Diplowatch 2013 #1: Diplo Demands More Diplowatch

April 09, 2013

Diplowatch is a semi-regular, nearly three-years-running feature about the comings and goings of the model, author and manatee lover, Diplo. Even Diplo reads it. Yesterday, he wrote on Twitter, "@thefader im waiting for a new diplowatch for way too long." We skimmed back over the past few months, and it turns out he's been up to a lot. Here's a survey of the high- and lowlights, including a high school scandal, fad memes, unspecified surgery and an apology.

January 28: Diplo Defends Crunk Bear

Carly McKinney, a 23-year-old Colorado high school math teacher, was placed on leave after a local news station discovered her Twitter account. McKinney used the since-abandoned @crunk_bear handle to brag about bringing weed to school and to post seminude photos, including a shot of her participating in Diplo's upside-down "Express Yourself" meme. Diplo voiced his support for McKinney on Twitter, repeatedly using the #freecrunkbear hashtag. In February, local cops announced that they wouldn't file drug charges against McKinney. In March, a rep from the school district where McKinney taught confirmed that she'd been fired.

February 2 and Onward: Diplo Potentially Makes a Bunch of Money Off "Harlem Shake"

"Harlem Shake" is "the biggest thing we've released on Mad Decent as a label, and it's happened within six days," label manager Jasper Goggins told Billboard on February 15th, after thousands of videos featuring people dancing along to the song were posted to YouTube. Jeffree's, Diplo's Mad Decent imprint, released "Harlem Shake" last year, first as a free download, then on iTunes as a part of a paid label compilation, then again as a paid single. Diplo was a key early promoter of the "Harlem Shake" meme. As the videos spread, Mad Decent and INDmusic, a company they hired in 2012, aggressively claimed licenses and monetized "Harlem Shake" videos with ads. On February 20th, Billboard made YouTube plays a part of the determining formula for its Hot 100 chart, propelling "Harlem Shake" to the No. 1 spot. In March, Mad Decent negotiated with two artists sampled without permission on "Harlem Shake": Plastic Little's Jayson Musson and reggaeton artist Hector Delgado bka Hector El Father. “Mad Decent have been more than cooperative during this,” Musson told the New York Times.

February 10: Diplo Doesn't Win a Grammy

Skrillex won a Grammy (Best Remixed Recording, Non Classical) and Usher won a Grammy (Best R&B Performance for "Climax," which Diplo co-produced), but Diplo lost the Producer of the Year, Non Classical Grammy to The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. He wore a funny tie to the ceremony.

February 11: Diplo Has Mystery Surgery

Seemingly a single-day procedure.

February 16: Diplo Launches a YouTube Channel with Skrillex and A-Trak

It's called POTATO.

February 26: Diplo Apologizes for Not Releasing the Major Lazer Album

Explaining multiple delays of Free The Universe, once promised for November 2012 and oficially due for April 16th via Secretly Canadian/ Mad Decent/ Downtown Records, Major Lazer wrote:
We never want to disappoint our supporters but circumstances out of our control have made us unable to keep the intended date. For anyone disappointed, we are truly apologetic and we promise that this hiccup has only made what we have planned for the album stronger. We tried extremely hard to keep the date but it was ultimately decided that rushing the album would have been unfair to you and everyone who worked so hard on it.

March 5: Diplo Remixes "Gangnam Style"

Taken from an official remix EP, Diplo's version features 2 Chainz and Tyga.

March 1: Diplo Admits He Can't Download Torrents

At 34, he feels "like a really old dude" while trying to catch up on The Walking Dead.

March 15: Doritos Loves Diplo

Diplo's 2012 "Express Yourself" is used in a 30-second Doritos spot, "Valet," now airing on national TV.

March 28: Diplo's Kid Looks Just Like Diplo

April 3: Diplo Produces Song for Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus

"Ashtrays and Heartbreaks" will appear on Snoop Lion's Reincarnated, out April 23rd.

April 5: Diplo Inspires a Danny Brown Song

Danny writes, "shouts out Diplo for Inspiring this song."

April 5: Diplo Raps Again

He either rhymes booty with boobies or booty with booties on a collaboration with German DJ TAI.

April 8: Diplo Complains About Vine

"They need to make vine for galaxy before i become irrelevant again," he wrote on Twitter.

Diplowatch 2013 #1: Diplo Demands More Diplowatch