DJ Vadim ‘Friction’ / ‘Raps Don’t Grow On Trees’ / ‘The Terrorist’

  • RELEASED: April 1999
  • FORMAT: 12″
  • CAT No.: ZEN1279
  • DESIGN: Delta & Openmind
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: There are two versions of this sleeve, the European one and the US one, the colours on the US are inverted from the Euro version. The UK release has ‘Raps Don’t Grow On Trees’ on the flip and the US version has ‘The Terrorist’.
  • EXTRA ZEN: ninjatune page / BUY

This was the beginning of my collaboration with Dutch artist Boris Tellegen aka DELTA whose work I’d been following in various European graffiti magazines for the last few years. On Coldcut’s ‘Let Us Play’ tour in 1997 we stopped in Amsterdam and I went to Fat Beats looking for records and T-shirts. Inside not only did they have shirts with his designs on but also a custom-made Delta ‘shelf’ on the wall with a 3D cut out of his name. Talking to them it turned out that his studio was close by and they arranged a meet up later that evening.

As agreed he turned up and as soon as I walked into his studio I saw a Gundam model, a Spawn toy, a giant red and white canvas of his work and it all clicked. I was looking for a piece to buy and the red and white canvas was absolutely perfect, “but it is just a study”, he said – “well that’s good enough for me”, I said and we struck a deal there and then for it. It took several more months for me to get it as I couldn’t just put it in the tour bus and risk it being damaged so he packaged it up and brought it to the UK later. This piece was later featured as a full page in the first Scrawl book, a gig Delta got when the author visited my home and saw the canvas.

Anyway we stayed in touch and agreed to work on something, the perfect opportunity being DJ Vadim’s material as he wanted a different angle on graffiti for his sleeves. The first stage was a drawing for a 3D model, something quite basic which I added to with the yellowed paper and then dissected for the back cover with some hand drawn titles to carry on the theme. The US release had a different B side as it would be easier to sell if it included American rappers rather than British so I inverted the sleeve colours for this cover.