D-SISIVE at the Drake Underground, Thursday, July 11. Rating: NNN
Toronto emcee D-Sisive (Derek Christoff) and his girlfriend are having a baby. So why not celebrate with a few numbers at the Drake Underground? As his very pregnant partner sold merch in the back, D-Sisive opened with a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sing-along before launching into a song from his new album, and a nice selection of his back catalogue.
D-Sisive has a silly onstage shtick, which is a nice contrast to his honest accounts of depression, trouble at home and the death of his parents. Some of his raps are funny and self-deprecating. Sad or silly, they're always intelligent. It's obvious why he's been nominated for Junos and was long-listed for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize.
Not to be a baby-shower-party-pooper, but there were too many guest performances by less-talented emcees. Adam Bomb and the Antiheroes made fine, energetic appearances. But a performance of How To Murder Your Favourite Rapper by Kitchener emcee Nameless Kx only succeeded in killing the energy completely. D-Sisive told the crowd that the most important ship in the world is friendship, and that is the only reason imaginable why the two would be sharing a stage.
It was an uphill battle from there, but D-Sisive turned things around by the last couple of songs, aided by Techtwelve on the ones and twos (who was excellent the entire night). I Love A Girl, with its sweet piano loop, was a particularly irresistible tune. Very appropriate, considering the occasion. They're expecting a girl.