A big question in dubstep in the last couple of years, especially in the U.S., has been “whatever happened to Run DMT?” Indeed, the hard-hitting dubstep producer has been on a bit of a hiatus over the last couple of years. Lately, however, there have been rumors and indications that he might be making a comeback. In the last month there has been confirmation via a few track premieres and a recently released single (available here) that Run DMT as well as his Kill Your Ego record label are indeed on their way back to center stage,
With the full announcement of his eagerly awaited Revolutionaire album due to pop in early August, Run has created a hard-hitting, genre-blurring drum & bass and dubstep quest mix for Bassrush before sitting down for a chat about where Run DMT and Kill Your Ego have been, where they’re going, and what inspires him and his team as they begin looking towards the future.
Thanks for taking the time! Can you talk about the guest mix and what your inspiration and motivation was for it?
Obviously it’s a lot of material from the upcoming album, because I figured if I’m doing a guest mix I can give people a pre-listen so people know what to expect. I also have a lot of artists on it that I’m really feeling right now or who we’re just signing to Kill Your Ego. This kid Calvin Hobbes, who’s going to be our next release. There’s another kid name Vorso, who I think is going to be the next Noisia progeny. There’s a lot of good new artists on it that go along with the re-launch of Kill Your Ego, so I’m really excited about that.
And how would you characterize it in terms of the sound?
In terms of the sound, I did a lot of just straight bass music. I tried to go a little bit underground with it. I put a lot of stuff I just like to listen to like Ivy Lab, Eprom, Tsuruda…the new Tsuruda is incredible. So it’s kind of chin-stroking bass music, as I like to call it. It’s definitely not cookie-cutter. But then on second half of the mix I did some more straight dubstep and it’s a little different than my previous sets I think because usually try to do a lot of fast-paced mixes and do a lot of BPM changes. There’s some of that here but I really just wanted to do a lot of artists I’ve been feeling as well.
So you’re definitely coming back to dubstep after quite a long break. What made you decide to return now?
Well, like around 2010 to 2013, when Skrillex was blowing up and everyone was just trying to out-wild each other, it was definitely a great vibe, but then the focus seemed to shift to trap, and everyone started making that. As much as I like trap, I didn’t really feel like I wanted to make it all the time in order to keep up. With the industry and the way that it was happening, I didn’t really dig it. Now that dubstep is coming back to its original, kind of stripped down roots, and the way, say, Rusko and Caspa are putting their stuff together, I got more amped to go back to dubstep. You know, now it’s kind of the return of the wobble, that’s what really drew me back to dubstep. On the heavier end of the spectrum seeing guys like Megalodon coming back just gave me more confidence and showed me that people still care about dubstep.
You can definitely see a lot of that vibe in your first single from the album, but it seems you’re also trying to push the genre forward on tracks like “Voodou” specifically.
With that type of track, the idea was to do something multi-faceted and approach it like one would a hip-hop track where there’s verses and hooks and stuff, so not typical to dubstep really at all. Me and Jacq are actually in the same studio complex so it was really cool to be able to work with her, and my buddy Zeale is really coming up hard in the scene right now. Knat Turner is a total newcomer and he did a really good job and the whole thing came together really well. I just wanted it to be really theatrical and musical. I wanted to try to do dubstep a little bit differently.
Kill Your Ego is coming back along with Run DMT. How are you approaching that with the re-building and re-branding of the label?
Well, we’re starting kind of local, now that I’m back in Dallas—I was born and raised here—and I really wanted to give back to the local scene, so we’re putting on a few events in the Dallas area and then re-launching our merch first. At this stage we’re just watching the brand grow so that’s really exciting. We’re starting to sign people and tracks to the label as well, so like I said this kid Calvin Hobbes, he has a release coming out on July 12, and he’s really doing some cool stuff so keep an eye out for him.
And will the podcast be coming back as well?
The podcast series is going to return in August. We’re trying to amass a bunch of mixes from artists before we launch it so that we’re ahead of schedule and always have something. Last time it wasn’t as consistent and we want to make sure we have a mix every week.
Before we go, what do you want fans to know about the upcoming album?
I don’t want to give away too much, but there’s going to be a lot of collabs and mixes, and just a return to the Run DMT sound, hopefully giving people what they really want to hear. I’m trying to do things as well and as high-quality as I can. There’s a track, for example that’s really dubby, like with an MC that’s really reggae oriented, and there’s a track that’s really kind of 2010 Doctor P style. I really tried to stay in a pure dubstep 140-150 BPM as well so it really is just dubstep and a return to my form and what I love. I’m definitely excited about it!
Run DMT’s new album, Revolutionaire, releases August 14 on Kill Your Ego Records.