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180 Dizzee Tipping Points

My evening with Craig & Miles kicks off with a quick trip to Berwick Street 'Church' then a quicker call-in at 'Cheapos', another 2nd hand record store, a labryinth of dusty jumble-sale junked CDs, vinyl & VHS all caught in a time-warp, echoed by the ageless fascinatingly eccentric staff who've been there for years; I'd like to see people like them on TV, ruff/rugged/raw, like BBC's 'The Family', Paul Watson & Franc Roddam's seriously gripping pioneering reality TV show from the 70's - make way for the originals!!!

We moved on to the John Snow Pub where banter centered round Nathan Barley and its slow-burning genius from creator Chris Morris which provoked the first heated rants of the evening about Victor Lewis-Smith, his feud with Chris Morris, all things Hoxton, certain media companies who wear 'the emperor's new clothes' and how Brass Eye & The Day Today spoofed UK TV news so well and ahead of its time, TV news in the UK has become Brass Eye & The Day Today.


Conversation then turned all 'Tipping Point', those critical mass moments when (Pop)-Culture suddenly turns from underground to mass mainstream. With hip-hop & 'scratching', the 1st tipping point was 1975 when Grand Wizard Theodore invented the technique in his bedroom:

"I used to come home from school and go in my room and practice a lot and this particular day I came home and played my music too loud and my mom was banging on the door and when she opened the door I turned the music down but the music was still playing in my headphones and she was screaming 'If you don't turn the music down you better turn it off' and I had turned down the speakers but I was still holding the record and moving it back and forth listening in my headphones and I thought 'This really sounded something....interjecting another record with another record.' And as time went by I experimented with it trying other records and soon it became scratching."

The 2nd 'Tipping Point' was then catching DST cutting it up on TV in 1983 for a live Grammys performance of Herbie Hancock's seminal-scratch toon, "Rock It" which won a Grammy that year too.

"Rock It" is heavily referenced in 'Scratch', another essential pop-culture doc.; DJ Shadow's quotes on 'digging' for records samples are f*cking classic!!!

So, onto the junket:


On entering the arena, it did feel a bit surreal, Nathan Barley , with a touch of grime. Semtex was spinning bombs like Mike Skinner's new 'Beats' signings, the Mitchell Brother's with their smash, 'Routine Check' & Kano on Wonder's 'What Have You Done For Me?'. Couple of drinks, fried chicken strips & mini-burger nibbles and it was down to the VIP/Media area.


Hadn't seen Dizzee since interviewing him for Xfm's 'Rinse' in June 2003, just before his tipping point when he suddenly went from an fairly unknown 'Boy In The Corner' to youngest ever Mercury Award Prize Winner and more.

Dizzee RascalXfm -25.11.03.jpg

Nike had hooked up with Dizzee for a VERY limited Dirty Stank trainer, according to the PR there, making him the first UK rapper to do so - a possible Guinness World Record entry. How limited? 2 styles, 49 pairs of each!!!


So after bigging up his Beck Remix, I asked Dizzee who was going to get a pair of the trainers with packaging worth more than the shoe!!! He said, "Mates & family". I reminded him I was size 11 and promised not to put them on e-bay........yet!!!


When we left, 'nuff heated discussion about the madness surrounding 49-only limited edition Dizzee trainers, superbly spearheaded by Miles. Our rants summarised here:

Corporations trying too hard by manufacturing 'cool'. Exclusivity shouldn't be, and honestly can't be bought; true limited edition & collectabilty comes through 'happy accidents' e.g. all those Star Wars toy figures we smashed-up as kids, well some geeky kids treasured their precious C3P0, kept it boxed all those years and saw the pay-off over the years, via e-bay and the like. All those mums who insisted on those Panini sticker albums, scratch & sniffs and comics getting chucked, well, props to those who held tight, even shrink-wrapping their 1st edition Batman etc. Wouldn't Dizzee's fans want to buy these trainers? Were they even aware of the party? What's wrong with the mass production, like Nelly's 'Pimp Juice' or Roc-A-Wear, Sean John or Gwen Stefani's clothing range, 'L.A.M.B.', at least they're a bit more readily available. People should set trends not corporations trying to force them. Real B-Boy dress-sense was having the balls to sport fashion that at the time may have looked wrong but was so right in retrospect.

We then got Sneaker Freak deep; you bought that trainer because you believed in it and liked it, irrespective of it being mass-produced.

But 'limited' draws you deep into other debates like value of art - Picasso's poo, Bono's pubes etc. Anyway, the next morning Craig plopped this into my mailbox:


Only one manufactured.....

Posted on March 10, 2005 at 01:23 AM

2005 Green Bandana Productions Ltd. Website design by Steve Mannion.
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