Saul Williams as Hip Hop’s Poet Laureate…

Posted in culture, music on September 6th, 2012 by urbanguy

“We have to continue to question our democracy, our leadership, our capitalism. If hip-hop isn’t addressing these issues, then (perhaps) it’s time to create a new kind of music.”

Had a deep chat with hip-hop artist, poet, actor, writer and singer Saul Williams for CBC Music. Fascinating brother. He’s in town later this week for his Chorus: A Spoken Word Tour.


Canada’s own Tamia reveals a Beautiful Surprise

Posted in culture, music on September 5th, 2012 by urbanguy

Connected with R&B’s Tamia (remember her?) for CBC Music recently, discussing her comeback album “Beautiful Surprise” and what she’s been up to in the past few years….

“She’s married to an American – pro basketball star Grant Hill– and has been living in the U.S. for years, but R&B songstress Tamia is still a Canadian gal at heart. “I still claim it,” the talented singer says over the phone from New York City. “I do come up a lot. My family and roots are all still there.”

Read the rest here.

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the urbanguy chronicles episode #4: a.k.a Subliminal

Posted in culture, music, TV on February 7th, 2012 by urbanguy

Episode #4 ” a.k.a Subliminal”

Toronto-based actor/artist/producer Sean Mauricette (a.k.a Subliminal) talks about his “soul-hop” music, his acting career and his passion for making a difference in the community. (10min.)

More about Sean Mauricette:

Black influences on the game of hockey not often spoken about (Sway Magazine)

Posted in culture on December 17th, 2011 by urbanguy

By Ryan B. Patrick

Despite the growing presence of African-Canadian players in the world of professional hockey—Jarome Iginla, Wayne Simmonds and PK Subban, to name a few—Canada’s national pastime is still largely considered a “white man’s sport.”

But many Canadians don’t realize that trademarks associated with the National Hockey League (NHL) such as the goalie butterfly playing style, the slap shot (which is largely credited to white player Frank Cook but was actually first taken by African-Canadian Eddie Martin), and more offensive-minded play, were all innovations introduced by African-Canadians in the early 1900s.

More specifically, it was players of the Halifax-based Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes in the 1920s who brought forth many of the game-changers. The league featured more than a dozen teams and 400 players from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Despite hardships and prejudice, this league—comprised of the sons and grandsons of runaway American slaves—would survive until the mid-1920s.

Sadly, the storied tradition of Black Canadian hockey players is as faded as the historical record itself, and white players of the era have often overshadowed these players’ memories and contributions, say Canadian historians and documentary filmmakers George and Darril Fosty. In 2007, the Fosty brothers released Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925. Based on extensive, painstaking research, the book uncovers the hidden history of hockey in Canada.

The roots of early Canadian hockey, note the Fosty brothers, originate with the North American Natives while the modern day game has many Black influences. But because ice hockey’s story has been based almost solely on the historical records maintained by early white historians, the brothers say, the contributions and innovations that Black Canadians made to the game have been forgotten, deliberately destroyed or conveniently ignored.

“When we released our book, we were immediately attacked by traditionalists,” says George. “Critics tried to disprove it by looking for anything that would question our research, but they actually enhanced some of our storylines by adding additional references. I don’t know that we’ll recover all of it but there were in fact at least 42 hockey teams that existed in the 1890s to 1930s that were all Black, that we know of. We still only have about 30 per cent of the story at this point. But that 30 per cent is so amazing and makes you wonder where the rest of it is.”

And despite today’s increased presence of African-Canadian and African-American players, the specter of racism still looms. Most recently, it surfaced this past September when Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds was taunted with a banana thrown by a fan in a preseason game. There is also a gap, say the brothers, in promoting hockey to Black Canadians.

“There’s been a poor marketing job by professional hockey in making today’s game relevant to African-Canadians, culturally,” says George’s brother Darril. “When white Canadians had hockey heroes like Guy Lafleur, who were easily recognizable as sports heroes, for Blacks there wasn’t the same thing.”

(Originally published in the December 2012 (Winter) issue of Sway Magazine)

Veteran Canadian Actor Richard Yearwood Reveals his InSecurity

Posted in culture, film, TV on November 30th, 2011 by urbanguy

Even during an 8 a.m. call, Richard Yearwood’s energy seems boundless as he cracks jokes and generally exhibits the warm, charismatic personality that’s carried him as a successful Black actor in Canada.

It’s a verve that’s working for Yearwood (currently seen as the “Ligerian” spy Benjamin N’udu on CBC’s InSecurity  tv sitcom)and stoked an enduring career spanning more than three decades of film, television, theatre and voice-over work.

“When I first started out, there were hardly any leading roles for people of colour in Canada,” he says. “You almost had to resign yourself to guest spots or playing the best friend of the main character. Flash forward to today and there’s so many opportunities for people of colour in series’ leads. It’s amazing, and night and day from when I started.”

Check out my full article on actor/producer Richard Yearwood (CBC’s InSecurity) over at Sway Magazine.

the urbanguy chronicles episode #3: “Candy Coated Killahz”

Posted in culture, TV on October 19th, 2011 by urbanguy

“the urbanguy chronicles”

One videographer, many fascinating people. Join Ryan B. Patrick (aka The UrbanGuy) as he conducts one-on-one interviews with many of Toronto’s most eclectic personalities — profiling the best in art, film, music, culture and more.

Episode #3 “Candy Coated Killahz”

Toronto-based Candy Coated Killahz (Tasha “Dash” Schumann and Michael “Icon the Anomali” Akinlabi) talk about the latest album “Neon Black” and their brand of hip-hop, R&B and electronic music. (6min.)

More about Candy Coated Killahz:
Photo Credit:
Special thanks to Aki Abe/Cosmos Records (652 Queen Street West)

Film & Edit: Ryan B. Patrick

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Dwayne Morgan launches Her Favourite Shoes and Idle Hands

Posted in culture, film on June 29th, 2011 by urbanguy

A short promo piece I did for Dwayne Morgan’s recent book/album launch. Check it.

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the urbanguy chronicles episode #1: “More or Les”

Posted in culture, film, music, TV on June 28th, 2011 by urbanguy

Episode #1 “More or Les”

Neither a novelty act or your average rapper, Toronto’s More or Les (real name Les Seaforth) is a passionate hip hop aficionado whose quirky style and deadpan delivery challenge conventional thinking about hip hop.

film/edits: Ryan B. Patrick

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VIDEO: Drake – “Marvins Room”

Posted in culture, music on June 28th, 2011 by urbanguy
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Sway Spring Soiree. It’s spring again.

Posted in culture, funky snob, music on April 16th, 2011 by urbanguy

It’s Spring again:

Check out the urbanguy at Sway Magazine’s Sway Spring Soiree!

It was a great event for a great cause. Check out Sway for the rest of the pics. Check out @urbanguy inside the Spring issue as well! Issue looks great and kudos go out to Sway Magazine editor Jon Sarpong and team.

It’s spring again indeed. The urbanguy is happy to note that there are a lot of great things/projects lined up…it’s more than flowers that will be blooming!

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in aj lee online