Last year, CL named Daniel Disaster Best Trap Ambassador At Large. As one-half of the duo Heroes x Villains (with Pete Heartless), Disaster worked that role, taking Southern rap into dance clubs on the grimy coattails of post-dub step - rebranded as trap music. Through it all he's attracted a multicultural fan base of kids by playing at Ivy League frat house parties and artsy sticky-floor clubs, while growing a worldwide following.
Heroes x Villains threw its first Molotov cocktail into 2012 a month before the New Year with the We Off That mixtape. This trap-dub mix for Diplo's Mad Decent label (home to Zeds Dead and Zebra Katz) rubbed grime all over a handful of cuts by Gucci Maine and Wocka Flacka, giving rise to a hybrid that got old school crunk fans paying attention to dub step, and bangers listening to rap.
HxV kept things live in early 2012 with the BLRRXD OXT series, which kicked off with a screwed remix of the Weeknd's "IM NEXT" (since anything about the Weeknd needs to be more screwed). Young Jeezy and Charlie XCX also got remixed. Next came the mixtape Transformers in the Hood, by the ATL rap group FKi, which HxV produced alongside Diplo and local EDM producer Mayhem. The mix kept it trap with appearances by Iggy Azalea and T.I., and included the songs "Smashmouth," which continues getting some radio play - the video shows off cool kids of all races getting equally trashed.
Disaster is into fashion, another quality that may be earning him a fan base among alt crowds. He collaborated with the Luxe Streetwear brand Black Scale to design a Spring/Summer 2012 collection inspired by ATL, which was sold locally in the BLVCK VTL pop-up shop, and as Atlanta blogger Lindsey B. of Only Trill Shit wrote, "I can hardly see all black designer shit without thinking of him ... Oh yes, they're more than just your average screen printed T-shirt brand."
He also plans on releasing more volumes of his R&B and trap-infused VAVLT boyz mixtapes with BIKKMORRIS in 2013. Heroes x Villians will also release more original records for free, says Disaster, including a remix for Major Lazer coming out in the beginning of the year.
HxV took its luxury trap sound to Europe this winter to promote the debut EP Run the Trap, which dropped in December. With a busy touring season ahead of them in 2013 and the trap sound coming fully into vogue, Disaster is poised to take his ambassadorship worldwide.
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