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15 Ways Skrillex Changed the World

How our cover star dropped in and rumbled culture

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That incandescent, pistol-spark moment in an artist's career when he or she actually steers the culture is rare, and usually fleeting. For Skrillex – the tiny, fidgety embodiment of America's electronic dance music upheaval – it's lasted longer than anyone could've predicted. As we get amped for his Rolling Stone cover and another mega-rave season, officially starting with Miami's Ultra Music Festival at the end of this month, the reign of Prince Skrillie as enigmatic, generation-defining Pied Piper continues (though a lawsuit brought against the DJ/producer by a fan over a recent stage-diving incident could be a sign that he's now viewed as more of a moneybags pop star). Before Skrills goes the way of your Fatboys and Firestarters, let's reflect on all the ways the floppy-haired imp has reshaped pop culture. By Charles Aaron

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2. He changed EDM’s hustle

Sure, Tiësto and other superstar DJs may make more money, but they haven't won six Grammys or scored a major motion picture (Spring Breakers) or won an Annie Award (for helping to score the animated feature Wreck-It Ralph, in which Skrillex also appeared). A punch line for many critics, Skrillex quietly has become a go-to creative.

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C Flanigan/FilmMagic

1. That Haircut

After bomb track "Nice Sprites and Scary Monsters," the most memorable aspect of Skrillex's ascent has been his signature coiffure – basically, buzzed off on one side with a long emo flip opposite (possibly with some sort of grid or message or tattoo adorning the shaved side). Like all enduring cultural phenomena, the Skrill cut has been roundly mocked (see the Tumblr goofs "Girls That Look Like Skrillex" and "Lesbians Who Look Like Skrillex") and widely copied (see Ellie Goulding, Rihanna, Cassie, Ke$ha, Avril Lavigne, plus various models/actresses/international It Girls). Electric Valentine (feat. Kids on Drugs) recorded a bass-squelchy dubstep track titled "Girl, You Got Skrillex Hair," and when the infamous 'do caught fire at his 25th birthday party, TMZ deemed it worthy of coverage. Feminist snark site Jezebel despairingly opined in 2012: "It seems like it's shaping up to be the hairdo of the summer despite the fact that it is totally ugly and it leaves people looking like they're recovering from a brain tumor." You were on the wrong side of this war, y'all.

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