It’s a slow, sweet summer afternoon in Toronto. I’m parked on the back patio of my favorite beanery, TANGO PALACE COFFEEHOUSE. Getting my Americano on in the quiet heart of laissez-faire Leslieville. In an hour or so, I’ll be taking over this patio with a collective of neighborhood comics we call ‘The Leslieville 7’.
Its something we do for fun, sometimes in character. A no pressure gig. Its just one of the things I host #n.b.d.
Today is quadruple-duty. By the end of it all, I’ll be dangerously over-caffeinated. Again, no big deal. I’m recording a pre show episode of my Forever Young podcast while simultaneously grabbing an interview for a national music mag I write for.
But first & foremost, I’m delving into yet another reason why Toronto is in fact, awesome.
Doing comedy in this city exposes me to a cast of characters so broad, so diverse, so strange and talented I’d never be able to list them all. We would run out of internet.
Today, I’m sitting down with a Toronto comedian by night, Hip Hop MC with a chill summertime M.O by day, Calwyn Shurgold aka ‘Whyte Wyne’.
Whyte Wyne isn’t your typical Toronto hip hop phenom. He’s no Drake, and he might not be as fresh as the Maestro. His fist isn’t dreaded, and he might not be the ¨Offishal¨ ambassador to… well, whatever a rapper would be the ambassador to, I have no idea. Whyte Wyne is just a Southern Ontario kid with a Southern soul. And just a modest understated amount of Canadian swagger.
Recently, Whyte Wyne teamed up with fellow MC Sean Ward and Toronto twosome Side Pony Nation for a sick little summer anthem called ‘LCBO’.
That’s enough of a pre-amble for now, we ready to f*ck! Let’s DO this:
You have a new ¨track” that just ¨dropped” – that’s accurate, right? That’s what you guys call it, in the Rap Game. When you have a song that came out. It’s called a ‘TRACK’ and it ‘DROPS’. Right?
W.W: You got it Dean. It’s called L.C.B.O and it’s blowin’ up!
L.C.B.O – so, for the folks at home (the readers), that’s about the Liquor Control Board of Ontario?
W.W: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. If you live in Ontario, the L.C.B.O is the place you shop for that wine. For those coolers. For that vodka. For that Canadian rye. To get that drink on. Whatever you’re into.
So for the readers, it’s not like in Wisconsin (my old stomping grounds) where I can just walk into a gas station, throw $20 in my Buick, and pick up a 6-pack of Sam Adams to wash down with my Marlboro Reds, or a bottle of Jack Daniels, if things really aren’t going well with my life. In Ontario, I have to go to a separate store for that.
W.W: Yeah, that’s it right there. The L.C.B.O is a Canadian institution, man. Well an Ontario one. It’s part of summer man, if you’re chillin’ on the beach or headed to the cottage – boom, L.C.B.O. That’s where you go.
I bet I know what everyone is wondering – if you have a song about the L.C.B.O, are you going to do the Wine Rack next?
W.W: (Laughs) No no, just L.C.B.O. I’m not messing with the Wine Rack
No love for the Wine Rack?
W.W: I’m fine with the Wine Rack, I’d go there if they start selling a white wine with Whyte Wyne on the label
Like a nice Ontario VQA?
W.W: You know it! Give Whyte Wyne his own White Wine, and I’ll be all over promoting that Wine Rack.
But it would be sold at the L.C.B.O too?
I gotta say, I like the Wine Rack. I’m into it. I’m almost 31, I like a nice affordable wine, maybe some Jackson Browne in the background. That’s a Friday night for me, that’s what I f*ck with.
Plus I like that the Wine Rack is at Loblaws. I can buy my cereal and my wine in the same place. Give Daddy his juice! Know what I mean?
W.W: Yeah, I feel you
And the nice thing is that the grocery store is full of kids running around. And kids annoy the shit out of me. So if I’m buying groceries and I get frustrated with all the kids everywhere, I can hit the Wine Rack and go home and drink myself sane again.
Was this your plan the whole time? Do a song about the L.C.B.O so you can get your own Whyte Wyne white wine? I notice a lot of rappers have their own booze now. Like P. Diddy or Puff Daddy or whatever, that guy has a vodka.
Yeah Ciroc. Jay-Z has one too, I think. Don’t know what that one is.
Is that why a lot of these guys do raps? So they can make it big, and get away from the hard knock life and get their own booze?
W.W: Why NOT have your own merchandise?
So this was a ploy, you sing raps so that you can get product placement?
W.W: I’m in it for the love of the game.
The Rap Game. I mentioned that earlier, that’s what it’s called eh?
W.W: Yeah. But I’m also not going to say no to my own Whyte Wyne white wine. With my picture on the bottle. But they have to spell it right. Like Whyte Wyne white wine.
That’s a good point. People reading this will be able to see the difference – but if they’re listening to the Podcast then I better explain it. Or you can?
W.W: Yeah, yeah. Whyte Wyne is spelled with Y’s instead of I’s.
And that’s why you’re an artist.
Whyte Wyne Facebook page.