No one has done more to publicly combat dance music's reputation as a drug-fueled culture than Kaskade.
He starred in that URB Ecstasy PSA in 2013. He is open about his own sobriety. Now, he's taken to his blog to call out what he sees as an unfair stigma associated with dance music, particularly in reaction to a report from the LA Times blaming HARD's decision not to host Day of the Dead this year on drug overdoses that occurred during HARD Summer 20116.
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"Let's not pretend this is an isolated problem, something unique to dance music culture," Kaskade writes. "According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every day in America 27 (TWENTY-SEVEN!) people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That's more than one person, per hour, every single day."
While the LA Times refers to the unfortunate passing of recent revelers as "summer of death," Kaskade chastises the publication for being sensationalist and oversimplifying a complex issue.
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"I'm happy to tackle substance abuse," he continues. "I'm happy to use my influence to encourage people to be responsible, to stay alive. But this is a world-wide problem, something that is not even close to being unique to dance music. Part of the problem is people trying to simple-size it. Raves = drugs. So close them down."
A spokesperson for LA Times said the publication takes the accusations very seriously and has since amended the report. The spokesperson also gave this comment to Billboard Dance.
There have been at least 25 confirmed drug-related deaths nationwide since 2006 among people who went to raves organized by Los Angeles-area companies. We believe that the Southern California connection to these tragic events makes it of particular interest to Los Angeles Times readers. Similar to our Homicide Report, database of California's war dead, investigations into prescription drug abuses and overdoses and earthquake safety, this reporting is central to our mission of public service.
Read Kaskade's full post on his website.