Devon (rapper)

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Birth name Devon Martin
Also known as Mr. Metro
Born England
Origin Canada
Occupation(s) Rapper

Devon Martin, better known as Devon, is a Canadian rapper who rose to prominence in 1990 for his song titled "Mr. Metro", a controversial single about police racism.[1] "Mr. Metro" also subsequently remained as an additional alias of the artist.

Born in England but raised in the Toronto suburb of Malton, Ontario, Devon formed his first band, Shock Waves, at the age of 14 years, releasing an independent single in 1977.[2] Later he was a member of the reggae band 20th Century Rebels, and served as a backing musician for Bong Conga Nistas, Messenjah, Judy Mowatt and Lillian Allen.[2]

Although the title of his single "Mr. Metro" referred to the Toronto Police Service, the song was in fact inspired by incidents of police racism across North America, including his own detention by police in Redondo Beach, California, rather than in Toronto alone.[2] Despite this, the Toronto Police Service threatened to arrest him on defamation charges, forcing him to black out parts of the video which might have been perceived as identifying Toronto police officers.[2] The video went on to win a MuchMusic Video Award in 1990.[2]

In 1991, he collaborated on the one-off single "Can't Repress the Cause", a plea for greater inclusion of hip hop music in the Canadian music scene, with Dance Appeal, a supergroup of Toronto-area musicians that included Maestro Fresh Wes, Dream Warriors, Michie Mee, B-Kool, Lillian Allen, Eria Fachin, HDV, Dionne, Thando Hyman, Carla Marshall, Messenjah, Jillian Mendez, Lorraine Scott, Lorraine Segato, Self Defense, Leroy Sibbles, Zama and Thyron Lee White.[3]

After the song "Mr. Metro", Devon released his first solo album It's My Nature in 1992. The following year (1993) he won the Juno Award for Best Rap Recording with the album Keep It Slammin'.[4]

Rinaldo Walcott's book Black Like Who? features several essays that engage critically with Devon's music and lyrics.[5]


  1. ^ "Devon". Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Devon at's Canadian Pop Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ "Urban Music". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ "Juno Awards Database". Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Walcott, Rinaldo. Black Like Who? Toronto: Insomniac Press, 1997