BioBorn in Mississippi and now living in North Philly, Diplo was raised in Florida, his childhood informed by shrimp boats, manatees and the mysteries of the swamp, combining in his comic book-addled head into a supernatural arena for dinosaurs, naked hippy chicks and extreme violence.
With his first album he takes the sounds and experiences (both real and imaginary) of those years and makes them into something utterly new – a fried-out booty shaking hip hop psych rock epic that combines his love for the harsh snap and echoing boom of bass music and matches it up with a dedicated crate digger’s ear for a sample and a classical composer’s feel for development, for tension and release. The results are startling – beautiful and ecstatic, at times down-home and thrown-together, at others as slick and futuristic as a spaceship.
Already renowned from coast to coast as a DJ (due to the national success of the Hollertronix mixtape and parties he founded and the recent megamix he made for RJD2), Diplo’s production skills have in the past got him gigs for both David Banner and Bigg Jus (Company Flow). And the strength of this production means that this largely instrumental album is also blessed by vocals from Vybz Cartel (of “Up 2 Di Time” fame and probably the hottest, most credible star in Jamaica right now) and P.E.A.C.E. (the Freestyle Fellowship legend). But rather than letting these contributions overwhelm proceedings, Diplo uses them as stand-outs on an album that feels more like a suite of music than a collection of unrelated tunes.
Sit back, hear the cicadas start up and feel the heat.