Sonny John Moore might have three Grammys under one arm and Ellie Goulding on the other, but it wasn't the gongs and the celebrity girlfriend that really confirmed Skrillex had reached a whole new level of stardom recently. For just days after the Grammy ceremony where he beat Deadmau5 - who 'congratulated' him by wearing Skrillex's mobile number emblazoned on his T-shirt - in their categories, Skrillex joined the likes of Charlie Sheen, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian in that most modern hall of fame as the subject of a Twitter hoax which claimed he had been shot 12 times in Mexico. It was a false alarm of course, but there were probably a few misanthropes dwelling in the depths of the internet who wished that it was true.
The kind of people who fill messageboards with bile berating not only what Skrillex has done to their beloved dubstep, but now also the fact that a recent DJ rich list for Forbes magazine reveals that he makes a cool $15m a year for doing so. That's second place just behind Tiësto, but whilst the Dutch overlord has 20 years of DJing, five artist albums and umpteen singles and remixes under his belt, Moore has just five EPs to his name since downing his guitar in screamo band From First To Last and taking up the sequencers to become Skrillex in 2008.
And whilst he's earning the wages of a professional footballer now, the screwface basslines and shuddering high-pitched howls of Skrillex tunes like 'Bangarang' can also sound as obnoxious as Wayne Rooney. Not that the seemingly mild-mannered Moore bears any other resemblance to the Shrek-a-like, but he could also justify his astronomical income on the basis of giving the fans exactly what they want and hitting the goal pretty much every time.
For you only need to witness the scenes at Skrillex gigs like his recent headline sets at London's SW4 festival or Ultra in Miami to see that there are thousands willing to be bludgeoned into submission. And you only need to look at Skrillex moshing behind his laptop as much as listen to what he's playing to work out why, because Skrillex taps into exactly the same headbanging energy as the metal scene that spawned him, combining it with the chipmunk vocals and colossal stabs of early hardcore rave as did The Prodigy before him.
So maybe he's making music for a new jilted generation, a cathartic scream for kids disenchanted and disenfranchised by weak economies and even weaker political excuses, or who just want something to piss their parents off. Of course, you might say debating the socio-political subtext of Skrillex's bass broadsides is almost as pointless as debating whether it's really dubstep or not, but whatever your opinion of him, with YouTube hits now outnumbering even his paycheque and more productions and touring on the way, it will take more than Twitter to bury Skrillex now.