“Yo, no phones,” someone yells late on what is either Saturday night or Sunday morning on the Manhattan-bound platform of the Jefferson Street L station. It was just about 5 a.m. Diplo, however, was just getting a party started. 

Ensconced in a puffy, slime-colored jacket, the pale, pink-haired DJ who took his name after a dinosaur looked like just anybody else in Bushwick. Unlike most of them, he was standing wordlessly in front of a mobile turntable, decorated with fake leaves and ensconced with a skull. The busy hypebeast bon vivant, described as “a maestro of the side hustle” by Forbes when appearing in on one of their “World’s Highest-Paid DJs” lists, was hustling up yet another gig after just finishing one up that night at the Brooklyn Mirage, a local club that is subject of numerous deaths and numerous unrelated lawsuits. (“The dance titan performed in front of a highly enthusiastic crowd, ready to keep their adrenaline pumping and feet grooving all night long,” reads a glowing review from a Brooklyn blog called Exron Music.)

According to a publicist, this second set had been put together by a Williamsburg DJ named Chris Patrikis, who goes by CRSPY, and who is working with a brand called “Raw Cuts,” itself started by two minor event producers named Erez Davids and Mason Hargrave, and which has seemingly emerged out of nowhere late last year. (“He is the producer responsible for reaching out both to Diplo, that DM he mentions on his IG is from Chris,” writes Patrikis’ rep.)

In that time, they’ve put on an extended hour-long set by a handful of Brooklyn DJs over in a nook of the Williamsburg Bridge, and put up a Los Angeles DJ named Lubelski “in a Manhattan basement.” Putting Diplo on the Jefferson Street L station marked a considerable advance in brand name and conceptual gambit. 

It was not the first time that Diplo has tried to play a pop-up show in Brooklyn, however. Last year, he tried to organize a somewhat impromptu set at Bushwick Inlet Park. “Cops came and told us to stop, now looking for a new space,” he later posted on Instagram and, instead, spun some songs at the more conventional Brooklyn Bowl. 

His efforts closer to Bushwick appeared more successful, per a high-quality,15-minute video put out by the “Raw Cuts” people. The video shows Diplo, like many before him at the Jefferson Street station, decamping to an Eighth Avenue-bound subway car and filling it with a throng of people in their twenties and professional cameramen. Standing in front of a subway door, Diplo wordlessly continued. 

By the time the train was passing under the East River, Thomas Wesley Pentz was spinning a minor Ice Spice deep cut (“Deli,” topical!) which blended seamlessly into an EDM remix of an old hit from the Weeknd. Eventually he wobbled out at Union Square, like so many before him, ready to begin the day. 

Images taken from the “Raw Cuts'” clip, “Diplo on the NYC Subway.”

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