It’s funny to interview Diplo via email because his responses are about as long as his tweets – 120 characters or less. We met him at his book release party in NYC and even though he was swarmed with fans and randoms, he was happy to give us a “shoutout”, which actually was more of an autograph saying we sucked. I think he was psyched on it.
Months later we got in touch with him to talk about skateboarding. Our friends who knew him in Florida said he was pretty into skating but we’ve never seen anyone ask him about it or even mention it. So we exchanged some emails about his earlier life, before being a world famous DJ and touring the world with the likes of Skrillex and running his record label Mad Decent. Back to when he was a dude in Florida skateboarding curbs, driving around and getting high. Not unlike you or me.
Growing up what was your skate crew like? Or did you mostly do it alone?
Mostly by myself in parking lots. I moved to 4 different cities throughout High School so I never had a crew. Only in Daytona, Florida did I meet kids at the parks there.
What was your first board?
Just had a Girl board – It was like a team logo board. I had a Rodney Mullen old school board a long time ago too.
When did you start skating, and when were you the heaviest into it?
Probably like senior year of High School which seems kinda old but I started to surf and try half pipes and just fucked around cause I had a car and got to drive around and get high.
What type of car did you drive back then?
I had a VW bus with graffiti all over it, I was just a punk..
Any skate vids / skate vid music in specific that had an impact on you?
All the Girl videos and anything Spike Jonze did made me want to make films and be creative. And then later I got into the old school stuff like any Powell Peralta vids.
Who are / were some of your favorite pro skaters now, or growing up?
I always loved Muska just for being so crazy.. Stevie Williams for revolutionizing it and being from Philly and then all the original Zoo York team. Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen just for the beauty, Natas Kaupas.. etc
I know back then Daytona Beach was like the “spring break capital” any crazy Daytona stories during its hayday?
Daytona was past its heydey, it was full of hood clubs, coke dealers and redneck junkies. I loved it though, I used to just chill on the streets and hang out with girls and do graffiti and skate. Spring break wasn’t popping but black college reunion was, it was like a war zone. During bike week I would make like $1000 a week just from parking cars.
You ever meet any hot chicks through skateboarding?
There was a few but I got into DJing to meet more girls I think.
Tell me bout the dopest birthday you’ve had so far.
Everyone is great. Five years ago in New Orleans was weird. I snuck into a Souljah Boy concert then ran away from security though a graveyard and ended up at a Hindu wedding in some garden. Afterwards, I DJ’ed a dive bar with all my friends and they pinned dollar bills on my shirt and took home a really pretty girl.
éS is dead now, but you had a shoe with them a while ago. How did the shoe collabo with them come about?
They just hit me up and I said yeah kool.
You skate at all with Skrillex during the most recent canada tour?
I fucked my knee up so bad recently playing basketball I think I retired from skating.
Even though you are retired, would you jump in a skate sesh with Justin Bieber and Lil’ Wayne?
Yeah for sure, I just cant really ollie no more.