Published Sep 28, 2015In news that truly seems like it came from the popular punk satire site The Hard Times, superstar producer Diplo has revealed that he routinely donates funds to an anarchist bookstore in Baltimore.
In a new interview with The FADER, the ultra-famous DJ opened up about his punk-rock past. "I lived in Daytona Beach," he said of his formative years. "My family is from there. Daytona Beach has no culture — like, no youth culture, zero. The only thing that we had was a Barnes & Noble. I would go in the coffee shop there and read magazines [like Adbusters] and, like, Howard Zinn books."
That stoked the fire for the producer to get into revolutionary politics. "I was a real counterculture, anarchist kid," he recalled. "That was just me and my growing pains. But I always kept friends from that world and that era. In Philly, the underground scene really helped me become who I am."
To his credit, Diplo still puts his money where his mouth is. "This one guy, Cullen Stalin, who owns an anarchist book store in Baltimore now — I give him some money every year and invest in his bookstore," Diplo added, referring to Red Emma's. "I was in Europe when the Baltimore riots happened, and so I talked to him on the phone about it."
As someone who regularly collaborates with the world's biggest pop stars, Diplo added that he appreciates his relationships with the DIY community. "Guys like him keep me sane," he explained. "They think what I'm doing is an extension of punk rock because I'm just a little shitty-ass redneck kid that's making music with Madonna. It's almost like a joke to them, like I'm in disguise. I've never lost track of that."
Diplo also discussed his "obnoxious" Twitter persona, his controversial stance as a cultural "tourist" and his recent collaboration with Justin Bieber. Read the full interview here.