Rapper Duane “D.O.” Gibson is stopping in Abbotsford on Thursday at Clayburn Middle School to perform and speak to students. Submitted photo

Abby Schools

Rapper D.O. Gibson coming to Abbotsford’s Clayburn Middle School

Gibson to perform, speak to students, using hip hop to convey a positive message

An Ontario-based rapper will be at Abbotsford’s Clayburn Middle School on Thursday (May 2) as part of a 26-date B.C. school tour.

On top of rapping, Duane “D.O.” Gibson is a motivational speaker, who will put on a one-hour assembly, combining speaking and live performances to engage the students in attendance.

In the program, called In the Zone, Gibson talks about leadership, “surrounding yourself with the right friend group” and life skills, using hip hop as a medium.

RELATED: School of Rap: Music program promotes positive messages

RELATED: Abbotsford Indigenous students show off their skills with music videos

“I think I’m saying the same thing that teachers and parents say to kids, but I think being a rapper (helps), and the fact that most kids grow up listening to hip hop,” Gibson said.

“Whether they do or not, they are influenced by hip-hop culture, and I think I’m telling them something in a way that they can understand it and that they want to listen to it. So I think hip hop’s a great medium for connecting with youth.”

For one, Gibson talks about finding positive influences in life, and often influence comes from culture more broadly – particularly in hip-hop culture.

“I would also look to some rappers, and I was fortunate enough that I came across rappers like Fresh Prince, Will Smith, and watching that show as a kid and seeing the life lessons that were passed toward me, and not even thinking of it – just enjoying the show – was a way for me to understand about things I could do to lead a successful life,” Gibson said.

That outlook is reflected in Gibson’s music as well, with a positive tone touching much of the prolific rapper’s music. Since 2007, Gibson has put out 11 full-length albums and 25 singles, a rate of nearly one full-length and two singles per year.

While it may be difficult to imagine putting out music at that rate, Gibson’s stamina is also how he made his name, after setting the world record for the longest freestyle rap, at eight hours 45 minutes.

“That was a cool way to break into the game, and what I noticed from that was I was getting more attention in the U.S. than I was in Canada, so I started spending more time in the U.S.,” Gibson said, adding that he thought at the time that success was something to be found south of the border.

“Then I realized that, from hanging out with rappers, my style and who I was was different from them, and so I came back to Canada and I worked on just telling my own story in my raps.”

Gibson initially cites Will Smith as a role model, but north of the border, he also notes Drake and Maestro Fresh-Wes, the latter of whom gets a particular mention in Gibson’s performances as a pioneer in Canadian hip hop.

“I told all my friends I want to be a rapper, and … they said, ‘You can’t be a rapper; you’re from Canada,’ ” Gibson said. “When I used to say that, everybody would laugh. Now, just the teachers laugh, but the kids nowadays say, ‘What do you mean? There are rappers in Canada.’ ”

Find more of our coverage on the Abbotsford School District here.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Kids get free pizza for breakfast, thanks to Abbotsford restaurant

Pizza Garden holds giveway on Thursday, Oct. 24

Westbound Highway 1 crash in Langley

Collision occurred just past 264th Street, left lane is blocked

Abbotsford Police officer exchanged ‘inappropriate messages,’ says report

Office of Police Complaint Commissioner releases annual report

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

Trudeau: Climate and pipeline are priorities after election

Newly re-elected Trudeau wants to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion quickly

Olympian Brent Hayden returning to competition after seven years away

The 36-year-old has been training in Vancouver for several weeks

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Faster response may have prevented fatal outcome at B.C. trampoline park

Coroner’s report rules Greater Victoria father Jay Greenwood’s death accidental

Police watchdog investigates early morning fatality in Langley

Man died at scene following struggle with RCMP officers

Homicide team deployed in Coquitlam

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team investigating near Seaton Avenue, Ducklow Street

100-pound pumpkin stolen a second time from B.C. business

According to security footage, a man and woman took the pumpkin on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.

Most Read