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D.O. has defied the odds as a rapper from Canada, becoming a certified international artist, a successful record label executive and a socially active community ambassador. He set a Guinness World Record when he freestyled for nearly nine hours in 2003, sold tens of thousands of CDs, hit #1 on U.S. College Hip Hop Radio charts and travelled the world performing for sold out crowds; D.O.’s success is defined in his own terms.
“I have a song called ‘Can’t Tell Me I Ain’t Made It,’ and it’s about how success shouldn’t be defined in terms of being only the .01% that ‘blows up,’ reveals D.O. “I tour the world on a regular basis, my music is consistently critically acclaimed and I influence hundreds of thousands of kids through my Stay Driven program. I come from a different side of this game, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t made it. Then again, it also doesn’t mean I’m finished.”
Born in Saskatchewan but of Nova Scotian heritage, D.O. graduated from Toronto’s York University in 2001. In 2003, XXL featured D.O. for his Guinness Record and he hit the road for the first of many tours, selling mixtapes from his trunk in the north-eastern U.S. Around the same time, D.O. created his school tour program, Stay Driven, and started investigating the inner workings of the music business. By 2007, D.O. was ready to release his debut album, Northstarr, the name which would eventually double as his label. D.O.’s music was instantly recognized and the album was nominated for a Toronto Independent Music Award. Northstarr also kick- started a spree of radio hits that would land him on Flow 93.5’s countdown at least once every year from 2006-2010.
D.O. found success in 2008 as one half of the duo Art of Fresh, whose music was featured in a television ad campaign for Volkswagen. The duo struck again in 2010 when their song “Get Free” was featured in a television ad campaign for Orville Redenbacher Popcorn. Later that year they released their sophomorealbum, When The Night Comes In, with the breakout single “Out Of This World” soaring to #1 on the U.S. College Hip-Hop Radio Charts. They reached international audiences with performances at the CMJ music festival in New York and MIDEM in Cannes France. In the last two years, the group has touredCanada twice, Europe (France, UK, Netherlands), Asia (Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong) and the US (Miami, NYC, Vegas).
Between his debut solo album and the Art of Fresh releases, D.O. released another solo album in 2009 titled Stay Driven. The album featured JUNO nominated production across the board from the likes of Classified, Slakah The Beatchild, Marco Polo and Metty the Dert Merchant (Sweatshop Union). “Now I Understand” was the lead single featuring Classified and achieved medium rotation on MuchMusic as well as 25,000 Youtube views.
Throughout this string of releases and constant domestic and international touring, D.O. also found time to build Northstarr Ent and established himself as a go to music executive for independent artists. Northstarr has represented up to 15 artists worldwide.
Somewhere between Tupac (in terms of social consciousness), Common (in terms of artistic integrity) and Jay-Z (in terms of business sense), stands D.O., a man who is bounded only by the hours in a day. And in 2012, D.O. will make his biggest splash to date with the release of Heavy In The Game. The album features the Classified produced singles “She Likes You” and “It’s On.”
Legendary MC Chuck D of Public Enemy said of the artist, “D.O. represents the new breed of MCs putting heat on the status quo of the rap game.”