The tag of “most hated” gets a fair bit of use in dance music: in 2011, UK newspaper the Guardian asked whether the irrepressible Skrillex was the most hated man in dubstep, while Chuckie mask-wearing identity DJ Bl3nd has accumulated his own share of detractors.
Controversy-stirring Israeli brostep producer Borgore is the latest to attract the label, in a new long-form feature on Buzzfeed that unambiguously declares him ‘The Most Hated Man in EDM.’
The source of Buzzfeed’s contention is the overt misogyny and sexual objectification of women at the heart of Borgore’s brand, from the ‘Ratchet Pageants’ at his shows to the #bootyforborgore hashtag and, most conspicuously, his explicit and at times sexually violent lyrics.
There’s no denying that Borgore’s lyrics swing from off-color to wildly offensive, with the article quoting two tracks in particular, “Act Like a Ho” (“Girl, take example from these bitches/In bed, act like a ho but first, do the dishes!”) and “Glory Hole” (“Oh my god, it’s a whale/Wait, that’s your sister/Just take her to the glory hole/You wouldn’t have to kiss her/Nah, sea mammals are not on my fuck list/Man, it’s a glory hole, fuck if she’s obese”).
Bassnectar and BT have made no secret of their disdain for Borgore on Twitter, and Buzzfeed finds plenty of other dance music figureheads with a bone to pick with Borgore. “What a wanker. He’s an embarrassment,” declares underground house and techno star Nicole Moudaber.
Dance music stalwart and spokesperson Tommie Sunshine had some more considered words. “This music and culture doesn’t create an environment of misogyny,” he reasons to Buzzfeed. ”In fact, we really can hope and believe that it’s the one place where everyone can be themselves. When you dig a little deeper into it, yeah, there’s the economic consideration of people using misogyny to achieve commercial success, and then you have them using creative expression to justify any and all of their actions. That’s where it gets really hazy.”
For his part, Borgore vigorously denies that he denigrates women, insisting that his lyrics are intended as a joke. “I’m the only artist in EDM that goes and says crazy things, so it’s kind of easy to pick on me,” he tells Buzzfeed‘s Stacey Anderson. “If I don’t cause any reaction, there’s no point of what I’m doing.”
Australian EDM duo Nervo also speak in favour of Borgore, with Miriam Nervo saying, “I think he’s a woman lover, not a woman hater. He’s been nothing but a gent to us.” Head over to the full Buzzfeed feature to make up your own mind.