the original sound. Pirate radio stations and venues like Factory then spread the sound to the rest of the nation

Other variations of House developed across the Atlantic like the Hip-House sound in Chicago. New York was one of the early places to embrace the sound. One of the icons from New York was Todd Terry who mixed House with Hip-Hop beats and experimented under many different names including being involved in the Acid-House scene. He had many successful singles during the 80s and 90s, but most will know him for his remix of Everything But The Girl’s ‘Missing‘ which was a top 5 hit in the U.K. and U.S.

The 90s saw the sound grow even bigger despite the best attempts of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 aiming to derail and close down these events. Despite these ‘illegal’ events being shut down, clubs like Cream in Liverpool and the now iconic Ministry of Sound gave the scene a place to play. Ibiza became a home for the music and acts from countries like Italy and France became popular, most notably Daft Punk.

Just as important as the music is the moves you bring to the party. House is known for the shuffle and jacking. Jacking developed in the 80s clubs of Chicago with the dancer rippling their torso back and forth in an undulating motion. Shuffling while not as intrinsically linked to House music, was developed in Melbourne, Australia during the 80s and consists of a fast heel-and-toe movement (T-step) or the running man matched with arm action

This history is important and this has been recognised by many in the scene including the singer Aluna. As part of AlunaGeorge, she had hits like ‘You Know You Like It‘ and ‘White Noise‘ with Disclosure. She is currently making music solo and has gotten in touch with the roots of the dance/electronic scene.

At first, it was the desire to create that symbiotic moment between the music, the body, the mind, and spirit that makes up that indescribable high you get when dancing at a club or rave. After learning about the black history of the genre it became about the reclamation of my heritage, while conversely being an exploration of Afrofuturism, therefore having an impact on what’s next for Dance music and the industry that surrounds it.

Aluna Francis

The sound of House became much more mainstream in the 21st century. But just as with Drum’N’Bass, there were many sounds to this genre. One that is fondly remembered is UK Funky, most connected to Donae’o, with its African-inspired rhythms and similarities to Garage and Bassline House. ‘Party Hard,’ ‘In The Morning‘ by Egypt, and Crazy Cousinz’s remix of Malika’s ‘Go‘ are seen as some of the iconic tracks of the era that were staples of the club scene in the late noughties/early 2010s.

One sound that has risen to prominence recently is Amapiano which was developed in the mid-2010s in South Africa. The use of the ‘log drum’ and high-pitched piano melodies brought a unique take on the genre with artists like Sha Sha getting recognition outside of South Africa. The genre also got to showcase its sound this year at Notting Hill Carnival.

Despite its origins as a genre for all, the influence of women and LGBTQ+ people in the industry hasn’t always been credited. Malika talked in a recent interview about women not getting credited, despite the likes of RAYE, Kelli-Leigh, Kah-Lo, and herself being the voices behind some of House’s biggest hits of the last decade. Aluna herself has reflected on this and what she can do to help other black women in the scene.

 I have implemented certain changes to the way I conduct business. In the past, I thought nothing of undervaluing myself or not positioning myself to be able to benefit from the use of my own voice in the way that others were. Now, I’m extremely mindful of that. If I decide to do a collaboration with a white male, I no longer accept the transactional approach that I’ve been used to. I have an ever-developing approach to making sure I feel valued as a black woman and as an artist through personal and business-related negotiations. Some might think that’s because I have leverage, but I had to actually decide to face the prospect of losing an opportunity to advocate for myself like anyone else would.

Aluna

However, the fact that Aluna is ‘seeing more black women able to stand up and speak on the changes they want to see,’ is a sign black women are making their voices heard, but currently real change is ‘not yet evident.’ There is, however, more people from the LGBTQ+ community getting props like MNEK, Honey Dijon, and Big Freedia. These artists are now playing in the biggest venues and penning and singing the biggest hits.

2022 has been a good time with Big Freedia being featured on ‘Break My Soul‘ from Beyonce’s ‘RENAISSANCE‘ an ode to the origins of House with Honey Dijon also included in the production of the album. Drake also took a left turn with his album ‘Honestly, Nevermind,’ which featured productions from South African DJ Black Coffee. With many saying that House is being reclaimed in 2022, people now have no excuse to understand the origins of this historic genre and that includes the awards shows that have failed to acknowledge House Music is a part of Black culture.

Techno

Originating from the House sound, Techno emerged in Detroit on the eastern side of the U.S. and also had its roots in Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany. Unlike most genres of dance music, it doesn’t have a drop known for its continuous four-on-the-floor-beat. Many point to the German group Kraftwerk as creating the sound, but Juan Atkins is considered the originator of the sound, influenced by Parliament and Funkadelic. He first described the music of his band Cybotron as Techno, before producing Detroit Techno under the moniker Model 500 with ‘No Ufo’s‘ proving a success and helping the sound find an audience in Chicago.

It was in Chicago that the sound was played by the icon of the House scene Frankie Knuckle. He helped name ‘Strings Of Life‘ by Derrick May (under the name Rhythim Is Rhythim) which was one of the first tracks of this genre to chart in the U.K., helping the sound grow outside of the States.

Someone who was there in the early days was Mr. G, born in the Midlands and raised on sound system culture. He was part of the scene since the mid-80s, before finding success in the trio K.C.C. (with Cisco Ferreira and Keith Franklin) He describes being there during the early days as ‘an unbelievable time as techno for me was just odd (where’s the funk?), then hearing, meeting, and seeing Masters Jeff, Joey, Moritzio, Luke, and Surgeon with extra added funk, I began to love and really feel it.’ He then went solo and continues to be a staple of the genre, as shown by his appearance at Boiler Room in 2012.

The sound would continue to evolve with Jeff Mills moving to places like Berlin and New York, helping expand the sound’s reach. He was part of the minimal Techno sound, that moved away from the more traditional Detroit sound. Carl Cox is one of the most respected in the genre from the U.K., also making House music and mixing other genres. (recently he did a B2B Jungle set with Chase & Status at Glastonbury) His track ‘I Want You (Forever)‘ was released on the legendary Paul Oakenfield’s label Perfecto and he went on to chart in the U.K. on several occasions during the 90s and starred in the cult classic ‘Human Traffic.’

The success of acts like Underworld, Carl Cox, and others saw mainstream artists make versions of the genre including Madonna and Missy Elliot. These led to exposure for a wider audience and some recognition by the Brit Awards, but weren’t considered faithful adaptations of Techno. Techno has since remained a very popular genre in the rave scene, most notably championed at Berghain in Germany, Fabric in the U.K., and by Carl Cox at the now-closed Space nightclub in Ibiza.

The genre has continued to produce big names like Green Velvet, who has been a staple in both House and Techno since the 90s and Carl Cox continues to play at the biggest festivals like Ultra and Glastonbury. Techno despite its origins has never really been represented at awards ceremonies celebrating black culture, showing a lack of understanding of its origins. Mr. G believes ‘lack of recognition is a hard one for me…. I feel it all depends on your knowledge of music, your age … and what your starting point in music was.’

I do see a total lack of understanding amongst a lot of kids, what they hear is mostly a watered-down Detroit sound. But to be fair that’s just the wheel turning again. Great music will always be appreciated.

Mr. G

Techno is a genre that helped bring dance music to the U.K. and places in Europe, paving the way for many to make their careers. Its origins suggest it should be respected as an evolution from House and part of black culture, which sadly isn’t the case. But, as Mr. G stated, the wheel keeps on turning and hopefully will turn in favour of education, rather than ignorance.

U.K. Garage

Originating in London in the 1990s and influenced by House and Jungle music, U.K. Garage is probably one of the most iconic sounds of the late 90s and early 00s. Whether it be 4/4, 2-step, or Speed garage, the genre got people moving and produced some great music. One of its earliest hits was Double 99’s ‘Ripgroove‘ which reached the U.K. top 20 in 1997. It remains one of the most iconic Speed Garage tracks with its pulsating beat and warped vocal sample of Tina Moore’s ‘Never Gonna Let You Go.’

Next to have its say was the 2-step sound with ‘Sweet Like Chocolate‘ by Shanks and Bigfoot topping the charts in 1999 and going worldwide, cementing itself as one of the genre’s most well-known hits. (even if the music video hasn’t aged well.) But, we cannot talk about the more melodic side of UKG without mentioning Craig David. This Southampton singer rose to stardom through his vocals on the iconic ‘Re-Rewind‘ by Artful Dodger and the rest is history. His debut album ‘Born To Do It‘ included such beloved songs as ‘Fill Me In‘ and at 6x Platinum is one of the biggest records of the 2000s. David has had a long and successful career, stretching past Garage’s heyday. This is showcased by 6 MOBO Awards and several Brit Award nominations.

Garage was also one of the earlier rave-related genres to have MCs with Pirate Radio playing a big part in its success. The likes of Rinse FM and Deja Vu gave opportunities to icons in the scene like the selector DJ EZ and of course, So Solid Crew. With too many members to name, this crew famously had their slot ‘So Solid Sundays’ and built their names off these underground radio shows.

After success in the underground, the crew made the historic ‘21 Seconds,’ which grabbed audiences with the keyboard production, the 8 bars from each participating member, and that music video which famously won them a Brit Award. The song sold over 110k first week and unsurprisingly went to no 1 and was the first of four top 10 hits on home turf.

Each member had varying degrees of achievements following the disbanding of the crew, but two that went alone successfully were Oxide and Neutrino. Neutrino highlights the success of Garage being down to being ‘different to any other genre,’ while emphasisng its ‘ broad sound, so it appeals to a wide range of people.’ They of course are remembered for ‘Bound 4 da Reload‘ which caused controversy due to initially not receiving permission for its sampling of the Casualty theme. Radio stations even refused to play it due to believing the ‘Reload’ in the title was a reference to guns. As we know, controversy sells and the song reached the top of the charts in 2000. Further top 10 hits and a Gold debut album followed.

This sound was initially associated with dressing stylish and smart, but with the rise in MCs, the styles changed with a wider audience wanting to see live performances. This audience eventually transitioned towards the newer Grime sound of artists like Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, while vocalists like Craig David moved towards R’n’B. As a result, the peak era of U.K. Garage ended.

However, it remained a much-loved era of music and was kept going by the likes of DJ EZ and Zed Bias. MCs from outside London like C4 and Coco, also did their thing over that UKG sound. But, nostalgia is great for boosting popularity, and the return of Craig David alongside Big Narstie on ‘When The Bassline Drops,’ started a mini-resurgence for this genre. The two met on the KURUPT FM Takeover on BBC Radio 1Xtra, leading to a great track and the start of a mainstream revival.

This has led to other popular artists making Garage-inspired tracks like KSI and the viral Pink Pantheress, but the most beloved song of this second wave is ‘Ladbroke Grove.’ ‘Yo, its the hyper man set, AJ Tracey live and direct,’ was spoken across the U.K. in 2019, as the track took the country by storm with its catchy lyricism, Jorja Smith sample, and euphoric production. AJ even had success again with the Mabel collab ‘West Ten,’ proving lightning can strike twice.

While commercially successful, Garage hasn’t received much recognition in its second wave bar a few wins and nominations for the efforts of Craig David and AJ Tracey. Most artists in the mainstream have dipped in and out of the genre. There is still plenty of more authentic U.K. Garage out there from the likes of Conducta and people like Champion and Preditah, who started out in other dance-related genres.

For Oxide & Neutrino, this lack of recognition isn’t surprising for modern UKG or Dance in general, as it is ‘built up through the club scene’ or seen as ‘less glossy than other genres.’ UKG has gone on a journey and whether in the mainstream or in sweaty warehouse, it will always have a place in the heart of its fanbase. One thing is for certain, we wouldn’t have ‘Ollie, Ollie, Ollie’ without Garage.

UK Bass/Bassline

One of the genres that stands out and is a personal favourite is U.K. Bass/ Bassline. This sound is unique for originating not in London, but having its home in the northern town of Sheffield, in particular the club Niche. Pioneered by the likes of DJ Q, TS7, and Mr. Virgo, this came about as an offshoot of Speed Garage. Similar to that genre, it has both vocal and rap-inspired versions of the genre.

This variety led to the genre being appreciated by a Black-British crowd and gave opportunities to many MCs outside of London like Trilla and Slick Don. However, Niche faced much trouble due to police interference and was shut down in 2005, despite the club’s owners not being charged. While many attempts to re-open this venue have failed, the spiritual successor Tank is the new destination to catch this sound in Sheffield.

There was a change in 2007 when T2’s ‘Heartbroken‘ featuring Jodie Aysha blew up and reached number 2 in the charts, with a video featuring Micah Richards and Anton Ferdinand. This led to many other Bassline singles charting such as ‘What’s It Gonna Be‘ by H “two” O which featured vocal group Platnum and DJ Q & Mc Bonez’s ‘You Wot!‘ The scene was also a mainstay in nightclubs at the time due to it being seen as not as aggressive as other genres like Grime.

One of the Producers to make his name during that time was Birmingham producer Bassboy, who collaborated with fellow Brummie Trilla on the iconic ‘Etap Riddim.’ He states ” bassline and garage are music of black culture & I’ve been making these genres from a very young age.” He describes how melody is “my expression for a lot of emotion in a way,” highlighting the power of music to express one’s emotions.

Following this period of success, the genre began to decline and moved from nightclubs into warehouses and raves. In the mid-2010s a new version of Bassline called U.K. Bass with a more aggressive sound emerged and elevated the genre for a new era of fans. While the pioneers like TS7 and DJ Q, Bassboy and new faces like Jay Faded delved into this new version of the genre, others kept the original Bassline sound like DJ Pantha and Burgaboy. The new sound has only gotten bigger and bigger, now re-emerging in nightclubs and even the biggest of festivals like Glastonbury.

While U.K. Bass continues to find new fans from across the country, Bassboy highlights “I think it would be great for award shows to start recognising this,” when asked on why this rise in popularity, hasn’t led to awards show recognition. He also like Nia Archives makes a hint towards the whitewashing of the genre.

I believe only certain people will be winning awards mostly Caucasian current producers based on who you know rule & who’s not liked (ME) & let’s face it being the right image. I wouldn’t even get nominated or considered regardless of my history or even if I was super current. I’ve had to accept this how things are!

Bassboy

Bassboy and DJ Q have expanded their sounds, making the Garage music the genre originated from, as well as the new U.K. Bass sound. But, with the surge in popularity of this once ‘niche’ genre, it appears time awards shows from across the board paid attention to U.K. Bass and Bassline.

Dubstep

Last, but by no means least is a sound that originated in the early 2000s in South London. Dubstep originated from the likes of UK Garage, Dub, and Reggae with its origins traced back as far as the Jamaican sound system parties of the 1980s. It came about from the more darker-Garage sounds of producers like Zed Bias, finding its home at the FWD>> night at venues like Velvet Rooms in Soho and Plastic People in Shoreditch. FWD>> also had a show on Rinse FM which helped garner its original audience. The Big Apple Records store in Croydon played a big part in the genre as a record label and was visited by the likes of Zed Bias and Digital Mystikz.

The sound continued to grow as it was championed on Radio 1 by the likes of John Peel and Mary Anne Hobbs and was used in the soundtrack to the film ‘Children Of Men.’ This led to new producers appearing like Benga who collaborated with Coki on the now quintessential listen for anyone getting into Dubstep, ‘Night.’ The ‘wub, wub’ wobble bass is what you expect of any track of this sound, but its darker and murkier sound made it stand out in electronic music at the time. It may have only charted at #98 back in 2008, but it has stood the test of time.

This new sound caught the attention of many an MC, whether that be JME, who featured on Skream’s ‘Tapped‘ or P Money, who would release tracks of his own or collaborate with the likes of Magnetic Man. Dubstep like Bassline also gained a wider fanbase as the crowds were seen as less aggressive than at Grime and Drum’n’Bass raves.

The mainstream finally got into Dubstep around 2009 with many artists including Benga getting their moment in the sun. He was a part of the trio Magnetic Man, alongside icons of the scene Skream and Artwork. (formally known as Menta) They made some of the biggest songs of that era including ‘I Need Air‘ with Angela Hunte and even worked with the likes of Katy B, Ms. Dyanmite, and John Legend. Benga also famously produced ‘Katy On A Mission‘ which was probably the most beloved track of that era. Many of these iconic sounds were promoted by the popular platform UKF Dubstep on YouTube.

The genre then made its way into mainstream Pop music, most notably Jay-Z and Kanye West sampling ‘I Can’t Stop‘ by Flux Pavillion on ‘Who Gon Stop Me.’ Rihanna also worked with Chase & Status on her ‘Rated R‘ album, that led to her making three tracks of the ‘wub, wub’ variety. This led to many American producers making a new kind of Dubstep called bro-step with its more metal-esque sound, (most notably Skrillex) which was criticised for moving away from the traditional sound.

This became the go-to sound for Dubstep and producers like Skream moved into new genres. Eventually, Dubstep began to decline in 2014, leading to the sound going back into the underground. While Dubstep is no longer the juggernaut it once was, it was well respected at the time, despite its lack of appraisal as part of black music or popular culture. The genre still has a place in people’s hearts as shown by a video of Shaquille O’Neil moshing at Tomorrowland and will always be part of my musical upbringing. And with labels like Darky’s ‘Grottingham’ that is also an event in Nottingham having an audience, maybe Dubstep’s time will come again.

The Future of Dance Music

As we have explored in this article, dance music is black music and its roots are clear to see. The lack of representation for many of these genres from the MOBO awards shows ignorance or a lack of desire to represent these sounds. We can hope there is a conversation going on BTS, that will lead to actual change. Also, the GRM Rated awards having Bru-C as a nominee is a recognition of his success in the Drum’N’Bass scene and that genre’s part in Black culture.

This article has certainly been a learning experience and hopefully will be an education for those who read it. Dance music will always be for everyone, but it wouldn’t be here without black culture.

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