A mixture of deliberate hiatuses, moniker changes, and general apathy for the Canadian rap scene have kept Toronto’s D-Sisve well below the radar, despite the fact that the wry lyricist has been plying superb rap music for over two decades. “The Great Mr. Nobody [one]” arrived this Tuesday after a series of pushbacks, but the 23-track monster is finally here, and it’s classic Derek Christoff.
D-Sisive’s most visible strength is wordplay, as the JUNO-nominated emcee calmly and lucidly lays out his verses. He’s got the sardonic delivery of Sole (see “Lil’ Romeo”), though he rarely gets as venomous as the Anticon founder. His bars also smack of Sage Francis’ and his jaded veteran hindsight. As evidenced on “The Great Mr. Nobody [one],” he can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with either underground legend, and this album plops him back into contention.
“The Great Mr. Nobody [one]”‘s tracklist is peppered with excellent producers, including Classified, Muneshine, Arkeologists, Alibi, and Evidence of Dilated People (who also feature on “Battleaxe”). The production really belies D-Sisive’s throwback sensibility. Raw drums and circles of keys populate each track, and the tape, as a whole, uses samples creatively – most notably the reworking of Beck’s “Loser” on “Bozo Nightmare” and the GG Allin snippets in bonus track “GG Allin.”
Despite the on-point sampling and heady work on the pianos and drum machines, what makes D-Sisive such an enjoyable listen is his gravelly delivery. Everything – from the deepest absurdities of “The Weird One” to the earnest confessions on “Golden Lullaby” – is laid out on the same disaffected, matter-of-fact keel. It enhances the sarcasm while simultaneously increasing the impact. Though the album gets dark quickly, D-Sisive can be morose just as easily as he’s goofy. It operates on a hair trigger, and he flips styles with the nuance of 20 years in the scene.
The title of the release suggests that this is only the first of a series, and hopefully like the “Jonestown” series before it, the “The Great Mr. Nobody” family of records will go down as yet another entry in the URBNET emcee’s impressive discography.