WHEN the press reminds you that you have the midas touch, it's basically their backhanded way of telling you to enjoy your time in the spotlight because, tick tock tick tock, you've peaked and you're already on your way to being last season's clutch.
I like Diplo. If you're a fan of M.I.A or Santigold, then you're also a fan of Diplo by extension, because he was such a key element to theirs, and so many other people's music. As such, he's had the midas touch now for the best part of a decade, even if the press are only cottoning on to him now because he's in the mainstream.
He brings that kind of American South/Caribbean sound to life. I'm personally going to hold him responsible for twerking. Yeah, I know that that kind of idea has no connection with reality but that's your problem not mine. :)
So, Diplo is Mr. Midas Touch these days. But you get the feeling that he chooses his battles and his clients to some extent. There seems to be some warped logic behind some of is choices, especially because he's got a bit of a give a shit mentality to it all and seems to be up for a challenge. And I guess his view of the mainstream world of music is based on his personal connections with the people he works with.
He's a bit like a really cool otaku, which is the Japanese term for a nerd, and so his social media offerings kind of run the range of super cool and super geeky kinda stuff. I find that kind of thing really endearing in a person even if it doesn't seem to always be consistent with who he chooses to partner with.
Diplo more than any of the other DJ producers is a reflection of the social media age. That's only a good thing cos if you're on Twitter or Instagram, cos if you follow him, at least you can see a humour tangent in his postings. And so watching his fans come up with funny GIFs or memes in his honour is just as entertaining as watching him step into the fray against Taylor Swift's legions. Yes, it's petty and childish, but it's a worry that so many people have a voice and nothing original to say.
It's so futile that so many people are just on those platforms to hang shit on others and basically whittle their time away trying to make their favourite pop stars into untouchable gods. It's so depressing that our perception of artists is now so coloured by their "fans" (and I say that cos I'm not a shrink and I don't know the right term to use for them). I think the world was a better place when Stans didn't have such a voice.
But back to Diplo. I think one of the few positives that has come out of Madonna's whole Rebel Heart campaign has been the obvious friendship that he and Madonna have formed. I dig that he really has stepped up and is sticking up for her and calling people out on the new level of negativity that she's been subject to. Again, it's a case of choosing your battles and your loyalties, which is a kind of nerdy way of looking at things too. But then, at least its a contribution to something positive for a change.
Diplo on Madonna et al here.
Worshipping of his Instagram here.
Dave Di Vito
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Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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