“Release and go, attack the flow and work it low…”
There’s one thing that I really like about US producer Diplo, and that’s his refusal to fit into any mould or convention surrounding the kind of stuff that he does. Sure, he’s a hugely successful producer to the stars – M.I.A., Santigold and the recently-blogged-about Usher are just a few of his clients. And yet, you’ll never catch him making billion-d0llar clips in polished marble-floor clubs where he dances around awkwardly whilst fiddling with a knob – cough, David Guetta, cough. To paraphrase Neil Young, Diplo sees that as the middle of the road – and so he’s headed for the ditch.
Express Yourself is the antithesis of a commercial dance video. The setting is in the slums of the U.S, although I’m not certain where. It’s darkly shot, removing the HD sheen. The main focus revolves around GLBT “booty bounce” artist Nicky Da B commanding you to “spread your legs,” amongst other charming requests. The dancing is violently sexual, apparently known as “twerking,” which involves an arched back and some seriously hypnotic arse-shaking. The women and men doing these dances are by no means conventionally attractive, naturally leading to several misogynistic YouTube comments indicating as such in a not-so-polite manner. If you were to present this to a major label, they would lose their shit. Diplo has created something defiant, knowingly funny, smart and confronting. In short, Express Yourself is a fucking brilliant video. Get that booty clapping.