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3. Diplo f/ Nicky Da B "Express Yourself" (2012)



In one song, Diplo took the beautiful, worldly, underexposed sound of New Orleans Bounce, thread his own crazy beat into the track's sound-makeup, threw in some dubstep undertones and sonic references to booming reggae radio, too. The result is an encouraging, immediately legendary tweak anthem: "Express Yourself." The song comes at you relentlessly, not once letting up on the rapid-fire beat or lyrics, debatably to a point of exhaustion. And yet: Three minutes and thirty seconds later, the feeling of "It's already over?" continues to linger listen after listen after listen. The video itself is so inspiring, a teacher even put her job on the line to truly express herself (#FreeCrunkBear). The banger yielded a trending topic that's still relevant on Instagram and Twitter—#expressyourself is tagged on photos of girls with their feet up on walls making it clap. But the real genius of "Express Yourself" isn't the legions of followers it gained, nor is it the video, but the core message at hand: twerking is just like so many other forms of dancing, in that it's not just someone moving their body, but someone expressing something about who they are. It's a simple revelation, but a really, really great one, the heart of why it inspired such a following, and one we're all the better for having. 

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