Diplowatch 2011 #7: Diplo vs. Venus Iceberg X and Ghe20 Goth1k


Last Saturday, some time between waking up kind of drunk still, eating cookies with the weed delivery dude and when my phone died, #relevant #radical #goddess Venus Iceberg X and her Ghe20 Goth1k crew went in real hard on Diplo. The camps are not strangers, Venus traveled with Diplo last summer as Maluca’s DJ on Mad Decent’s Block Party tour. Last month, Diplo attended Ghe20 Goth1k’s New York party and recorded a part of their set (crucial Ke$ha at 5 BPM moment, possibly) on his Blackberry. His treading in their hardstyle territory popped Venus’ bad-girl mouth over this weekend, and the resulting back and forth on Twitter was haiku-epic, a sophomore-year-at Digital Life College discourse on race, appropriation, reggae, inspiration, Hot Topic, etc. The whole crossfire is below, exclusive statements on the beef from both Diplo and Venus follow after. Both of their comments came in with youtube links. New world, y’all!

Key for reading:

Venus and @Ghe20 Goth1k’s tweets are in blue, Diplo’s are in red. When he talked for more than 140 characters, Wes’ tweets jumped to tmi.me— those are the ones that look different than the rest, in the grey-boxes. Other folks jumped in the conversation, too. @Jheri’s tweet is pink, @DIAMOONDBLKHRT’s contribution is blue.


From Diplo:

I’ve gotten hated for making music with MIA, with rappers, with Brazillians (sic), with Baltimore club producers. Let’s not forget any dancehall (until we started to tour Jamaica). Now, it’s really weird for me because hard style is traditionally angry/white/European music. So, after some careful research I tried to figure out if I am allowed to play or not play “hardstyle.” Here is how I broke it down—I recently got a hardstyle mix with a Drake vocal…u can see it here. Now Drake is mixed race.. so it was even more complicated. Here is what one of the authorities on hard style had to say: “Biracial is a special case. If you’re biracial you’re allowed to play music that is “owned” by one of your ethnicities (sic) but only in a ratio to your racial makeup. So you can play an underground hip hop or vogue track but you gotta follow it w/ some broey dubstep. Sexual Preference same deal: gays = vogue allowed, str8s = no way . Bisexual, you can play one vogue track then you have to mix it with beatport tech house.” Hardstyle is more complicated… according to the thunderdome 2010 promo video, in order to rep dutch hardcore or hardstyle you have to either burn a cross or suck a horse’s dick.
Maybe don’t click that link because I’m not even kidding about either of those (@ 0:18 secs in if you gotta know… no idea how this video is still on youtube!)

From Venus Iceberg X:

I DJ because I like to be live and I take pride in my concepts. I don’t bother to make music yet, because there’s so much already there for me to play with and why make some garbage like Diplo? He looks for the next big trend, he creates ‘derivative’ music instead of putting on the raw shit, so its not surprising that a day after our interview on FADER comes out where we discuss the relevance of hardstyle to the youth, and a month after he attends GG, cell phone recording and all, he’s now putting out a hardstyle set. It’s just plain weird. I went on the Mad Decent Block Party tour last year, he is by no means an experimental DJ, he’s a crowd-pleaser of the cheapest kind. He desperately needs to stay relevant, but he has no story to tell and he doesn’t care about authenticity or integrity.

Whether a genre or a concept, people should realize that music, whether made or performed via production or DJing, is rooted in the experiences of the producer, his access, his perspective, history, limitations, or his privilege. The struggle, the ideas, the history of a person is all evident in the sounds they make and when the author is confused for someone else, the story gets misplaced and lost, not just in music, this happens in everything. It’s a vicious cycle that just keeps oppressing the same group of people and its disgusting.

Ghe20 G0th1k is about taking the original shit, pre-Diplo, and finding ways to wake people up and remind them you can have fun and be informed and not be a part of the problem all in one night. You can take a audience from Chicago to Iraq to Dominican Republic to Germany via Juke, Mawal, Perreo, hardstyle, and that is powerful because subconsciously you’re connecting the dots and ringing the siren so people wake the fuck up. Clearly people who don’t need change won’t make change, they will dominate and expose their misogynistic, twisted guilt on twitter. And for the tweets that said ‘white ppl can’t steal white music’ I just wanted to say that my favorite hardstyle band is black. Lol Rotterdam Terror Corps, check them out!

POSTED March 29, 2011 2:00PM IN MUSIC NEWS Comments (32) TAGS: , , , , ,




  1. aggle says:

    bucket of lulz
    Everyone, play good music.
    and Diplo leave ballroom alone! I can see his eyes on it already

  2. Tfoe says:

    If you can’t tell the difference between hardcore and hardstyle, don’t even fucking bother.

    FYI: Rotterdam Terror Corps makes hardcore. Not hardstyle.

  3. dp says:

    Music beef is so stupid. At least Diplo doesn’t act like he’s fighting in some global resistance. Furthermore, hardstyle is the most derivative music ever. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  4. This is the stupidest shit I have read in sometime. Who gives a fuck?

  5. guest says:

    gayest thing ive ever seen

  6. st says:

    dat crew is just embarasing themself , who was talking about them before mad decent crew put them on their blog’s ?
    don’t bite that hand that feed !

  7. Xanax says:

    So sad. Can’t even believe Fader would perpetuate this non-existent “issue.” Saying GG has some sort of claim to playing hardstyle is so inane it makes my head hurt. Their “territory?” I’d laugh if this wasn’t such a glaring aberration of logic. Hardstyle is one of the biggest electronic music genres in the world, and a tiny party in NYC that plays 2 hardstyle tracks a night (sometimes, oh yeah and since December) is so soooo soooooo far from being able to claim some kind of ownership of it. As if Diplo, who tours around the world every year, has never heard of it until he secretly recorded a GG set on his phone… Wow… Paranoid fairy tales at it’s best, and the Fader is such a GG yes man they’re damaging their credibility just to perpetuate this delusional “beef.” Really sad. Not to mention there’s alot of people stateside who’ve been playing hardstyle way before GG and I didn’t see them crying when GG started playing it… This entire thing is ridiculous, how could the Fader be possibly this dumb.

  8. prozac says:

    @ Xanax so well said

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  10. Kadeja Tyler says:

    who cares? what we should be talking about is how fuckable diplo is.
    can’t ya’ll write me an article on that?

  11. Don Clees says:

    What is Diplo and a GG? I’m very confused. I think this may have been a mistake site.
    I came here to find an article on hardstyle nail holsters for home repair. Is this NOT the place? I’m working on a cabinet in my veranda and i’m trying to decide between hardstyle nail holsters and an T-Lock style nail holster. Is this NOT the place?

    If anyone can direct me to the correct section for this, it would be greatly appreciated thank you


  12. bruja says:

    wow. you guys are all lame and part of the vicious cycle venus talked about. you all failed and chose to ignore what she was talking in reference to appropriation, integrity, humanity and connections. non-heteronormative people always gotta prove some shit. (dont know the word, look it up).

  13. pure says:

    we thrive in a habitat where raw and laborious beats flourish melodies of many kinds have invaded our territory and brought us close to extinction but a few species have survived because we are resilient creatures and to ensure our survival and strengthen our DNA we now feed on only one nutrient, we call it hard bass

  14. Darius says:

    I could be a bit naive but “hardstyle” is probably the easiest and most repetitive unimaginative sound of music to ever be made. I just realized I used to make hardstyle beats on accident, that’s how weak the shit is. As far as this beef, who gives a shit. Diplo does steal/borrow a lot of ideas which at times can be a little disheartening. But for the most part, hardstyle is nothing to brag about.

  15. LeShaun says:

    Dude is funny. you on blackberry commercials and talkin’ bout how poverty is a parallel of bad time management. Ha!

    Do i think something is inheretly wrong about pulling your phone out and recording a dj set? no. but how can you not be hyper sensitive when that person recording the shit on the phone is, for all intents and purposes, a reigning KING of sub-cultural appropriation(and most often the music of the socially and economically disenfranchised)

  16. brujeria says:

    Rotterdam Terror Corps is white except for the MC.. this guy does all the music
    Originally it was a collection of producers, all of who were white. Only the live MC is black … real progressive, huh? I guess then according to Venus, “Major Lazer” is a black group too? In which case, all these issues of Diplo’s “cultural appropriation” are null and void?

    Venus: Internet 2011 means no one can own any culture, stuff gets spread instantly. If you honestly think Diplo is jacking your swag , go find a bunch more sick artists or styles he doesn’t know about instead of dedicating all this time to a DJ you supposedly don’t like or care about. You probably could have found like 3 new awesome and overlooked Latin micro-genres on 4shared in the time it took you to write all those tweets and that absurd mission statement.

  17. Rude says:

    lolz This little outburst sounds like my nephews getting pissed at me for recording them at guitar hero.

    Hardly anyone cares about hard style cuz it’s wack, even less now that these DJ’s start with racist outburst. I don’t know diplo but I highly doubt he has any illusions about making tons of money off hardstyle, anyone that does should get their heads checked. There’s a reason these guys are broke, their genre is garbage.

    Diplo is obviously influenced by other music, but who isn’t? Let’s not forget that he has also helped artists that have influenced him start a careers of their own. Don’t hate on someone for making his money, thats just bitchassness at it’s fullest.

  18. Me says:


  19. katokalen says:

    fuck this – “we own music” bullshit. Will play and listen to whatever the fuck I want. These “grew up in the ghetto” “had it rough” “this is our music” cunts need to shut the fuck up. Hope your next night club set finishes in time to make it back for the gang war. Yall are so hard.

  20. cuntahunt says:

    lmfao, arguing over the shitest music ever made, fucking euro shit, and its about 10 yrs old, typical yanks….come over to the UK and get schooled in new music…as always.

  21. wreck_tech says:

    this chick, who i’ve never even met and have never seen at my parties, decided to start hating on MY monthly in Bushwick, right after Diplo made her look a fool. shit rolls downhill or something…right Venus?

  22. in the end says:

    if white people would try to make something of there own without referencing black culture this wouldnt be an issue. they cant do that, but they dont want to be called out. sounds like a tricky situation. diplo should retire now.

  23. boog says:

    a DJ that doesn’t make any of her own music bitching about music ownership and appropriation? Get the fuck outta here.

  24. I'm That Bitch says:

    Venus is a fucking WASP inside the body of a Latina, real talk. She’s a credibility-obsessed, accidental DJ who claims to be multicultural, but when her actual contribution to the nightlife dialogue is questioned she retreats behind her clumsily-understood, Sublime Frequencies complex. Thank you, Fader, for demonstrating that Venus will pull the race card instead of engaging in intelligent discourse when it comes to the apparently complicated subject of appropriation.

    “Privilege”, for the record, is an insufferable cunt who aims for honkie credibility and then cries “imperialist”, incorrectly, when a a famous white dude records her already-appropriated set. No wonder Physical Therapy is retreating from her pseudo-stable. I call it, “talent abandoning a ship sunk from the very beginning”.

  25. that realnesd says:

    This is comical. ‘Venus Iceberg’ hang that shit up. Ur melting. You are the the queen of appropriation. A faux llesbian to the t. Ur hijacking of the gay community is dispicable. I hope u find some sort of peace and happiness bc ur anger is depressing

  26. goodbye says:

    fader’s losing readers by the truckload with this kind of shit. cornerstone is owned by a big white man, and venus is straight.

  27. Ambien says:

    I don’t think the fader should lose readers over this. This article is the most entertaining thing I’ve read in a while. And this comment section is pure comedy.

    Truth is, diplo has been long criticized for “stealing” world music, but honestly the man is just a talented curator. And he’s not stealing shit, music is for sharing. One would hope that a DJ, whose job is entirely comprised of appropriating, would feel the same way.

    And honestly who gives a fuck about hardstyle. If it was truly this girls territory she’d know that shit was BUNK as soon as it came out. And seriously a “ghetto girl” complaining about a “white imperialist” sinking their teeth in hardstyle is an oxymoron! I’m having a hard time figuring out what this girl’s struggle is. Because Venus, lord knows you didn’t grow up on hardstyle, PLUS it’s inherently white, so don’t wear that hardstyle badge so arrogantly. It’s really not that serious, and you are barely a DJ.

    Iceberg – Let go of the twitter mic, no one wants to hear your hypocritical rants because your politics are wack as hell. Internet beef is not cute, especially when it’s little guy vs. super famous big guy. It looks desperate, and young. (I really hope you’re 19 or something.) Everyone knows the biggest rule in the industry is NEVER BURN A BRIDGE. And now, everyone is watching yours go down in flames.

    Daps to diplo for staying #based in the heat of an attention-starved vampire that’s barely #relevant.

  28. Dev C. says:

    Venus is a racist. She specifically discriminates against white people who are involved in anything she thinks is “brown people territory”, as evidenced here. A better example is Chrissy Murderbot, who she accuses of appropriating Juke for his own benefit. As a black man from Chicago, I couldn’t disagree more. Chrissy reps Chicago so well, and he has done so much more for Juke than Venus ever could have. That aside, Diplo might be guilty of appropriation, but as far as I can tell from this dialogue (if you can call it that), he doesn’t make any grand claims to have originated anything. He may be a crowd pleaser, but thank god that one of the worlds biggest DJs can please a crowd while still introducing them to things they might not have heard before. Venus is only a crowd “alienator”. She can please her art school friends, but can she ever transcend that? Maybe with all this help from the Fader she will, but I think without a semi-mainstream outlet like this, she will stay confined to the “underground” – which is almost a laughable phrase to use when GG – but maybe her charms will take her elsewhere. Like back to college.

  29. YoDeFoe says:

    @Ambien basically put this one to rest. I’ll add:

    Bitching about other people being inspired by you is super juvenile – and when that person is as famous as Diplo, its about as bad of a business move as you can make. Because you’re tired of being broke, right Venus? Step your game up and figure out how to be famous. Or go away, happens all the time.

    “A crowd pleaser of the cheapest kind” is so overblown, how can she be taken seriously. As an entertainer you walk a fine line between pushing the boundaries and offering an accessible medium. If you want to camp out and dominate your genre, go for it. Just don’t get mad when someone speaks your language to a broader audience. Capitalize vs. Innovate. Everyone chooses.

  30. MakesNoSense says:

    “DJ” Venus- Ain’t it funny that like 2 years ago Salem, a band that definitely was on your radar, were already playing juke, hardstyle, gabber, chopped & screwed, etc in the very same scene in which you exist/are praised???

    I’m pretty sure you are the last person on Earth that should ever being talking about “ownership.” Your musical “concepts” and aesthetics were tired and unoriginal from DAY ONE!

    Grow up and get over yourself!


  31. JustAnotherOpinion says:

    Implied in DJ is appropriation. The only way you aren’t exposing other people’s music is if you are playing all your own stuff. At least Diplo is a DJ that has his own stuff to play! Arguing about this kind of shit is as old as old gets. There is no original thought. Diplo shines a light on lots of different artists and musical styles. Some people appreciate it and others don’t. Your authenticity should be to your self, not your genre.

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