Toronto, Ontario might not be the birthplace of hip hop but it did spark some of hip-hop’s most legendary underground lyricists. The rise of Canadian Hip hop in the late 1980's, it was the beginning where Devon, Maestro Fresh Wes and Dream Warriors did break into the mainstream for a brief time. Maestro's first chart hit, "Let Your Backbone Slide", was the first hip-hop single in Canada to break into the Top 40, and remains the best-selling Canadian hip-hop single of all time. Other talked about rap singles of this era include Maestro's "Drop the Needle", Devon's "Mr. Metro", Dream Warriors' "Wash Your Face in My Sink" and "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style", and Kish's "I Rhyme the World in 80 Days". All of which captured the raw art of street hip hop storytelling in the late 80s.
Standing on the shoulders of great Canadian MCs before him, Damir the rapper hopes to continue in their footsteps and make a name for himself. First releasing Blow the Sound back in 2001, and Live at the El Mocambo - Toronto, Ontario, a collection of tracks performed live at the legendary venue. The Historical Concert Venue El Mocambo - Toronto, Ontario, has been the heart of the Toronto Music Scene for over 100 years hosting events from Rock and Roll, Hip Hop and Rap. In 2002 Damir released Blow The Sound on BTS's label with an electronic alternative hip hop album feel. He eventually released his own full-length album Black and White featuring the hit track Business. Damir’s memorable verses I'll take my business elsewhere and What you think and feel is Lawless generated quite a buzz even today.
John Paul: You released your first Album Blow The Sound in 2001. Why did it take so long for you to come out with your first official album Black and White in 2007?
Damir: Because I wanted to complete my education. I wanted to finish what I started and same goes for music. I had to focus on my studies and exams and also get my life together. I had to put my mind in school mode but i still kept my music mind state until I completed all my exams to get back into music mode. So it took a little longer than I expected. School really grabs hold of your mind, and that didn’t help me, and on the other hand it did help me with new ideas, you know.
John Paul: How’d that affect you afterwards when you started working on Black and White? What were you thinking of or what mind state were you feelin?
Damir: I started doubting school and everything I learned, cause everything on paper makes the world seem so peaceful but in reality its totally different. I read about equality and yet we don't have that anywhere. It all started to feel like I'm being brainwashed cause I learned a lot of information that was simply useless. I support education, don't get me wrong. But you really have to love what your doing and love what you're learning so you don't become a hater and start hating what you're learning and that includes what you learn at school. And I don’t plan on going back. It has helped me learn about what I don't enjoy and what I enjoy more; which is music.
John Paul: What else can you say about traveling to Asia?
Damir: Ive seen a lot of hip hop culture with kids practicing break dancing out on the streets in Japan, Korea and Thailand. I’ve seen the whole movement growing all over the world. I think I’ve really learned a lot especially because I know where we came from. From living in Toronto, NYC and Tokyo and going to school, traveling the world to seeing kids across the world loving hip hop and want to embrace it and be like it. So I feel it’s growing and growing non-stop! And it happened naturally by music traveling over seas to people getting a chance to share each others cultures. It’s great.
John Paul: How do you want the world to remember you, when it’s all said and done? What do you want the world to know about Damir, whether it be music or whatever?
Damir: I mean, definitely my original alternative music and lyrics. And on top of that, I’m just a regular average normal type of guy, you know. I'm just a kid who made something of himself from nothing, everyone has paths they can take, mine was music. Finishing what I started is really important to me. Not just saying something for the sake of it. And I love all the fans, man. They’re the ones who keep me alive, without them I'm nothing.
I'm not as well known as the previous Canadian hero's Snow, Michie Mee, Dream Warriors and now K-os, Kardi, Swollen Members but there names I will never forget. And I cant forget to mention Trauma Unit the original name was a hip hop group out of the Toronto Parkdale area who I have mad respect for, never forget you, I love you man.
And I want people to see me as an artist who never gave up and people to remember my songs and know who Damir is. And to take my Business track literally; keep fighting for what you love to do! I call that success. Getting to do what you love to do; that's success. Cause that's the only way to live, there is no other way. Love-ing what you do - and no one can take that away from you or even stop you. That's success.
D - Hip hop's link Check Home Page http://www.damirworld.com
D - Hip Hop' Myspace Check out Visit Damir's Myspace Page * http://www.damirworld.com
Interview by: John Paul Music Culture for the Next Generation.