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

Abbotsford’s newest public art unveiled in historic downtown

Mural adorns back of Hemingway’s Books on Montrose Avenue

Abbotsford parents invited to anti-gang education session

Presenters to discern myth from reality, offer warning signs that youths are getting into gangs

Welcome to 89 years at the same Abbotsford address

Philip Sheffield lunch brings past students together one more time

Abbotsford firefighters knock down house fire before it can spread

No one believed to be inside structure at the time of the fire on Clayburn Road Saturday morning

Abbotsford youths grill mayor on environmental policy at rally

Local youths continued climate strike as worldwide action takes place in hundreds of cities

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Most Read