Summary (taken from back cover): Diplo (aka Wesley Pentz) is the nexus of music and the cultural collateral it collects in the process of being created and released. His record label, Mad Decent has helped bring the sounds of baile funk from Brazil, cumbia from Mexico, and other unknown music to Mexico, and other unknown music to clubs around the world. Diplo’s work as a producer has brought a unique sound to hits like M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” and Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls).”
128 Beats Per Minute follows Diplo on this fantastic journey around the world, from his involvement with dancehall scene in Jamaica to the electro/techno underground in Tel Aviv. Each chapter chronicles his tastes and travels, complete with essays and playlists, as documented by photographer Shane McCauley. 128 Beats Per Minute provides unique access to the most interesting scenes influencing music’s landscape today.
Here’s an excerpt from the book that I thought summarizes his pre-rising pretty well:
“I was born in Mississippi and raised in Florida. I spent time in Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina, too. I never got settled, never was comfortable, never had an easy time in one place, but this helped to make me adaptable and made it easy to maneuver. I shoplifted my first sampler from Sam Ash music center in Orlando, Florida. I was working part-time at Subway, learning to use a Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine and DJing house parties with vinyl records I’d accumulated from flea markets and mail order. Between rent checks, my turntables were always in and out of the pawnshops. Eventually I found a way out of Florida, got a scholarship to school, and went north to Philadelphia to try to crack the music scene.”
To me, Diplo is to music as Tibor Kalman (founder of Colors Magazine) was to graphic design/journalism. What’s nice is that Diplo is still alive (yipee!) so, I personally went to one of his shows when they hit the city I’m currently living in (Toronto).
I finally ended up scoring a reasonably priced MDBP ticket and when I found out they were throwing an after party, I went to get a ticket as soon as I could. I didn’t speaker fuck tho. I just went there and watched. I moshed a bit during the block party and I sat on top of the speakers later during the after party (may have gotten an orgasm or two…I guess this constitutes as passive speaker fucking?)
You can get the book on Amazon here