Ron Dias
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Ron Dias

Band Hip Hop Soul


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"Ron Dias hearts Toronto"

Ron Dias hearts Toronto
by Rob Robert

Rap fans and municipal advocates alike will get a kick out of local rapper Ron Dias’ urban ode, “Toronto,” in which he shows his love for his adopted hometown (Click the image above to watch the video). It’s the second rap tribute to the t-dot to surface in recent months. Anthony Furey suggests five things to take note of:

1. Dias hopes the song, which features Blake Carrington, will become an anthem for city youth. It appeared on YouTube in November and flaunts Dias’ civic pride: “I can’t forget Toronto” is a refrain, and one verse ends with “Toronto’s what I think about when I think about home.” The song is part of an EP Dias is developing called “Pocket Change,” due to be released this summer. He intends to get the song into the right hands at City Hall, hoping it will garner some high-profile usage.
2. Locals will get a kick out of seeing Dias and Carrington tour their favourite urban hangouts: They stand outside the Kennedy Station wheelchair elevator entrance; they strut down Kensington Market’s Augusta Avenue, glad-handing passersby; they take the subway to the bright shimmer of Dundas Square at night; they even slip in a nod to Honest Ed’s. “I just tried my best to glorify Toronto in my video without the repetitive use of the CN Tower, because the city has much more to it,” he reasons.
3. Don’t confuse “Toronto” with “I Get On (The TTC).” The latter is the much publicized parody video by Randal Paul and Syrus Watson, the two 21-year-olds who have been receiving TTC chairman Adam Giambrone’s praise for their transit-loving video. Dias, whose video came out first, realized he needed to kick his publicity vehicle into high gear when he saw the amount of attention the two were receiving. Despite his project’s higher production values, Dias is humble about his fellow rappers’ success: “It was well thought out, they way they got it to spread. I must say, I took notes.”
4. Born in Dubai and raised in Atlanta by a jazzman father, Dias works at urban music station Flow93.5 FM. While his song is squeaky clean, some of what he’s witnessed isn’t: “I’m passionate about a lot more than riding the TTC. I’ve seen a lot — a lot of crooked cops growing up; I faced hard times in high school hanging around just acting a fool and getting in trouble and I’ve seen a lot of single mothers struggle. Over the years I’ve lost too many people, been to too many funerals, I’ve just been running out of suits.”
5. Dias cites local artists such as Saukrates, K-OS and Kardinal Offishal who instilled in him the need to talk about his city. Despite the running joke about Torontonians harbouring secret wishes of being New Yorkers, local rap has shrugged off any inferiority complex and made loving Toronto cool. “She says she loves the way me represent the whole of T dot O,” Offishal says in one of his songs. In one verse, Dias lists off the luminaries of Toronto rap past and present, a list he one days hopes to find himself on.

Read more: - Rob Robert (NATIONAL POST)


Way Past Love EP



Something else would lead others to believe otherwise. With his own
distinct and unique mix of old school and a love for music that is rooted
in him, Ron D. is proving to the general hip hop audience that he is worth
the listen. The self proclaimed “Broke Rap Star’s� swagger is enough to
demand attention but the minute he spits one of his lines, it is clear that
he will not be broke for long.

In 2005, Ron began to chase the spotlight and joined Brothers From
Different Mothers, a band who’s music only boosted Ron’s already eclectic
and diverse style. Fusing multiple sounds from grimy hip hop to deep soul
and live band, BFDM competed and won in the Emergenza Festival’s Battle of
the Bands in year claiming title for Best Band in Ontario.

This is where Ron’s solo career was put into gear. After the California
performance, BFDM began seeing problems and the band split amicably due
to creative differences. This only propelled Ron D. into pursuing his solo
career. Ron went on to work permanently at Flow 93.5, Toronto’s number
one radio station, after seven months of internship in promotions eventually
leading to design and production. While interning he observed other artists
and learned the inner workings of the music industry building his credentials
and contacts to put towards future use.

By the fall of 2008 Ron put out his first radio single, his ode "Toronto"
featuring Blake Carrington. Along with this track came an equally authentic
music video representing what Toronto means to him. “The video is very old
school. It shows Toronto at its best. From the TTC chimes to the scenes in
Kensington Market and Dundas Square.� The song and the video stay true
to what Toronto embodies for the artist. “Toronto is diverse and I’m trying
to depict that in my video. It is the fourth biggest city which definitely means there’s
multiculturalism.� Since the video circulated on Facebook, Myspace, and Ron D’s
website ( it has created quite the buzz.

Though Ron has been through a lot in this music industry it is only beginning and
he knows this. He does not take any of the stepping stones along the way for granted
as he knows it is all a part of a master plan. “God don't make mistakes, nothing is
forced and this is why I am where I am today�. This is also why he’s only going to keep
propelling forward towards days where he can look back at his earlier days as
a “broke rap star� and smile.

Ron is now working on his EP “Way Past Love� set to release for summer 2010