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Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub

Top Ranking
Mixtape by
ReleasedJuly 15, 2008
GenreHip hop, dub, electronic, post-punk, reggae, psychedelic, mash-up
LabelMad Decent
ProducerDiplo, Santi White
Santigold chronology
Top Ranking
Master of My Make-Believe
Diplo chronology
Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub
Decent Work for Decent Pay

Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub is the first mixtape by American musician and singer Santigold (then going by Santogold) and Philadelphia-based DJ Diplo, released on July 15, 2008.[1]


Top Ranking features remixes of songs from Santogold's debut album, as well as remixes of other artists. Santogold also has previously unreleased songs on the mixtape, including a cover of The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton", with lyrics altered to refer to Brooklyn.[2] "Guns of Brooklyn" and "Get It Up", a collaboration with M.I.A. that heavily samples Gorilla Zoe's "Hood Nigga" and drumming by Northern Cree, were leaked to the blogosphere prior to the mixtape's release.[2][3][4][5] An alternate version of "Get It Up" featuring Esau Mwamwaya rather than Gorilla Zoe also appeared on the internet.[6] The album was released for a short period of time on the internet as a free download.[7]

The Diplo remix of "I'm a Lady", which features Amanda Blank, was later included in its entirety on Blank's 2009 album I Love You.

After taking inspiration from a Siouxsie and the Banshees song for her track "My Superman" on her debut album,[8] Santogold sampled for this mix tape another song of their Kaleidoscope, "Lunar Camel".

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Rolling Stone[11]
Pitchfork Media(8.0/10.0)[12]
Slant Magazine[13]

The mixtape has received comparisons to M.I.A. and Diplo's 2004 mixtape, Piracy Funds Terrorism.[3][14] However, Pitchfork Media stated that "the similarities between this collaboration and Diplo's first-- 2004's M.I.A.-trumpeting Piracy Funds Terrorism mix-- are as superficial as those between M.I.A. and Santogold themselves."[15] According to NME, Top Ranking "expands on her [Santogold's] debut's cultural crossover", incorporating "hyphy, crunk, classic dub and new wave".[16] The review continued that the mixtape "is a must-have" either "as a standalone mixtape or a perfect companion to Santogold".[16] Exclaim! said that Top Ranking "showcases Santogold's steeze and flexibility as an MC/singer."[17] They praised Diplo's "global and eclectic" production, calling Top Ranking "a top-notch mixtape that will hopefully find its way up from the underground."[17] Idolator labelled the disc "an entertaining listen, with most of the disparate influences that influence Santogold's debut appearing in one form or another."[18] Slant Magazine said that "Top Ranking's hotness can't—and shouldn't—be downplayed", but also that it doesn't distinguish itself from Piracy Funds Terrorism and that "Santogold's unique essence feels lost amid the clutter."[19]

Top Ranking was named one of 2008's five best mixtapes by The Guardian.[20] The publication also named the Diplo Remix of "I'm a Lady" featuring Amanda Blank one of the "singles" of the year.[21]

Track listing

  1. "Dub Selection Intro"
  2. Three 6 Mafia – "Late Night" (Unstoppable Mix)
  3. Santogold – "Shuv It" (Disco D Blend)
  4. Santogold – "I'm A Lady" (Diplo Mix feat. Amanda Blank)
  5. Sir Mix-a-Lot – "Posse on Broadway"
  6. Santogold – "Lights Out" (Diplo's Panda Bear Mix)
  7. Aretha Franklin – "Save Me"
  8. Devo – "Be Stiff"
  9. The B-52's – "Mesopotamia"
  10. Gerri and the Holograms – "Gerri and the Holograms"
  11. Santogold – "Anne" (Switch Mix)
  12. Santogold – "L.E.S. Artistes" (XXXchange Mix feat. Mavado)
  13. Cutty Ranks – "Dutty Six Pack"
  14. Santogold – "You'll Find a Way" (Grame & Switch Mix feat. Kid Cudi) / Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Lunar Camel"
  15. Richie Spice & Ratatat – "Marijuana"
  16. Desmond Dekker – "Shanty Town"
  17. Santogold – "Guns of Brooklyn"
  18. The Dixie Cups – "Iko Iko"
  19. Tony Matterhorn – "Big Belly Guns"
  20. Santogold – "Get It Up" (Radioclit Mix feat. M.I.A., Gorilla Zoe, and Northern Cree )
  21. Mark Ronson In Studio
  22. Trouble Andrew – "Run - Hide"
  23. Sister Nancy – "Pigeon Rock"
  24. Nora Dean – "Barbwire"
  25. Shinehead – "Know How Fe Chat"
  26. The Clash – "Ghetto Defendant"
  27. Skream & Warrior Queen – "Check It"
  28. Santogold & Benga – "Unstoppable" / "Night Dub"
  29. Shawty Lo & Skream – "Dey Know" / "Stagger"
  30. Santogold – "Creator" (Mumdance Mix feat. Jammer, Badness, Chronik Rage, Slikman and Tempz)
  31. Xray - "Turbulence Dubplate" (Starstruck Diplo Mix)
  32. Barrington Levy – "Send a Moses"
  33. Prince Jazzbo – "Ital Corner"
  34. Santogold – "Icarus"
  35. Santogold & Diplo – "Right Brigade"

Covers and samples


  1. ^ "Top Ranking". Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  2. ^ a b c Ehren Gresehover (2008-07-18). "Santogold covers the Clash, sort of". New York. Bruce Wasserstein. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  3. ^ a b Paul Thompson (2008-07-18). "Santogold and Diplo team for Top Ranking mixtape". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  4. ^ Mark Richardson (2008-07-17). ""Guns of Brooklyn" (The Clash cover)". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  5. ^ Fish Griwkowsky (2022-10-27). ""Northern Cree celebrates 40 years with new record and concert at the Arden Theatre"". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  6. ^ "Esau Mwamwaya f. MIA & Santogold, "Get It Up"". The Fader. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
  7. ^ "Santogold and Diplo mixtape available to download for free". NME. IPC Media. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  8. ^ Hresko, Lisa (2008-04-28). "SANTOGOLD: All That Glitters Is Santogold". CMJ. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. "'My Superman' is an interpolation of a Siouxsie Sioux song, 'Red Light,'" she explains. "It was inspired by that [song]."
  9. ^ Exclaim! review
  10. ^ NME review
  11. ^ Rolling Stone review
  12. ^ Pitchfork Media review Archived 2008-08-04 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Slant Magazine review
  14. ^ "Santogold vs Diplo". Fact Magazine. Vinyl Factory Publishing. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  15. ^ Mark Pytlik (2008-07-29). "Santogold/Diplo: Top Ranking [Mad Decent; 2008]". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  16. ^ a b Priya Elan (2008-09-05). "Santogold Vs Diplo". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  17. ^ a b "Santogold & Diplo - Top Ranking". Exclaim!. 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  18. ^ "Diplo, Santogold trip down hip-hop memory lane". Idolator. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  19. ^ Ed Gonzalez (2008-07-30). "Diplo and Santogold: Top Ranking". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
  20. ^ "2008 in lists: Five best mixtapes out there somewhere to download". The Guardian. 2008-12-13. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  21. ^ "The Guide's 13 singles of the year". The Guardian. 2008-12-13. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  22. ^ J. Edward Keyes (2008-07-25). "Single Minded: The Killers, Wu-Tang Clan, Santogold and The Cure". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  23. ^ Marc Hogan (2008-08-11). " Santogold: "Lights Out" [Video]". Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  24. ^ "Esau Mwamwaya f. MIA & Santogold, "Get It Up"". The Fader. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
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