Electric Daisy Carnival Blends Hip-Hop and Electronic Music


/ May 21, 2012

Each year, roughly 20,000 neon-garbed attendants make the pilgrimage to the Electric Daisy Carnival, a 3-day electro-dance music festival. This year, despite introducing a new venue in New Jersey, the crowd was met with the same hype and numbers, and not a single drugged-out, garlanded teenager short.

Like a sea of electronic sounds where every song vibrationally ripples to the next, the EDC atmosphere behaves like one giant frat party. This year’s headliners—Aviicii, Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, and Fatboy Slim (to name a few)—raised the ruckus, as a body of fluorescent fans passionately pumped their fists into the night.

While EDC caters to a certain ear and demographic, each year it manages to expand its reach to sounds that fringe outside of its electro-clubby dance genre. With Chuckie’s remixed ode to “N*ggas In Paris” or Bassnectar’s Lil Jon soundbytes, hip hop quietly weaved its way into this year’s music carnival. But Bassnectar, a freeform electronic DJ who surfaced onto the hip hop scene with his recent collaborations with Lupe Fiasco, believes the intersection of these two genres is nothing new.

“I think hip hop was experimenting with dubstep before dubstep was in existence, and that was with heavy, slow, chopped-and-screwed beats, it was basically a perfect marriage,” says Bassnectar. “And I’ve been doing that since 2006, making hip hop/dubstep remixes. I think it’s the larger music society only now starting to pay attention and being a little slow to the game. It’s kind of old news now.”

Last night, Bassnectar stepped onto the headliners stage to play his “electronic bass remix” medley to prove just how flexible electronic and hip hop are together. Threading a dope Fugees mix into a Pharcyde track, Bassnectar’s “I Got 5 On It” record almost became a new sound independent of its samples—something the DJ himself calls “synergistic.”

And that crossover between the two subcultural genres helped to fuel a weekend of Electronic Daisy’s psychedelic frenzy.