About D.O.

Duane Gibson aka D.O. is a Guinness World Record setting rapper, author, and University graduate that has been inspiring hundreds of thousands of youth since 2001.  Gibson has spoken at more than 500 schools focusing on anti-bullying, literacy and character education.  In addition to speaking, D.O. has released several chart topping songs on the radio and had dozens of videos that have played in rotation on MuchMusic. In the last two years, he has performed in Taiwan, Japan, England, France, Las Vegas and Miami. In 2014, he wrote curriculum for the Toronto Disctrict School Board’s new Hip-Hop curriculum.

D.O. stands for “Defy the Odds.” As a child growing up in small towns across Canada, no one expected a young Duane Gibson to become a rap star.

In addition to being a rapper, Gibson is a University graduate. An English major, he graduated from York University with an Honours Degree and earned a spot on the Dean’s List after writing an A plus thesis entitled “Rap as a Continuum of African-American Linguistic Practices.”

After graduating, Gibson became a part time teacher/tutor, teaching after school English classes in Scarborough, Ontario. On the weekends he taught learn to read classes to junior kindergarten students.

In 2001, Gibson was asked to speak to a class of students about how he was able to be a rapper but also graduate from University. Following the talk, a teacher suggested he should speak at her husband’s school. In a few short months, Gibson was fielding requests to speak and perform at dozens of schools and Stay Driven was born.

In 2003, D.O. set his sights on another goal – a World Record. On July of 2003, D.O. set a Guinness World Record by freestyling for 8 hours and 45 minutes. D.O. was featured on MuchMusic and MTV following the World Record setting feat.

Since setting the Guinness Record, D.O. stayed busy releasing music while touring worldwide. In 2012, he released his first book “Stay Driven.”

D.O.’s message to youth is that setting goals and persevering is the key to success. Growing up in communities where he was the only child of colour, D.O. learned at an early age what it is like to be different from the crowd. He confronted bullies, dealt with racism, and overcame shyness by believing in himself and following thru on his goals. D.O.’s message to youth is that “Can’t nobody hold you down!”