D-SiSIVe performing as part of the DJ SERIOUS REVUE at the Opera House (735 Queen East), tonight (Thursday, March 29), 9:30 pm. $35/wristband, $15/door. 416-466-0313.
Being known as a nerd used to bug 20-year-old Toronto rap threat D-Sisive. That is, until he figured out how to turn the perception to his advantage. "When I started getting up onstage four years ago," explains D-Sisive, "people in the audience would start laughing and shouting 'Get off' before I even got near the microphone. I tried really hard to fit in. I just wanted to be a rapper like everyone else, so I'd rap about girls and shit like all the other guys. But it definitely wasn't working."
Once the laughing stock of the T-dot hiphop scene, the surprisingly skilled freestyler is still cracking up audiences, only now it's his uproariously hilarious rhymes -- referencing everything from Pasquale's Kitchen to Can-rock has-been Tom Cochrane -- that are making headz roll.
His stand-out contributions to popular Toronto mixed-disc projects like DJ Serious's Dim Sum, Mastermind's Volume 49: The Set-up and Volume 40: Street Legal, and the Plug Tunin' Show's Smokin' On Some Homegrown have established D-Sisive's rep for dropping the ill shit.
So what's next? A circus-themed concept album, the emergence of an R&B-crooning alter-ego, Alfred, and yet more baffled audiences wondering how the fool in the pigtails and Patrick Swayze T-shirt learned to rock a microphone.
"When I listened back to the demos I was recording, I realized my mistake was trying to conform. So I figured: I've always been a joker, maybe I should do some comical stuff about television shows, hockey, whatever -- things I knew about.
"Since people were calling me a nerd, I started rhyming about myself as the guy everyone thought was a nerd and started wearing my hair in pigtails. At this Rivoli show called The Next Best Shit, I got up in front of all these hardcore hiphop headz and I just stood there silent and everyone was just staring at me.
"After a minute or two, I started singing the theme from Family Ties, and the whole place erupted. I never heard applause like that before. When I started into my rhymes, the whole crowd got into them. People were on my side. That's when I knew I had something."