By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Ever look around at all of these kids in too-tight fluorescent jeans, cheapie Ray-Bans, and musty-smelling thrift-store wear and wonder, What the hell happened here? There's a simple answer: Diplo. Or, more accurately, it was the Philly native's Hollertronix duo that championed the club mashup in the early '00s and sent the youth of America into an anything-goes music and fashion frenzy. Heralded for his production work (and former relationship) with M.I.A., and turning out the EDM scene with his Mad Decent label, Diplo (AKA Wes Gully) just can't be stopped.
New Times: What kind of boss are you when it comes to running your label, Mad Decent?
I kind of sit around and help or work on random projects, but mostly it's the big kids who run the day-to-day stuff and smoke weed in our garage. Oh, and we play Grand Theft [Auto] a lot. It's in an old mausoleum I bought in Philly that we turned into headquarters. We have some shows there too; it's been mad (no pun).
How were the Hollertronix days different from today, aside from the fact that you're solo now?
I'm a lot better now. I think I had the ideas back then, but we were really bootleg about it, renting a small place and passing out homemade flyers ourselves. But the bottom line is that we started a little movement with the sound and ideas from the party that was carried on. But you can always hear the attitude of that party in my production. Anything goes. I still go to DJ parties with kids getting naked, swinging off the lights, and pouring drinks everywhere. It's just bigger now, and they have light systems and stuff.
What do you think — or know — 2009 has in store? Anything planned you can tell the readers about?
I'm going to do more production stuff for my crew — Amanda Blank, Spank Rock, Blaqstarr, Kid Sister, M.I.A. — and there will be big Mad Decent releases from Paper Route Gangstas and Major Lazer (Diplo & Switch). Plus, my Favela on Blast film is coming, and hopefully I'll get some of my own music done.