Diplo traverses the country in the new short documentary called Florida to California. The doc takes its title from the Diplo’s 2004 solo debut Florida and his latest EP California, which arrived in March.
Florida to California is packed with clips of Diplo working with various collaborators including Justin Bieber, Skrillex, Snoop Dogg, French Montana, Post Malone and Tyler, the Creator. There’s even early home-video footage of him in the studio with M.I.A. and a more recent clip of him partying with Madonna.
Diplo’s discography is filled with such collaborations, and he traces his willingness to defy genre conventions to his youth in Florida where he listened to everything from classic rock and pop to freestyle rap, Miami bass and hardcore punk. He channeled these disparate influences into Florida, an instrumental record crafted primarily from samples. Diplo’s pop purview expanded throughout the 2000s as he cut his teeth in Philadelphia then moved to California, where he was able to work with an even more diverse array of musicians.
In Florida to California, Diplo suggests that he could have never made his latest EP, California, during the early days of his career, in part because rappers were less likely to make drastic stylistic leaps.
“There wasn’t this open-minded feeling in hip-hop yet that you have right now, where anything is possible,” he said. “Rappers can do anything they want. They don’t have borders, they’re not constricted to the genre anymore like they used to be. Hip-hop is everything, hip-hop is a mash-up of so many different things.”