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