Say what you will about Diplo, and there’s certainly plenty to say about a celebrity DJ who flirts with country music, poses shirtless and occasionally pantless on Instagram, and has a history of sharing what could charitably be described as mixed opinions on the state of the dance music scene. But those who love Diplo obviously far outnumber any naysayers, as the Major Lazer majordomo and head of the still-vital Mad Decent label once again finds himself on our Top 100 list — up 30 places this year. As he should — Diplo’s made as much of a mark on the scene as anyone in the past two decades.
And lest we forget, he also happens to be a fantastic spinner, a skill he honed back in the early ’00s when he and then-partner Low Budget were mixing up house, dancehall, Dirty South material, new wave and pretty much anything funky at Philly’s fabled Hollertronix parties. Even in a virtual set, as with his series of Instagram Live sessions in the pandemic’s early days, his love of the game shines through.