Dip Diver: Making Waves and Paying Homage to Hip Hop


Dip Diver: Making Waves and Paying Homage to Hip Hop

Interview By Leslie Cunningham

I hope you can swim or at least back stroke, because this article is meant to be read under water. I am seriously excited about Dip Diver, a peculiarly masked Chicago duo making waves in the underground scene with beats and rhymes that pay homage to some of the big Hip Hop fish. I’ve known Dialo Askia as a talented music journalist who has in the past added some dope words to the pages of TRIBES. In one feature article, he wrote about Nowenen, the genius behind This Day Amine. So, when Dialo and Nowenen decided to come together to create Agua Lung, I couldn’t wait to listen and learn more.

Dip Diver


TRIBES: What is the meaning of the name “Dip Diver”?

Nowenen: We come from freshness and always being dipped in Lo, Woolrich, Wally’s, Diadora, Bjorn Borg, Fila, etc.  But we also come from having knowledge of self, being right and exact studying math, science, man, woman and child, etc. The term dip dive dates back to the song Superrappin’ by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, and that term has moved on from Puba and Lakim Shabazz to Organized Konfusion to Wu Tang.

TRIBES: How did Dip Diver get started?

Dialo Askia: Nowenen and I have been writing verses for years, though not concentrating on rapping. He suggested we do an album. To do it properly we had to craft our own sound to be sufficiently in our own lane. We created our first CD with the intention of no one outside of ourselves and immediate circle hearing it. It made its way outside those boundaries and the consensus was “do another one!”

TRIBES: How is the Dip Diver sound created?

Dialo Askia: There is no set structure. Sometimes Nowenen and I brainstorm ideas to come up with concepts. Sometimes we come up with ideas individually and present to the other. We work on the music together. If one of us loves a track and the other is on the fence, we don’t use it.  If we aren’t both like “That’s it!” we move on. Most interesting is how we write. We never write together, but still seem to stay on the same page. We often times reference the same things in a song. For example, “Deen” is a song where we’re each conversing with a woman. Somehow we both reference gluten-free. We’re in sync.

TRIBES: What was happening in your life that inspired the tracks on “aqua lung?”

Dialo Askia: Everything and anything. Inspiration came from everywhere at all times. I was having breakfast on vacation saying a rhyme about the food. It made the album.

Nowenen:  When we went to record, my mother had passed away, and in my sorrow for her absence, I was thinking, “Wow, she won’t be able to witness this freshness.”  Read the full interview now in the Spring 2017 Issue # 37. 

Visit dipdiver.bandcamp.com.

TRIBES Magazine Launches the Spring 2017 Issue



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Editor’s Intro by By Patricia R. Corbett

When publisher Leslie Cunningham approached me about relaunching TRIBES Magazine after a five-year hiatus, I accepted without hesitation. Working for a re-emerging, but well-established magazine is incredibly exhilarating and challenging. In 2017, artists all over the world and in our own backyard of Durham, North Carolina are challenged to maintain their art practice amid political and social unrest. Having recently graduated with my MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, I too am bound to transcend, witness, and create alongside my sister and brother artists while witnessing chaos at home and abroad.

As the new Editor of TRIBES, my goal is to maintain the original luster of the magazine and to develop content that reaches a wider audience. All original sections remain intact with only a few minor changes to accommodate expansion. We remain committed to highlighting the east coast underground art and culture scene, but readers will notice a seamless shift to covering national and international artists and various mediums that speak to a variety of audiences. I am pleased to be a member of the TRIBES staff. Together we will discover, explore, and share art making from around the globe.


The contents of our upcoming issues represent the struggle, pursuit, and the embrace of identity, language, space, and sound. To begin, we are giving a shout out to four British women breaking ground in hip hop music. You will discover the artistry of poet Dasan Ahanu as he expounds on Everything Worth Fighting For: A Exploration of Being Black in America, the peculiarly masked Chicago duo Dip Diver and their homage to hip hop, Dip Diverbrilliant commentary based on her book Spill, the witty shade of UK Hip Hop Queen Lady Leshurr, and trans artist and author Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi’s embrace of art, identity, and ancestry. As Editor, I am honored to sit in the presence of these artists and introduce them to you through the pages of TRIBES. Special thanks to the writers and contributors who went underground and across an ocean to excavate this powerful art.

Welcome to the reimagining of TRIBES Magazine. Whether you hold the magazine in your hands or soak in the vibes through your monitor, may the stories, words, lyrics, poetry, and photographs contained within these issues, inspire the artist in you! Enjoy!