In Christmas of 2013, Ches “Nifty” Christian lay recovering in the hospital after donating 67% of his liver to his little sister. She’d been given just days to live after her own liver suddenly mysteriously failed.
During those tough post-surgery weeks, Canada’s first rap teacher turned his mind towards making it back to his students. School was about to start in less than two weeks, and he needed to be there. Two weeks later, armed with a walking cane, Nif willed himself back onto Centennial College’s campus. Physically, he was still healing. Mentally, he was ready to get back to the music.
It’s always been about the music.
Ten years earlier, he went by N.I.F.T.Y., an evolving acronym which first stood for “Nubian Intelligence From The Yahweh”, and then “Nothing’s Impossible For The Youth”. The moniker grew along with him. It shifted as his musical focus expanded. It saw him through many seasons of accomplishments. His work as N.I.F.T.Y. earned him multiple hip hop award nominations across a career that spanned a decade. His podcast, the wildly popular Nifty Christian Radio Show (which he produced as well as co-hosted) snagged a crystal mic award nomination for “Best Internet Radio Show of the Year.”
Nif continued to push his craft to greater heights, in 2012 becoming the very first rap teacher at Centennial College’s Music Industry Arts and Performance Program. (MIAP)
In early 2014, shortly after the last round of meds from the surgery that previous December, his daughter was born. Nif decided that it was time to be a daddy and place music on hold. “I took a break from everything (except teaching) when my daughter was born. I needed to really pour into her since she’s on the spectrum”, he recalls after learning of his little girl’s Autism diagnosis.
Married for over ten years, Nif committed himself during the hiatus to family. Then, as now, his mind was set on improving the lives and mindsets of his family, the youth and his community at large. Through it all though, he never stopped working on music. Now, he even has the title of producer under his belt.
His latest single, “Waiting to Exhale” challenges the privileged community to re-consider their stance: “All Lives Can’t Matter Until Mine Does Too”.
Today, he’s emerged from his silence, known as Nifty Christian, with something to say. His latest single, “Waiting to Exhale” (produced by himself), throws all his weight behind the BLM movement, and challenges the privileged community to re-consider their stance: “All Lives Can’t Matter Until Mine Does Too”.
Nifty continues to give to his community; speaking in churches, teaching on campus, and giving his time to various workshops. Most of all though, he dedicates himself to serving up positive, head nodding hip-hop music to challenge mainstream agendas.
Connect with him personally on Instagram and Facebook @niftychristian, and find his beats via @bignifbeats.