THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA

Diplo, Santogold bite down on the Big Apple

Philadelphia takes over Central Park. Diplo, the elder here, cleared the way for the rest of this bill—without his ubiquitous early-aughts equations between Southern rap, ’80s synths, baile funk, Daft Punk, P.J. Harvey, etc., the genre-chopping headliner here—dub-y songstress Santogold—wouldn’t even exist. It’s not exactly his moment anymore, but you won’t find too many cynics within earshot of any ’08 stage he decides to get on. The of-the-moment draw, though, is Santogold, who got to quit her day job as a songwriter for Ashlee Simpson, among others, when her excellent self-titled record came out in April. She’s our first post-M.I.A. pop star, not so much sonically as conceptually: frenetic, global production, a cozy relationship with her label’s advertising and licensing department, and a gang of talented friends (Diplo contributed tracks to her debut) who consistently make her better. With Kanye West’s DJ, A-Trak, and local rap phenom Kid Cudi.
Sun., July 20, 3 p.m., 2008

 
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