Mark Campbell is sitting in a bright pink chair in the Allan Slaight Radio Institute at Ryerson, recounting his younger days as a member of an east-end hip-hop sound crew and later, a DJ on a community radio station.
As he looks around at the upscale recording studio he marvels at a little-known fact. Until recently, the university had no idea that former student Ron Nelson became the “godfather” of Toronto hip hop while sitting in a much more modest chair in a Ryerson community radio station.
“Ryerson had no idea that one of the first hip-hop shows in Canada came out of Jorgenson Hall in the basement. That was Ron Nelson’s show,” says Campbell, an adjunct professor at the RTA School of Media. “That should be part of Canada’s pride across the world.”
Campbell is also the lead developer of a new think tank in the faculty of communication and design at Ryerson, where he will develop strategies and partnerships to promote Canadian culture.
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