Release Date: Jun 12, 2012
Record label: Mad Decent
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Pop/Rock
Exercising none of the production restraint that made Usher's "Climax" spring's best quiet-storm jam, Diplo achieves awesomeness the opposite way on this six-song set. He throws synthesizer tantrums full of chest-beating bass lines and calls in pottymouthed MCs like Nicky Da B, who helped turn "Express Yourself" into a NSFW YouTube classic. Listen to "Express Yourself": Related• Photos: Random Notes .
In the past calendar year, Diplo's released a book, hosted a weekly BBC show, co-produced one of Usher's most widely appealing singles in years, plotted a train-travelling Canadian tour with Grimes and Skrillex, had his hands in new albums from Scissor Sisters and Bonde do Rolê, worked with Kreayshawn, put out a new single from his and Switch's Major Lazer project, and allowed himself to be filmed while referring to hip-hop also-also-rans Chiddy Bang as "my best friends in the entire world. " Fittingly, none of those benchmarks chart as the most left-of-center accomplishment that Wesley Pentz has tackled in 2012. That distinction is reserved for Express Yourself, an EP that was set to come out near the end of 2011, but is just now seeing the light of day.
All Diplo creations have a lewd undertone to them that, more often than not, comes to the surface disguised as grimy rhymes. On his latest EP, Express Yourself, in typical fashion, the in-demand DJ/producer hosts numerous dirty/likeminded collaborators. Snorting basslines and Middle Eastern-flavored honks lay the groundwork for the squalid lyricism on Express Yourself.
This party-ready six-track EP was released while Diplo was active on a number of fronts, including the production of a number one R&B/hip-hop hit (Usher's "Climax"), a Major Lazer single, heaps of other collaborations, and the publication of a book that documented some of his globetrotting. Each track on Express Yourself features its own vocalist(s) or production collaborator, and the stylistic representation is wide, from New Orleans bounce rapper Nicky da B to antsy DJ duo Lazerdisk Party Sex. Despite all the outside input, this is Diplo's show; in fact, dancehall vet Elephant Man is almost completely smothered by the array of battering percussion in "Move Around." .
Without a doubt, 2012 has been the year of Diplo. Between producing a track for hype-mongerer Azealia Banks, touring with Grimes and Skrillex, and scattering releases from his alter-ego Major Lazer, the man is inescapable. He even released a book. With quantity doesn’t necessarily come quality, though, as we discover pretty quickly into his latest EP, Express Yourself.
Diplo’s been a very busy boy in recent years. Amongst Blackberry adverts and collaborations with Skrillex, Azealia Banks and Snoop Dogg to name a few, the last thing expected from Thomas Pentz is a release under his own name. But surprise surprise, he returns with his first proper release since 2004’s ‘Florida’ and unlike that record’s melancholy or his ultra chill production on Usher’s ‘Climax’, ‘Express Yourself’ explodes with hectic dancefloor bangers.
Being his first solo release in years, expectations are quite high on globetrotting DJ/producer Diplo's latest, Express Yourself. The EP consists of six tracks of mostly moombahton productions. Standout tracks include the frantic, New Orleans bounce banger "Express Yourself," featuring rapper Nicky Da B, and "Move Around," featuring Elephant Man, which thuds on a progressive, post-dancehall vibe.