Last updated: 01/15/2013 06:44:44 AM
There was a time in Derek Christoff's life when he didn't have many words. It's not that he didn't have a story. But he was stuck on the start.
In the late 90s, the young MC known as D-Sisive came up quickly in the Toronto hip-hop community with a string of well-liked singles, but his burgeoning profile was stopped cold with the illness and death of both of his parents in a six-year span. Grief and depression stole his creativity and motivation for the better part of a decade, but in a moment fit for fable, his lyrical inspiration returned suddenly one day while singing along to the Beach Boys on the radio. It was the new start D-Sisive's story needed. And he hasn't stopped since.
2008's The Book EP was nominated for a Juno and its single "Nobody With A Notepad" won the SOCAN ECHO Songwriting Prize. 2009's Let the Children Die was longlisted for that year's Polaris Music Prize (and would later get an elaborate send-off with a full-band live funeral after legal issues forced it out of production). The same year, he released Jonestown as a free download. Less than a year later, we got Vaudeville, and a year after that, the Jonestown sequel, Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye, back and forth between his story and others'. Along the way were a series of Hijacked singles, with D-Sisive rapping his own words over the music of such songs as Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" and Sigur Ros' "Festival," an homage to just some of his comprehensive influences and tastes.
November 2011 brings D-Sisive's latest, Run With the Creeps. It's a deeper dive back into himself, and with his wide-open online look at the creative process along the way, his most honest yet. The hunger, pain, humour, and scrutiny have been on display every day; he's forever brazen in ambition and as credulous as a kid. He's writing the whole thing down, sparing no detail and certainly no time.
D-Sisive is a disciple of hip-hop and a Bowie devotee. His eleven-year-old imagination was captured by Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff's "Nightmare On My Street," and later, by a legendary punk spectacle as heard on Creep single "GG Allin." There's something new everyday, and so he's running, trying to keep up with himself, trying to connect with his fellow creeps. There was a time he didn't have these words; didn't know how to say them. So now he's making sure he doesn't miss even one.