Even Canada’s fastest rising MC still has hurdles to climb.
Things couldn’t have been more promising for DijahSB after back-to-back accolades on their debut 2020 Album and last year’s Head above the waters, which not only led to extensive Canadian media coverage, but also a shoutout from the one and only Kid Cudi. But just as the increasingly high-profile Toronto rapper was building on that momentum for a follow-up, 2022 EP, they were caught off guard by the amateurish gesture of a key collaborator. DijahSB didn’t let that taint their shine, thankfully, and the agility needed to recover resulted in songs that give them a sense of accomplishment rivaling the fanfare the EP received. As the rapper said on Twitter on March 7 in response to praise for 2022 “Been a Star” key track:
The beatmaker’s maddening demise didn’t end there, but also on four of the EP’s five other tracks, DijahSB tweeted.
Asked about this by Complex Canada, the rapper said, “It’s amazing that people are standing up for the records that I had to change.” This is because he rubbed shoulders with the strict practice of writing at the rhythm of the rapper. The failure of such an integral part of their process left them with “some doubt if it would sound as natural or as good as the originals”.
IInstead, DijahSB raved about the opposite, saying, “Some people even say the newer beats sound better.”
Damage control came courtesy of Cheap Limousine. His music couldn’t sound more different than his name as it’s packed with what DijahSB calls “beautiful synths and drum loops” which led to the duo collaborating on a number of earlier songs like “C’est La Vie”. and “Mama Said”. .” Cheap Limousine, meanwhile, told Complex on Instagram DM that it’s a pleasure to work with DijahSB because they “sound both old and new. Right now, that’s what I’m looking for in new artists.
The rest 2022 The track “Things” was produced by beloved Canadian hip-hop group Keys N Krates. In an email, the trio described how they did the off-the-cuff kick and were happy to see DijahSB follow suit with a “raw approach, and spitting real stuff from a real place.”
2022 remaining contributor, fledgling R&B idol Terrell Morris, calls DijahSB’s work ethic “unmatched”. Morris laid down his feathery upper register on the key track from the single and EP “Green Line.” It’s an ode not just to taking the TTC, but to commuters commuting to work for flashier commuting and other status symbols in the budget pressure cooker that is Toronto. Terrell has no doubt that DijahSB will continue to climb this ladder and many more, saying: “I’ve known them personally for over a decade, and every song I’ve heard is better than the last. There’s something so rewarding about working with someone who puts their all into their job, so when they asked me to ride the Green Line, I jumped at the chance. .
“We are not afraid to stand up for queer artists in Canada. Because we exist, and we are here, and we receive support. Although compared to other places, I’m actually not too sure.
Whether it’s Keys N Krates, Cheap Limo, go-to Head above the waters producer Harrison, or others, DijahSB says one thing binds their eclectic collaborators: “A bouncy atmosphere. Lo-fi house-hip-hop fusion. It’s my pocket.
The rapper hit a similar lyrical sweet spot on 2022. They dismantle rivals who bring “a gun to a bomb fight,” then compare themselves to NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon on key track “Daily” (although they admit a basketball comparison- more accurate ball would be the subtly punchy Allen Iverson, a poster which visibly adorns DijahSB’s bedroom wall during our Zoom call).
Yes, these blusters are fun. But the MC is all the more gifted for down-to-earth and bare rhymes. First examples on 2022 include bans on taking out payday loans and fighting to maintain public services. DijahSB’s gripping snapshots of such stresses aren’t just “things I went through and over” as a former retail worker who was stranded in expensive Toronto until they reached the pinnacle of hip hop. The rapper also wants to appease struggling fans through music. And when an older artist who did the same for DijahSB shouted out his music, the Toronto rapper knew he was now part of a special bloodline.
Yes, none other than the deep-voiced but tender-hearted Kid Cudi retweeted one of DijahSB’s performances last summer, calling it “tasty.” This inspired the young artist to release an entire EP titled Tasty Raps, Vol. 1. But on top of that, the co-signer gave DijahSB a special “confidence boost.” After all, as the Canadian artist puts it, Cudi was “one of the originators of being open and vulnerable, of the grip on the chin and of expressing true feelings in front of millions of people. He is one of those who have innovated in this field.
Today, fans wouldn’t stop agreeing that DijahSB is picking up the torch of Cudi’s vulnerability – they’d also call the budding rapper an innovator in their own right, as a proudly non-binary artist in a genre once known for homophobia and toxic masculinity. So does DijahSB see himself in good company alongside fellow Canadian MCs Backxwash (who won the Polaris Prize with goth rap pioneer God has nothing to do with it, leave him out of itand spearheading transgender visibility in hip-hop) and Haviah Mighty (whose recent stock Exchange includes the queer rap narrative “Coulda Been U”)?
DijahSB admits to not considering the notion yet, but agrees: “WWe are not afraid to stand up for queer artists in Canada. Because we exist, and we are here, and we receive support. Although compared to other places, I’m actually not too sure.
Anyway, some LGBTQ+ fans have told DijahSB how uplifting their music is. For the rapper, it is “beyond anything I could have dreamed of. I had never realized until then that I could do so much for the community in this way. That it’s more than music.
But of course, DijahSB deftly blends LGBTQ+ representation, mental health, economic turmoil, and other meaningful themes with a fun flow that bounces as confidently as the beats put forth by its collaborators. However, that timely yet timeless quality that Cheap Limousine praised is about to incorporate new sonic nuances. Calls from DijahSB 2022 EP a final collection of songs they couldn’t wait for fans to hear, before looking into a more experimental album with new producers.
DijahSB says, “The EP had to remind everyone, ‘This is what I do.’ But you never want to get too comfortable or have things start to sound the same. So hopefully my next album will come out as something that’s still me, but it’s new and different and sounds fresher.