16 Songs You Didn't Know Diplo Produced (Updated)

Diplo
Eli Russell Linnetz

Diplo

Diplo's song production has become ubiquitous at pop's highest levels -- see hits like Jack Ü's "Where Are Ü Now" (which peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100), Major Lazer's "Lean On" (No. 4), and Beyoncé's "Hold Up" (No. 13). But Diplo -- the cover star of Billboard's 2020 Dance Issue -- is hardly an overnight top 40 success. Rather, he hustled hard and moved gradually into the mainstream, amassing an impressive series of song credits over time.

With his early work often drawing from the sound of international dance sub-genres, his open ears and versatility proved to be an asset -- when electronic music entered its major crossover phase, he was well-suited to work with pop artists looking to expand their sound.

Here's a look back at some of his lesser-known productions.

M.I.A. – “Bucky Done Gun”

Diplo worked with M.I.A. several times before the two concocted “Paper Planes,” which went on to become a top five pop hit. The frenetic “Bucky Done Gun” represented the start of their studio collaborations.

Santigold – “Unstoppable”

Diplo produced three songs on Santigold’s eponymous 2008 release, including “Unstoppable,” which Drake later sampled on his So Far Gone mixtape. Diplo reappeared as a producer on several tracks from Santigold’s Master Of My Make-Believe as well.

Robyn – “Dancehall Queen”

Body Talk Pt. 1 helped reestablish Robyn as a dominant force in America: it contained “Dancing On My Own,” one of her most popular songs. Diplo also has a song credit on “Criminal Intent” from Body Talk Pt. 2.

Chris Brown – “Look At Me Now” Featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Diplo produced this one with Afrojack and Freeschool, and the result still sounds strange and hypnotic years later. It went on to became a top ten pop hit, buoyed by Busta Rhymes’ stunning display of rapping speed.

Beyoncé – “End Of Time”

Diplo first connected with Beyoncé back in 2010 for the martial, brassy End Of Time. In 2016, he appeared twice in the credits for Lemonade and also reconnected with Queen Bey for the Major Lazer collaboration "Already" from 2019's The Lion King: The Gift.  

Usher – “Climax”

This is one of Diplo’s finest songs as a producer – it came together with Ariel Rechtshaid, who has also earned acclaim for his work with Haim and Vampire Weekend. Usher’s ventures into gleaming electronic soundscapes have been uneven, but this is a seamless fusion.

Rita Ora – “Hello, Hi, Goodbye”

This song was co-written by The-Dream, and Diplo helped out with the production. It’s a great combination of their strengths – delicate melodies from one, unpredictable drums from the other.

Bruno Mars – “Money Make Her Smile”

Diplo landed a credit on Mars’ debut album, 2010's Doo-Wops & Hooligans. You can hear his arena-dance style pulling against Mars’ whiplash funk groove.

Tamar Braxton – “One on One Fun”

Listen to the seeds of “Look At Me Now” and “Climax” in this beat: the backbone is composed of the same sort of rising synth tones.

Britney Spears – “Passenger”

Diplo tried something a little different on this song, updating a power ballad form with stuttering electronics.

Madonna – “Living For Love”

Diplo had a number of credits on Madonna’s 2015 Rebel Heart album. One of the strongest cuts he worked on was the nu-house track “Living For Love,” which found him collaborating once again with Rechtshaid.

Justin Bieber – “Memphis”

Diplo lent a beat to Bieber for the Journals album. Though the project was overlooked at the time, it provided much of the vocal foundation for the highly successful follow-up, Purpose. Bieber and Diplo also famously collaborated on “Where Are U Now,” a top ten pop hit.

The Weeknd – "Nothing Without You"

The Toronto singer's 2016 electro-pop album famously saw co-production credits from Daft Punk, but the robots weren't the only dance music heavyweight on hand. Norwegian experimental future bass pioneer Cashmere Cat helped out (and more recently produced Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's "Senorita"). Diplo's LSD partner Labrinth helped on the "Stargirl Interlude" feat. Lana Del Ray, and Diplo put in work on the brooding half-time ballad "Nothing Without You."

Xxxtentacion – "Looking For A Star"

About a year before the young south Florida rapper was fatally shot, Diplo provided this dreamy beat for Xxxtentacion's 2017 debut mixtape Revenge. It showcases a softer side of the MC's style, featuring acoustic guitar and very-Diplo tropical synths.

Maroon 5 – "Help Me Out" Feat. Julia Michaels

From the 2018 LP Red Pill Blues, Diplo showcases his pop ballad skills with some poolside vibes. The song was released as the sixth single from the Maroon 5 album, and while it doesn't feature much signature Diplo style, it does further prove his adaptability.

Madonna – "Future" Feat. Quavo

It's big news for the queen of pop to work with a member of Migos, but did you know Diplo provided the dub-infused beat for this Madam X album tune? It makes a lot of sense. Honestly, it sounds kind of like Madonna singing over a Major Lazer tune.

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