Rapper and motivational personality D.O. Gibson was hiphopping all over School District 57, this week. Gibson was making his third foray into the territories of the Lheidli, Tse'khene and Simpcw. It's his first time here since COVID-19 halted the regular occurrences of cultural performances in our schools, however, so he and the students were eager to meet each other again.
Gibson has a background that represents many regions of Canada. He was born in Saskatchewan, raised in southern Ontario, with Nova Scotia family roots, and is now based in Toronto. He has hit No. 1 on the U.S. college hiphop radio charts, sold piles of CDs and waves of concert tickets inside and outside of Canada, authored a pair of books (so far), and set the Guinness World Record for freestyle rapping at almost nine consecutive hours.
He delivers high-energy presentations that feature some hiphop techniques, some inspirational themes, and a lot of lessons in the power of creativity, when he gets in front of the kids and gets them to join him in the rhythm and story of his genre.
"There are stories and lessons built into everything he does, and the kids love it all," said Linda Picton, principal of Heritage Elementary School, one of the locations Gibson visited this week. "He keeps talking about being respectful, that'sa big part of his message – to your parents, your teachers, yourself."
"It was the best possible first cultural event to offer our kids, after having none for so long," said vice-principal Kelsey McWhinnie.
Gibson was able to present his infectious music-based presentation at several schools in Prince George, but also rural school Nukko Lake Elementary and McBride Secondary as well. He is one of many touring performers involved in School District 57's cultural performance slate that can now resume regular programming after two years of disruption.