The first time I heard Diplo, it was on a mix CD burned for me by a boy I liked in the 11th grade. I remember thinking "what is a Diplo," and searching Kazaa furiously for more songs by this person or people. Now the dude is everywhere.
In the 10 years since Diplo's first solo album, Florida, he's certainly changed as an artist. In this first album, his sound is more relaxed, more ambient, and maybe a little restrained, considering what we know of him a decade later. Now the Diplo has gone full electronic, recording with his label/collective Mad Decent. Maybe he preempted the direction he was going with the undeniable dancehall/Brazilian sound influence in tracks like "Way More" and "Diplo Rhythm." It was the starting point for a sound that (like it or not) continues to evolve.
These days Diplo's all over the place, not only as an artist, but as a producer, making tracks for everyone from Usher to Britney Spears. But 10 years ago, when you and I were still exchanging mix CDs with potential beaus, he was just another artist you were trying to illegally download. [Spotify, iTunes, Amazon]