I hadn’t been a week since my mother and I had left for Trinidad and already I was back. Back to the cold, snow and a life I had yet to put together. Despite the sad emotion embedded in my heart over the past few days, I didn’t let my grandmothers passing affect me in a negative way. I was still focused. The Transit City Mixtape was well underway. I had shown those whom I was interested in working with and all seemed to be down. I starred out my plane window to see all the bright lights of the city. We were getting pretty close to land. I could recognize three large, tall, brown brick buildings adjacent with the 401 Highway.
“Falstaff” I thought to myself. We were definitely flying over North York. I regained focus on my music. How was I going to put this all together? Was I going to get transit professionals to speak on the tape? No. Fuck that. I wanted this mixtape to be about transit from the people’s perspective. After all, it’s the people commuting on the trains, buses and streetcars everyday that knew best about what was wrong with the TTC and what needed to be fixed. Yea. That was the right mindset I needed to have.
“But wait,” I stopped myself to think again. “How were the people going to relate to the music directly?” This was a good question. I wanted the voices of all GTA residents to be heard. And I wanted to do it without hood hopping like a lot of Toronto rappers were doing. But how? Then it hit me.
“Foss Town.” It was perfect. Not only did it rhyme with Eglinton Crosstown, it also described the attitude here in the city. Everybody and they granny had some kind of nosiness to them. Except mines, she was now dead. Perhaps it was just one of those “Toronto” things. Or maybe just a good thing. Whatever the cause, it fit. So that was that. I was going to name every song on the tape as a flipped rhyme of one of the LRT lines in the Transit City Plan. They spread across the city so noone/nowhere would feel left out. And once Transit City is finished, even if years down the road, this would go down as historical. Yes. I had found my theme. Just as I concluded my thoughts, I felt the wheels of the plane touch the runaway with speed and force. I looked across at my mother who was making the sign of the cross. She always did that whenever we flew.
“Yes. Back in the mega,” I thought as I got up from my most uncomfortable plane seat. It was time to make shit happen.
An excerpt from ASS: A Smart Story, Ch. 25: A Fresh Start