It might not seem obvious that Diplo would record a song with half of The Clash. Although both the top-tier producer and the iconic rock band have dabbled in overlapping styles, the songs they’re each most known for are separated not only by beats per minute but also decades. It’s only after you recall that Diplo is the one directly responsible for sampling The Clash’s “Straight to Hell” on M.I.A’s greatest hit, “Paper Planes,” that a summit between these artists seems logical, and potentially awesome.
And so, recently, two surviving Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon teamed up with Diplo and Grammy-winning rap-affiliated crooner Frank Ocean for a song called “Hero.” It’s a diverse assemblage of musicians, and that’s the point. They converged as part of Converse’s ongoing “Three Artists One Song” campaign, which has in previous years facilitated collaborations between the likes of Pharrell Williams, Santigold, and The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, and Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and James Murphy. As the song makes its way across the Internet, we provide some insight from the creators on its making. We caught up with Jones, Simonon, Diplo, and Converse CMO Geoff Cottrill at the Converse’s Rubber Tracks studio to talk about how the collaboration went down (see the video above).
Listen to the song in full below.