Diplo's 62-Acre Jamaican Jungle Mansion in Portland, Jamaica

Jamaica is often seen as paradise, especially by foreign investors. This sentiment was echoed in Architectural Digest’s recent feature on Diplo’s stunning estate in Portland, Jamaica. Diplo, the Grammy-winning DJ and co-founder of Major Lazer, unveiled his 62-acre property named Pompey in a promotional video for the magazine's upcoming June edition. However, the showcase has sparked significant controversy among the magazine's readership.

Many American readers have criticized Diplo's ownership of such a vast estate in Jamaica, likening it to historical exploitation and colonialism. The imagery of him riding a horse on his property has particularly drawn ire, symbolizing, for some, a modern-day echo of colonial pasts.

While some Jamaicans appreciate Diplo's choice of their homeland for his second home, they have voiced strong disapproval over his architectural choices and the use of international rather than local talent. The estate features Brazilian architecture, Mexican art, and Japanese accents, which many see as a disregard for Jamaican culture and expertise.

The Architectural Digest feature highlights Diplo's mansion, nestled in the hills of San San in Portland, a region known for its rich tourism history and celebrity visitors like Elizabeth Taylor, Ian Fleming, Jay Z, Beyonce, and Tom Cruise. The magazine focused on the estate’s extensive amenities, including a recording studio, wellness retreat, spa, and gym.

In an Instagram post, Architectural Digest wrote, “Today, we are welcomed by Diplo to tour his private jungle paradise in Jamaica. Since the beginning of his career, Jamaica has been a significant haven of inspiration for the Grammy award-winning DJ and producer, making it the perfect location for his tropical retreat.” Diplo himself praised the poured concrete construction, a rarity in the Caribbean, and expressed his admiration for Brazilian architecture.

Despite his enthusiasm, many Jamaicans were unhappy with the lack of Caribbean elements in the design, art, and furnishings of his Jamaican property. Critics argue that features like Diplo's estate drive up property prices, making it increasingly difficult for local residents to afford land. Some suggest there should be limits on how much land non-Jamaicans can own on the island.

Diplo has long regarded Jamaica as a source of artistic inspiration, describing the country as having a powerful cultural impact worldwide. Around ten years ago, he purchased the land to create an off-the-grid retreat for family and friends. Reflecting on the challenges of building the estate, he noted, “This project was all about patience. There were so many ways that it could have failed, but we kept finding solutions.”

World-renowned DJ and producer Thomas 'Diplo' Pentz has thus deepened his connection with Jamaica through Pompey, his 50-acre estate in Portland. Frequenting the island for nearly two decades to record and perform, Diplo speaks of Jamaica with great reverence, highlighting its magic and cultural significance.

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