Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 271: DJ Ron Nelson

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 271In this 271st episode, Mike chats with DJ Ron Nelson about his Fantastic Voyage show on CKLN, bringing the first hip-hop shows to Canada, the emergence of Maestro Fresh-Wes and Michie Mee, recording the Dream Warriors album in his home studio, Reggaemania and what he thinks of Drake. This episode is exactly 1:35:05.

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Comments (29 - click here to join in!)


Loving the use of old-school rap to help soundtrack Ron's origins and subsequent
career!! Really helps to tie the episode together. Great decision on your part!

October 10, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Let me guess... you don't give a shit about hip-hop.

IMHO, people will enjoy this episode even if they don't care for hip-hop, but those who do care for hip-hop in this city will just love it. DJ Ron Nelson is a living legend in this city who rocked the CKLN mic every Saturday for years.

I loved this episode.

October 10, 2017 @ 5:02 PM


Thanks a lot, man! Now I can't get "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz
Style" out of my head!! Gotta love that classic Quincy Jones sample. One
question: When you asked Ron if he wanted to thank anyone else from Much Music,
was I the only one waiting for a shout out to or some props for Mike Williams? He certainly
did as much as anyone else in the mainstream media to promote Hip Hop/Rap in Toronto in the
late '80s and early '90s.

October 10, 2017 @ 6:07 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Yep... thought we might get a little love for Mike Williams.

October 10, 2017 @ 6:32 PM


Commenting about not caring ... el oh el.

Great unique episode with lots of history I was unfamiliar with. Thanks for continuing this project!

October 11, 2017 @ 12:03 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

To the guy who keeps trying to tell us he hates rap and won't listen, save your keystrokes. If you don't give a shit about the history of rap in this city, you're more than welcome to not listen. No need to share that nugget here.

After my 90 minutes with Ron, I felt like I went to Toronto hip-hop college. If even one person learns about his influence and how we went from nothing to becoming home to the world's biggest rap star, I'm a happy man.

October 11, 2017 @ 8:25 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Every song I play in the background is relevant to the story Ron's telling...

Be it the Toronto rappers like Maestro, Michie Mee, Rumble or Dream Warriors, or the bands he brought to the city like Run DMC, EPMD, BDP, Public Enemy or Erik B and Rakim.

October 11, 2017 @ 8:28 AM


It was widely appreciated and might be something to consider (where appropriate )for
future episodes (although I'm sure it is time-consuming work!!). Ron's story is very
interesting regardless of whether or not the listener has any knowledge or appreciation
of hip hop or reggae. This wanker who keeps posting his disapproval would be better off
sticking to Q107 and their frozen-in-time playlist of Bronski Beat and the Barenaked Ladies!!
Oh shit, now I'm beginning to jokingly sound like my favourite critic on here!!

October 11, 2017 @ 9:54 AM


Looking forward to this one.

October 11, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


Loved the use of Dr. john's "Right Place, Wrong Time" in the Michie Mee and L.A.
Luv track "Jamaican Funk"!! One of the best things about the early years of rap is that
it was a lot easier for artists and groups to "borrow" from music that had often been forgotten
at that point (i.e., old jazz, blues and R&B). Not suggesting that it was good that perhaps many
musicans weren't properly paid for said usage, but once legalized sample clearance became
an industry-wide standard, the genres' overall creativity flourished, but maybe some of the
original flavour was diminished.

October 11, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Like PE said in Caught, Can We Get A Witness?, this is a sampling sport!

I look back at albums I loved, from It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back to Paul's Boutique, and there were so many samples! It would cost a bundle to release those albums today...

October 11, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Let me know what you think...

October 11, 2017 @ 10:17 AM


Beastie Boys would go bankrupt off "Paul's Boutique" alone!! And what became of poor
Biz Markie after Gilbert O'Sullivan got through with him?!? The Bomb Squad, DJ Premier
and Pete Rock were all masters of taking vintage samples and recontextualizing dusty old grooves
into modern masterpieces. Even cheesy Us3's Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) helped to shine new light
on the classic Blue Note Records catalogue. Still, it is pretty damn hard to beat the raw production
on LL cool J's classic debut album "Radio"! That Rick Rubin had mad skillz. I wonder what ever
became of that fine young fella!!!

October 11, 2017 @ 10:30 AM


"It Would Cost (Us) a Bundle" would make a great title for an old-school throwback album!!

October 11, 2017 @ 10:46 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


This is why Girl Talk gave away his album... we're due for a new Girl Talk. His stuff was great.

October 11, 2017 @ 10:50 AM


I've only heard one album by him but it was great! Are you familiar with DJ Shadow and The
Avalanches in a similar musical vein or Madlib? Youtube "Frontier Psychiatrist" by The Avalanches
if you are unaware of their work!!

October 11, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I can't say I know those guys... I need to catch up!

October 11, 2017 @ 10:59 AM


Well, DJ Shadow goes back over 20 years and The Avalanches have only put out two
albums in 20 years... so there is obviously plenty of time to catch up! Madlib is part
of the Stones Throw collective and he records under lots of different aliases and inside
many genres. His "Shades Of Blue" album from 2003 remixes the Blue Note catalogue to
great effect!

October 11, 2017 @ 11:04 AM



Absolutely. This is all in my wheel house.

October 11, 2017 @ 11:09 AM


@Mike: The outrage at rap on your show is because this is an extension of SOWNY and some readers have old white guy-itis. That's why KOTJ's has so little hiphop (as I've said repeatedly)

Early rap used samples out of respect for their culture. As it was not really commercial there was no money exchanged. MARRS - Pump Up The Volume is really what changed that. Yes, some black artists did rip off their elders, but that's nothing compared to how white people literally stole "black music".

Ron Nelson is as important to Toronto music and radio as David Marsden, Wayne Williams and Scot Turner was. The guy was an innovator, just he had 250 watts to do it with. Dave's Dance Music followed Ron and was also cutting edge. CKLN was at it's best back in the 80's.

October 11, 2017 @ 1:42 PM


You finally expressed an opinion that I can totally stand behind (like you'd even give a damn!).
Mazel Tov!!

October 11, 2017 @ 1:48 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The jams being kicked out are chosen by the person kicking them out. That's the whole point.

I'm always puzzled when you say this is an extension of SOWNY. There's no connection at all unless there's a radio fan or two who has enjoyed reading both sites.

October 11, 2017 @ 2:30 PM


@Toronto Mike,

Out of curiosity did you ever listen to Pop Will Eat Itself? They were very much a CFNY band and blurred rap & rock with a British bent. They were also huge for sampling.

October 11, 2017 @ 9:29 PM



This site is an extension of SOWNY because you can see many radio & media guys come here. You see the same old fashioned & narrow opinions & the same arrogance & thin skin. A large majority of the people here who take great offense to my posts people. #imaginethat

And KOTJ is indicative of that. Isn't it a bit ironic that many guests are radio and music guys, yet they're all mired in the rock era? Maybe that's why FM radio is so lousy? These are supposedly the tastemakers yet none of them appear to have their finger on the pulse of what's current. Hiphop is *the* biggest form of music in the world yet we saw little of it. You can't take a medium forward when you're stuck in the past.

October 12, 2017 @ 9:15 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I don't know the profession of any of the people who comment here. They could be in the media, or they could be sanitary engineers. I have no clue for the vast majority...

And I must disagree with you when you say the jam kickers are radio and music guys. Here's the list and what they're "famous" for:

Damien Cox - covered sports for the Star
Jackie Perez - in-house Argos host
Tim Thompson - video editor
Mike Stafford - radio guy
Lowest of the Low - musicians
Sophia Jurksztowicz - sports media presenter
Larry Fedoruk - radio guy
Ivar Hamilton - radio guy
Fred Patterson - radio guy
Norm Wilner - covers film for Now
Jim Van Horne - radio guy turned sports media host
Siobhan Morris - reporter
Mike Wilner - Blue Jays host
Mark Hebscher - sports media presenter

I count four "radio guys" that fit the mould. Admittedly, all but one is "white", but I'm actively inviting more diverse jam kickers.

October 12, 2017 @ 9:28 AM


I said "media" guys but a substantial portion were radio. I'm not picking on you Mike, but I'm saying these supposed taste makers all seem live in this narrow little box. Radio is predominately "white" so not your fault. You should approach Mark and Jem at G98.7 for a KOTJ and podcast. They're heavyweights in the Toronto urban music scene.

October 12, 2017 @ 9:54 AM

thanks for the

WCI calling others arrogant; thanks for the chuckle.

October 12, 2017 @ 2:33 PM

WCI - Toronto's Next Mayor

@thanks for the..

#awwmuffin, gotta stay anonymous do ya lol. Maybe I should go on the Toronto Mike podcast and you could all slash my tires while I'm at Mike's place.

October 12, 2017 @ 5:26 PM

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