EDM has never had good publicity. Even here in the UK, the notoriety of the culture was (and perhaps still is) beyond infamous. Incidents such as the death of Leah Betts in 1995 were championed by the press as the result of the MDMA culture, even though she had died of complications due to water intoxication. Now in the USA, the cycle is repeating itself. For example, a crackdown at the Boston Calling Festival has led to 21 drug related arrests, although none were related to MDMA. It appears that the Electric Zoo tragedy has overshadowed the scene while everybody points the finger everywhere except in their direction. This resulting onslaught and crackdown has left a sour taste in some peoples mouths and some people have had enough.
Major Lazer are some of these people. In a Rolling Stone interview the group have voiced their strong opinions on the media debacle and their thoughts are liberal to say the least. Jillionaire blamed the older generation, that they would never understand young people and that their opinions are immaterial. Diplo backed him up:
“The drug thing happens, and this is the first time music writers can have something to write about… Music writers and critics are old. When I was younger and living in Philadelphia, there was a crazy heroin problem. I had a lot of friends who died from Oxycontin and heroin overdoses. No one wrote about those kids…”
Jillionaire pushed the agenda further by suggesting that children should be educated in proper drug use and partying. Kids are gonna do it anyway, why fight it?
“It’s going to sound weird, but we need to teach kids how to do drugs, the same way we teach them about drinking responsibly and having safe sex… If you’re going to go to a festival, drink water for six days before you get there; don’t drink no alcohol. If you’re going to do a pill and a half, don’t do four more and then pass out, overheat, and die of cardiac arrest. Instead of acting like drugs don’t exist, acknowledge that drugs will be at a festival and address them.”
Diplo elaborated upon this, highlighting the feeling that the current system of dealing with these problems just isn’t working:
“We’re such a conservative culture that we’d rather not talk about the things kids want to do, even though they’re going to do them anyway… We’d rather ignore it to solve the problem… Persecuting a festival is not going to help it because kids are going to do them regardless. Hell, they’ll do them in their houses. That’s why crystal meth is a problem in America. Drugs are a big problem in America, because we have money to spend and a culture that wants to be turnt up all the time.”
I agree 100%. We’ve failed. It’s time to try something else because acceptance, education and understanding aren’t included in this stubborn, conservative regime. Sure, it may seem extreme and unorthodox, but it would be worth it if meant never having to the see the cycle repeated all over again.
Do you agree? @BrendanDuncan