Oh, Diplo. Sweet Diplo. This week, celebrities like Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and Olivia Munn have made sport of attacking lowly bloggers, but at least the profession had one celebrity defender: Thomas Wesley Pentz. AKA Diplo.
“Music journalists gotta eat too even if they don’t like our music,” he tweeted. “We need critics.”
What a soothing tweet. It’s also quite canny–think of how many writers have now warmed to Diplo, how many carpal tunnel-ridden wrists are wavering over keyboards, prepared to praise this particular third of Major Lazer.
But now Diplo, who has primarily worked in electronic and dancehall-adjacent genres, has pivoted. He has announced a country project, to be released under his birth name, and released a collaboration with the singer Cam, called “So Long.” He wears plaid and a camo baseball hat in the video. The man has fully embraced the yeehaw agenda.
The yeehaw trend, an all-consuming cultural obsession that includes the rise of Kacey Musgraves, Tik Tok memes, and the embrace of the black cowboy (consider Lil Nas X, Telfar collections, and the visuals for Solange’s When I Get Home), doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And Diplo gets it! He’ll even be performing at the Stagecoach festival for the first time this weekend. Check out the outfit he wore to Roc Nation's Roc Da Court All-Star basketball game yesterday. It almost looks like a rodeo Nudie Suit? Twitter should be hornier for this photo.
Back in February, Diplo told Variety that he planned to work with country artists like Zac Brown, Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt. “[The songs] are kinda like country, but I’m adding some of my flavor to make it unusual,” he said. “It’s actually a hard thing to get some of these guys to take a chance, because country’s such an insular community, but I’m trying to do something a little bit different with the songwriting.”
Here’s hoping he gets Lil Nas X in the mix.