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A superstar DJ, sought-after producer, taste-making label owner, and wizard behind Major Lazer, Diplo (aka Diplodocus, Wes Diplo, and Wes Gully) launched his career on the fringes of dance music. With his mash-up mixtapes, he found and created a sound where his musical tastes -- '80s pop, electronica, Dirty South hip-hop, and his major influence, Miami bass music -- intersect. His attention-grabbing projects Hollertronix, with partner DJ Low Budget, and the Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 mixtape, with elusive British-Sri Lankan MC M.I.A., made a heavy impact on the alternative electro-pop scene, amassing him rave reviews from music critics and indie kids alike, including Spin magazine, which named him DJ of the Year in 2005. Later, his Mad Decent imprint presented the edge of pop, hip-hop, and dance music while his conceptual Major Lazer project mixed dancehall with rave culture and toured the globe as a live party sound system. Diplo was born Thomas Wesley Pentz in Tupelo, Mississippi. Although he lived in a few different cities in the South, he mainly grew up in South Florida. He spent his youth in his father's bait shop, fixated on manatees, alligators, and dinosaurs with hopes of becoming a paleontologist. However, he wound up pursuing an education in film studies, starting at a couple Florida colleges but then finishing up his undergraduate degree in Philadelphia at Temple University in 2003. Before his move to Philadelphia, Pentz had moved temporarily to Japan to escape daily life in America. From Japan, he sent a demo tape of his beat concoctions to Will Ashon, founder of U.K. independent hip-hop label Big Dada Records, and once signed to the label, he relocated to Philadelphia. To support himself, during and after graduating from Temple, Pentz took on a few different jobs in Philadelphia: social worker, after-school mentor, movie theater employee, and gig-by-gig DJ. He was barely able to pay the rent, and the frustration was stunting his musical development (although he does credit one of his musical epiphanies to the after-school students who exposed him to crunk and Baltimore club music). Thus, Diplo and like-minded DJ Low Budget pooled their resources to start up their own club nights in Philadelphia, which they branded Hollertronix. It simply began as a fun night of genre-warping dance music, but it blossomed into an underground subculture drawing out crowds from all over the East Coast. Under the Hollertronix moniker, Diplo and Budget released the highly praised Never Scared mixtape; it was listed as one of the New York Times' top albums of 2003. The following year, Big Dada released Diplo's solo debut album, Florida, a more downtempo piece focusing on melody and instrumentals that was a departure from the melee of mashed-up vocals and beats. His unrelenting work ethic produced a considerable number of acclaimed mix CDs and 12" records; however, none of them accumulated more interest and Internet chatter than the 2004 Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 mixtape that introduced M.I.A. outside of U.K. borders. Developing a yearning to produce more worldly music, he also began to throw his energy behind the Brazilian youth- and street-based music known as funk carioca (also referred to as baile funk), a derivation of Miami bass music. So, it was no surprise that when he established his own label, Mad Decent Records, around 2005, his first signee was the funk carioca group Bondo do Role. In 2009, the label signed a distribution deal with Fontana and Downtown Records. Their first collaborative release was by Major Lazer, a fictional Jamaican bounty hunter that was the brainchild of Diplo and DJ Switch. Major Lazer's debut album, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, appeared in 2009, the same year as the Diplo remix collection Decent Work for Decent Pay: Selected Works, Vol. 1. In 2010, Mad Decent began their Blow Your Head compilation series with the unmixed collection Blow Your Head: Diplo Presents Dubstep. Mix CDs (the reggae-filled 2011 release Riddimentary), EPs (2012's Express Yourself and 2013's Revolution), a Major Lazer album (2013's Free the Universe), and production work for others (including Alex Care's "Too Close" and Usher's "Climax") took Diplo to 2014 and that year's aptly titled compilation Random White Dude Be Everywhere. Filled with recent tracks, the set found the producer favoring the trap music style, the style heard on Baauer's hit single "Harlem Shake," which itself was a Mad Decent release. In 2015, he co-produced multiple tracks on Madonna's release Rebel Heart, and worked with Skrillex on the album Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U. Major Lazer's LP Peace Is the Mission also landed that year. ~ Cyril Cordor
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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Revolution
  3.   Freak featuring Deorro
  4.   Express Yourself by Nicky Da B
  5.   6th Gear featuring Kstylis
  6.   Be Right There by Sleepy Tom
  7.   U Don't Like Me by Lil Jon
  8.   Get Off
  9.   Techno featuring LNY TNZ
  10.   Crown featuring Boaz Van De Beatz
  11.   Hey! by Laidback Luke
  12.   Boy Oh Boy
  13.   Waist Time by Autoerotique
  14.   Biggie Bounce
  15.   Set If Off by Lazerdisk Party Sex
  16.   GO
  17.   Keep It Gully
  18.   Pick Your Poison
  19.   Florida
  20.   Doctor Pepper
  21.   Make You Pop
  22.   Summer's Gonna Hurt You
  23.   Set It Off
  24.   Epistemology Suite 3: You're Enron
  25.   Sweet Sweet Matilda by Clint Eastwood
  26.   Boy Oh Boy by GTA
  27.   Diplo Rhythm
  28.   Pick Your Poison feat. Kay
  29.   Dat A Freak
  30.   F10RIDA Album Commentary
  31.   Revolution
  32.   Smash a Kangaroo
  33.   Put That Pussy On Me
  34.   Revolution featuring Faustix
  35.   Biggie Bounce by Angger Dimas
  36.   Big Lost
  37.   Mixmag Presents Diplo: 2009 Rewind!
  38.   Revolution
  39.   Butters Theme
  40.   No Problem by Flinch & Kay
  41.   Veni Vidi Vici
  42.   Sweet Sweet Matilda featuring Clint Eastwood
  43.   Joker Smoker featuring Tristan Palmer
  44.   Solta O Frango
  45.   Down
  46.   26 Basslines by Benga
  47.   Sunset by Borgore
  48.   Wassup Wassup
  49.   Way More Brazil
  50.   Epistemology Suite 1: Don't Fall
  51.   Way More
  52.   Sarah
  53.   Frosty Bounce by Angger Dimas
  54.   Making It Hard
  55.   As I Lay Dying
  56.   No Problem
  57.   Barely Standing featuring Datsik
  58.   Move Around
  59.   Horsey
  60.   Epistemology Suite 2: Like Cats
  61.   Heater
  62.   The Whistlerz
  63.   Percao ft. Pantera Os Danadinhos
  64.   Baby ft. Vybz Kartel
  65.   Youth Blood by Little Jinder
  66.   Eventide Fire a Disaster featuring Barrington Levy
  67.   Stop What You're Doing
  68.   200
  69.   Newsflash
  70.   Indian Thick Jawns
  71.   Money Power Respect
  72.   Into the Sun
  73.   Flute Jawn
  74.   P.O.V. 2.0 featuring The Death Set
  75.   Rock Steady featuring Action Bronson
  76.   Fuju Ouija
  77.   Newsflash ft. Sandra Melody
  78.   Re-Up
  79.   Works
  80.   It's All Part of a Bigger Plan
  81.   Fuji Ouija
  82.   Now's the Time