Friends and family of Pat Stay lobby for Dartmouth street to be renamed in his memory | Arts + Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Dartmouth’s Pat Stay earned worldwide acclaim as a battle rapper before his death at 36. His loved ones want to name a street in Dartmouth after him.
Dartmouth’s Pat Stay earned worldwide acclaim as a battle rapper before his death at 36. His loved ones want to name a street in Dartmouth after him.

Friends and family of Pat Stay lobby for Dartmouth street to be renamed in his memory

An online petition to honour the battle rapper has garnered more than 5,500 signatures.

Nearly three months after Dartmouth battle rapper Pat Stay’s tragic killing, momentum is building for HRM to honour the late and celebrated entertainer above its sidewalks.

A change.org petition is calling on the regional council to rename a street in Dartmouth in memory of Stay, 36, who was best known for putting the “Darkside” on the map as a fan favourite contestant in the acclaimed King of the Dot battle series. The petition has garnered more than 5,500 signatures in four days—and its organizer has no plans of slowing down.

click to enlarge Friends and family of Pat Stay lobby for Dartmouth street to be renamed in his memory (2)
Photo: Martin Bauman / The Coast
A mural commemorates Pat Stay along the Trans Canada Trail near Maitland Street in Dartmouth.

‘This city’s still grieving Pat’

Malyssa Burns, Stay’s spouse, tells The Coast she’d been hearing of plans to memorialize her late partner ever since his funeral. The father of two was found stabbed outside of Yacht Club Social on Lower Water Street in the early morning hours on Sept. 4. Police arrested a suspect six days later and have charged him with first-degree murder. His trial continues Dec. 6.

News of Stay’s death rippled far beyond Nova Scotia, reaching the pages of CNN and the UK’s Sky News. Tributes poured in from the likes of Eminem and Drake, the latter of whom called Stay one of his “fav rappers ever.”

Burns says she isn’t surprised “at all” by the outpouring of community support she’s seen. A GoFundMe campaign to support the family has brought in messages from around the world.

“This city’s still grieving Pat; this city’s still thinking heavily of Pat,” she tells The Coast. “I feel like by putting up these memorials, whether it be a street name or another mural, it kind of helps us grieve a little bit as a city.”

‘If anybody deserves this, it’s definitely Pat’

Ask longtime friend Cody Good, who first met Stay at Auburn Drive High School and spearheaded the online campaign, and what lingers with him are the messages he’s seen flood in since it began.

“He was such a true and kindhearted man,” writes Jennifer Kennedy, who met Stay at Dartmouth High School (Stay attended both schools). “He represented Nova Scotia with poise, swagger and respect,” adds Jesse Ito, who calls Stay “a friend and an exceptional talent.”

To Good, the messages “speak volumes to who Pat was” in Dartmouth and Halifax’s hip hop community.

“He’s who you see on camera,” Good tells The Coast. “He’d make fun of you and you’d literally laugh at yourself.”

But beyond the larger-than-life persona, what Good recalls most of all is Stay’s legacy as a friend and father. He remembers Stay as “always willing to help talk out a problem or seek out who needs some help to get through an issue.”

He’s hoping HRM council will honour Stay with a street naming.

“If anybody deserves this, it’s definitely Pat.”

Movement could succeed at council

Dartmouth Centre councillor Sam Austin tells The Coast “there’s certainly room” to honour Stay with a commemorative naming in Dartmouth, noting that anyone can submit an application to honour someone without requiring a petition.

“Renaming an existing street is always a little bit complicated,” Austin concedes, “but we might still end up with a new street in Dartmouth Cove, and there is a bridge that would cross Dartmouth Cove that could be named.”

Friends and family of Pat Stay lobby for Dartmouth street to be renamed in his memory
Screenshot: Broke Artist NZ / YouTube
A mural paying tribute to Pat Stay in New Zealand.

Austin adds that applications are reviewed by a committee, which then presents a list to HRM council.

Burns says if she had her pick, Stay would be memorialized in downtown Dartmouth.

“We live downtown Dartmouth… and we raised our children here,” she says. “He was always downtown Dartmouth. If you could ask Pat where he’d like to spend the rest of his life, it’d be downtown Dartmouth.”

About The Author

Martin Bauman

Martin Bauman, The Coast's News & Business Reporter, is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Capital Daily, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. In 2020, he was named one of five “emergent” nonfiction writers by the RBC Taylor Prize...

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