Diplo, Skrillex Unite as Jack U at Ultra Music Festival

The super-producers hype up raucous crowd with genre-hopping set and toilet paper blowers

Skrillex Diplo
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Skrillex and Diplo perform in Miami, Florida.
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Diplo and Rolling Stone cover subject Skrillex brought their collaborative project Jack U to Ultra Music Festival in Miami Sunday, debuting new tracks amidst a raucous, tag-team set.

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The duo took turns manning the turntables and hyping the crowd during their hour-long appearance, which spanned dubstep, trap, house, moombahton and hip-hop. The set began with "Dirty Vibe," a collaboration between Skrillex, Diplo and K-pop stars G-Dragon and CL from Skrillex’s newly released LP Recess and ended, somewhat paradoxically, with Toto’s "Africa."

"This is [Diplo’s] favorite song in the world," Skrillex said of the the L.A. prog rock band’s subdued 1982 hit. "I dedicate this to all of the people hanging out all week, spending a lot of money, supporting us and electronic music." The set also included a previously unreleased track from Diplo’s Major Lazer project featuring reggae artist Collie Buddz, and key tracks from the two DJs’ respective solo catalogs, including Diplo’s "Express Yourself" and "Revolution" and Skrillex’s "Bangarang," "Rock N’ Roll (Will Take You To the Mountain)" and "All Is Fair In Love And Brostep" from Recess. Other selections in the eclectic set included DJ Kool’s hip-hop classic "Let Me Clear My Throat," the ID remix of YG, Rich Homie Quan and Young Jeezy’s "My N---a," and the Bingo Players’ "Cry (Just a Little)."

The two DJs relished the opportunity to step away from the turntables and play each other’s respective hype men, punctuating their counterparts’ selections with playful commentary and catering to the youthful, spring break crowd. Pacing the stage during his time away from the turntables, Diplo brandished a toilet paper blower, described by Skrillex as "the headliner act." The group further entertained the crowd with a jump-rope team wearing T-shirts stating "Got Rope" and LED screens flashing GIFs with scenes from The Simpsons and Mario Kart, among other cartoons and vintage video games.

Skrillex has previously said he and Diplo will release five tracks this year from the project, which they debuted at the San Diego edition of Diplo’s Mad Decent Block Party in September. No specific info about the project, however, has been released.

Ultra, in its 16th edition, attracted a sold-out crowd of 55,000 on each of its three days this year. However, the response was not all positive. A security guard was critically injured with severe brain hemorrhaging after fans crashed the gate on day one Friday. On Sunday, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado announced plans to bring a resolution ending Ultra’s tenure in the city, citing persistent security flaws. Avicii, meanwhile, was forced to cancel his headlining performance on day two after it was announced that the Swedish house producer would be hospitalized and undergo surgery on his gall bladder. Deadmau5 was added as a last-minute replacement. 

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