It’s that time of year again. If the “Acid Rap” blaring from dorm rooms is any indication, it seems like everyone’s been getting excited for the impending Spring Weekend of late. And rightly so; for the second year in a row, the BCA has demonstrated an uncanny ability to book artists who straddle the line between mainstream and genre music in not one, but three genres: electronic, hip-hop, and acoustic. This year’s electronic offering — Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo — brings both turntable skills to rival those of last year’s A-Trak and an accessible series of popular dance tunes, not to mention a string of remixes and production credits on projects ranging from southern hip-hop to Swedish synth-pop. His performance, much like that of fellow Friday performer Chance the Rapper, promises to be a genre-spanning experience for everyone visiting the Main Green on April 11. People will, and should, enjoy themselves at this concert.
But they should also bear in mind that Diplo’s music, in some ways, is not his.
To clarify: this piece is not intended to criticize Diplo, nor to defend him. It is not intended to make you feel guilty about attending the concert you’ve spent the past couple weeks anticipating, nor to convince those who have chosen not to attend that their objections are invalid. It’s not even intended as any set of guidelines on how you should approach Spring Weekend. It is intended as a reminder that, however skilled a musician and producer Diplo may be, his music is ultimately derived from cultures to which he does not belong.