With over 45 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify alone, 27-year-old Toronto MC DijahSB steps out of their comfort zone on their latest single “Brickyard Way.” The non-binary lyricist lets fans into their softer side as they rap about desiring submission from their lover. Dijah is set to follow up their latest body of work 2020 the Album with another cohesive collection promptly in 2021. After years of experimenting with their sound, DijahSB says that they finally found their pocket, and describes it as a Lo-Fi mix of new school and old-school. “I can do the upbeat stuff – and I like to do the things that will make people’s head nod, but I still like to keep the content. I don’t want to dumb down the lyrics just because the beat is nice,” they explain. Growing up, Dijah said they had to discover rap on their own because their parents were not “big music heads.”
The Brickyard Way rapper shares that they came out as non-binary to re-purpose some of the trauma they experienced during childhood being often regarded as a tomboy. “I was really confused as to why I kind of enjoyed things that were a little bit different than what society had deemed girly. It was difficult growing up and not understanding what the difference between gender, and sex, and sexuality is. It’s not really something you come in contact with until maybe high school or later. So, it was really just a way for me to regain that feeling I felt when I was growing up and kind of openly be myself without really caring about what other people think.” Reflecting on coming out, DijahSB says the decision came naturally after doing more research and learning exactly what it entitled, making it easier for them to identify as such.
When asked if they fear missing out on opportunities due to people not wanting to mis gender them, Dijah explained, “I don’t mind being identified as a woman. It’s more so for me (the decision to come out as non-binary). I’m very deep into womanhood and the things that kind of come with being a woman, or what society would deem as being a woman. I’m very much aligned with womanhood. More so for me, I just think that gender, and gender roles, and gender identities are so stupid. So I feel like there’s a brass difference between womanhood and identifying with those kinds of ideals, versus gender and the way you express yourself in terms of clothes and things like that.”
When it comes to handling criticism as an openly queer rapper, Dijah shares, “I don’t really receive any criticism other than the fact that people will kind of use it as a way to be fowl towards me. The only thing that I really see is people using slurs regarding my sexuality, and that’s to diss me and whatever. It’s never towards the music because they know when I do music it’s undeniable. They know they can’t say anything about the music. They’ll go directly to being personal, so I don’t really see that kind of criticism crossover to my music.”
Dijah’s catalog is filled with vulnerable unguarded lyrics that seemingly takes a lot of courage to say on record. The ability to do this is like a superpower to them, they explained. “As soon as I started talking about those things on record, when I saw how much it made people resonate with what I was saying, I just realized that there are so many people that are in that position. That feel like me, look like me, but they don’t have the capacity to express themselves the way that I do. So it’s a gift and a curse because at one end there’s nothing that you can say to me that I haven’t already said to myself. On the other end, people would use it to their advantage or against you because you’re vulnerable, right. You’re expressing things that people would rather just keep to themselves, so they’ll use that as a weapon and weaponize that towards you. So that’s the gift and the curse with it, but I’ll take the bad with the good and I know that it impacts a lot of people. Music impacts a lot of people, and their mental health, and how they view the world, and how they shape the world,” they confide.
“Brickyard Way” is described by Dijah as one of their softer songs. Laughing at the fact that they don’t really make “love songs” while amplifying their love for the hook on the song, Dijah shares, “I wrote it for somebody I’m no longer seeing, but it’s based on the street that they lived on – which is funny because I ended up living on that street as well. So I’ll just say I dedicate the song to myself.” The single was produced by Cheap Limousine who is a frequent collaborator of Dijah’s as he was credited on 6 of the 8 songs on their 2020 the album. On working with the producer, Dijah relays, “I don’t think he understands how much he’s helped me to find my sound and change my career.”
“Brickyard Way” is also scheduled to get a video treatment with the help of Dens, who runs a collective called Burn Industry. “It’s actually going to be a two-part video. We shot a video for “Broke Boi Anthem” off of ‘2020 the Album’, and then “Broke Boy Anthem” is going to go into “Brickyard Way” and tell a little bit of a story,” Dijah concludes.
With the release of their latest song “Brickyard Way” and a double video on the way, DijahSB has left their fans and supporters with a lot of music. However there is still more to look forward to, Dijah concedes. “I asked the people what they wanted. If they wanted me to space out a couple of singles or if they wanted a full length album. A lot of people are saying full length album, so I’m starting to write that right now. And that’s about it, that’s all I can tell.”
Stream “Brickyard Way” below, and follow DijahSB on Twitter to keep up with future releases.