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.
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.