First of all, before, I say anything, I want to thank Curt and Josh for everything they’ve done for EDM. They are, along with a few others (most notably TNGHT), the godfathers of electronic trap music, and one of the main reasons that I embraced the genre and why I’m so involved with it today. That being said, it doesn’t sadden me at all that last night, Josh, AKA J2K, posted this instagram video, stating that he has officially left Flosstradamus to focus his work on his solo project, YehMe2.
If you’ve been to a Floss show in the past year or so, you probably were standing in the crowd, watching it all go down, and thinking one thing: weak. The image of Flosstradamus that I want to remember was back in their prime (2011-2013), when they were leading the EDM trap game, putting out songs like nobody had ever heard before, inspiring artists all around the world to challenge them and take their place. Unfortunately though, for the past couple of years, their live shows have completely regressed into the most basic performances.
Even though Floss would almost always secure a headlining slot at festivals, their sets consisted of overplayed big-room “bangers” that one could find just by checking the trending trap charts on SoundCloud. Compare that to the career of someone like RL Grime or Baauer, who were undoubtedly influenced by Floss in the beginning (2012), but evolved their sound and taste so that they remain two of the most exciting and sought-after electronic acts in the world. Throughout their regression, Flosstradamus has kept a die-hard fan base, HDYNATION, that would support them through anything, but I think Floss figured out what was happening to themselves, and decided to do something about it.
Even though I think this is the right move, I can’t say I have complete faith in Josh going out on his own. Josh became infamous for non-stop yelling over the microphone during their sets, repeating the same phrases over and over and over again. “MIDDLE FINGERS UP!”, “HOW MANY OF Y’ALL SMOKE WEED?” “WHERE MY LATINOS/LATINAS AT?” were blared over the already mediocre tracks that were being laid down my Curt. That, accompanied with the constant drop countdown, “THREE, TWO, ONE, LET’S GO!” (looking at you Chainsmokers), made their sets almost unbearable on its own. This was Josh’s role during their shows. Not once would you see him jump down from his permanent spot on top of the DJ booth to mix in tracks. That was Curt’s job. Josh was the hypeman.
As far as Josh’s production goes, I can hardly comment. This is simply because there is no way to tell how much he or Curt contributed on each one of their songs. With Curt being the DJ and having full control of the live shows, one may be led to believe that Josh put in more work behind the production, to even out the work. But I even have trouble believing this because of the tracks he has already released for his new solo project, YehMe2. Just have a listen to his remix of Travis Scott’s “Goosebumps,” one of the best hip hop songs released all year that he just utterly butchered into a hot piece of trash. Unfortunately you have to download it just to listen.
Anyway, enough with negativity. I do want to talk about the YehMe2 project for a second. It was a few months back, before the split, when YehMe2 had started to make some interesting appearances on the internet a few months ago. He mysteriously dropped his unique “Steal This Mixtape” mix, which was chocked full of heavy beats and did fairly well. It currently sits at around 200,000 plays on SoundCloud. He also is apparently Diplo & Friends worthy, as he was featured on the Mad Decent don’s radio show alongside legend Nina Las Vegas. The mix isn’t really my cup of tea, but worth a listen if you’re a Floss fan.
I think we can all agree that if you’re an artist, you never want to watch yourself outlive your success. I think this should have happened a while ago, before Floss had the chance to regress into what they are (were) now. The legacy of Flosstradamus will be around forever, as it lives through many of our favorite producers. I’m sure that many of them would admit that they were influenced by Floss at one point or another.
Flosstradamus will be survived by Curt, who will now carry the torch solo. The situation is very reminiscent of the What So Not split, where one member chose to go their own way to pursue solo projects, and with one of the founding members sticking around to see it through. I’m curious to see how this affects Floss’s and YehMe2’s positions on the lineup card. If the What So Not situation taught me anything, it’s that a musical breakup can be a positive thing. Flosstradamus will always have a special place in my heart from their early days, and I truly wish Josh and Curt the utmost success as they continue their careers.
Go listen to the song that started it all, possibly the greatest trap track of all time: