Perhaps more than any other artist, Philadelphia-bred spinner Diplo opened the electronic dance music scene to global, non-linear music and ushered in its hipster era. His dub, world and Brazilian influences are well-represented on his mixtapes and in his partnership with Switch in the act Major Lazer.
More than that, Diplo is the tent pole for post hip-hop acts like Spank Rock, Amanda Blank and Santogold. But you'll just have to seem him in person at Hard this weekend to soak in the mix-and-match Diplo experience. We caught up recently and asked him a few questions.
LA Weekly: A lot of hip-hop artists are going up-tempo and incorporating trancey elements into their music. Is that wack, or are they just catching up?
Diplo: I think a lot of the big-name dudes that are doing that sound a lil' bit crusty and look like their are just tryin' to keep their jobs … We all know it's phony, though I just listen to new-school gay vogue house from NYC right now.
The Hard festival fan base, which revolves around artists like you and Major Lazer, has been blowing up (witness last year's police break-up of the Hard Summer fest, which drew 18,000 people). Do you think that's a good thing? Does your audience cross over with the kids who have been blowing up raves this year? Does that help or hurt your cause.
I dunno. Hard was always a different monster then like EDC [Electric Daisy Carnival], etc., with more of fan base of kids and indie kids then just trance-pants ravers with fuzzy boots … But I don't mind anyone that wants to come and have a party with us!! Major Lazer at festivals is sort of turning into the project housing version of Daft Punk.
Can you name us three of your favorite tracks (artist, title, lable) these days?
-Gyptian, “Hold Yuh Major Lazer Mix)”
-Souljah Boy, “Pretty Boy Swag.”
Diplo spins and performs Saturday as part of Major Lazer at Hard Summer. Info.