Diplo Techno

“Drugs are not worth the risk” — what to make of Diplo’s new video?

This is a big track, to all intents and purposes. When Diplo, Yellow Claw, LNY TNZ and Waka Flocka Flame collaborate, you know it’s going to get people’s attention. The end result sees the scene heavyweights fuse elements of house, trap and hardstyle into a dancefloor-friendly smasher that is clearly going to be popular with diehard EDM fans. It’s not really our cup of tea, but we can understand the appeal. The track itself isn’t really the story here though. The video is.

We watch as a caring father is drawn into a drug-dealing operation that grows and grows until it eventually impacts the world of his daughter in the most horrible way. One night at a club, she buys a pill from one of the guys dealing out the product of the operation. Something goes wrong, she collapses, is rushed to hospital and eventually dies. The end message is clear enough: “Drugs are not worth the risk.” So what do we have here? A pertinent message about the perils of drug use from concerned citizens? An ironic dig at the state of the contemporary club scene? Or the hypocritical preachings of a group of pompous musicians?

It’s difficult to tell really. The message in the video is superficial and even somewhat cliche. Clubbers dying as a result of taking drugs is a problem, granted. When you get drugs cut with all kinds of shit, like PMA, there are increased risks out there. This is why education is important and the media frenzies that ensue after deaths do little to help the situation. We probably don’t live in a world where drugs like MDMA and ecstasy are ever going to be legalised and regulated, so we need to look at other solutions, like increasing the availability and awareness of testing kits and ensuring that young people have access to all the information they need in order to be able to make informed decisions. Simply saying “drugs are not worth the risk” does little to advance the cause and, if anything, creates more hysteria, especially when you look at the story that’s told in this video.

But let’s not get too carried away with any critique here. Last year, Diplo and Jillionaire did come out and say, “We need to teach kids how to do drugs.”

“It’s going to sound weird but we need to teach kids how to do drugs, the same way we teach them about drinking responsibly and having safe sex,” Jillionaire said in an interview with Rolling Stone.

This kind of message is on the money and really in contrast to what transpires in the Techno video. So while we think the video itself is a misstep (“ham-fisted”, they called it over at FACT“), there is some underlying relevance in what Diplo is trying to say.

What do you think?

Anthony DiMoro is the lead writer and owner of 'Planet Mondo'.

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