Album: Escape from the Pigeon Hole
Artist Website: mcabdominal.com
Location: Golden Patty, 187 Baldwin St. (formerly Patty King)
“Probably the best story I can give you about the song is how we managed to get (then) Mayor Miller on the track! We (Toronto rap group Notes to Self and I) had already written & recorded the tune (sans his intro) and had been invited to perform it at the beginning of some sort of ‘celebrate Toronto’ fest down at the foot of Yonge st. Mayor Miller was scheduled to speak right after our performance, so we ended up crossing paths as we exited the stage and he was climbing up the steps to come on. He stopped and told me he loved the song. I thanked him and initiated a conventional hand shake, but he promptly pulled me in for a full-on proper hip-hop shake/hug combo!! As he spoke, Rosh, one of the rappers from Notes to Self, told me I should approach him afterwards and ask him if he’d be willing to record a little intro for the tune. I thought that was a great idea, so I did just that. He was totally into it and introduced me to his PA to set it all up. And true to his word, he called my cell phone a week later and told me to ‘not pick up because he was going to call right back and leave the message’. He did, and like a true professional, he nailed it in one take! We slapped that same message directly from my phone right onto the front of the track and the rest is (very obscure) Toronto history! As an aside, I kept his message on my phone for months, and would attempt to impress girls by asking them if they wanted to hear my personal message from the mayor (unfortunately, no one was ever nearly as impressed by this as I was!)…“
“Whether you call it Toronto, the T.Dot or T.O.,
screwface capital like Theo,
the Big Smoke, Hogtown, or Megacity,
it’s where I’m from, frankly couldn’t pick a better city
to call home, from the 401 to Skydome,
Scarborough over West to Etobicoke,
and all the parts lying in between,
I’m from Toronto, Abs lemme paint the scene.
Spent my childhood in Greektown, but now a West-end denizen,
buying coco bread and patties in Kensington.
Then pedaling Westbound to Lansdowne.
Shut off the disc-man to allow familiar sounds
to enter my eardrums, hearing the hum and ding
of the 506, old men grumbling
in Italian and Portuguese,
over coffees at corner cafes.
Change the sensory focus to olfactory,
factories pumping chocolate into the air, there’s Cadbury
and Nestle, in a 2 klick radius,
making the air seem like something out of the craziest
dream of Roald Dahl.
Sun lower now, paints me with a golden brow.
Tightly holding down my Dufferin mall Kangol knockoff,
to block off the rays.
Change lanes, turn left at the No Frills.
Perched at the mouth of Parkdale, only the hill
separates me from home and a hot shower.
But I stop to watch the Tower
for a few seconds, standing majestically,
until a car horn snaps me from my reverie.
Push off the curb to my pad below.
So glad that I live in T.O.
Main street, where I’m from, where I live,
where I sung, where I spit, where I hung as a kid.
And if you wan’ go, it’s just West of Scarborough.
The home of bomb ‘dro, lost souls and lawn gnomes.
The East end, I gots to call home,
and all the spots I long for all across Toronto.
I’m down at Queen West just to take in graffiti
And to the Danforth for my favourite tzatziki.
Live from the centre of the universe,
I’m from Toronto, c’mon man do your worst.
Young disc jockeys play wrist hockey,
train on the table-top, making the tables talk.
I buy my records at Rotate This
and Play De, that’s where you can locate this.
And if I need a flick I go to Queen vid
or Suspect. Hey yo Rosh, what’s next?
Let’s take ‘em to the comic book store,
I go to Comics and More
at Greenwood make a cross at Danforth.
And if you down for it, I’ll show you how the city does,
all the way from Chinatown to Little India,
from the Beaches to Roncesvalles,
Park-, to the Rex, to River-, to Rose-dale.
Really, you should come to our town,
before the Leafs win the Cup and we tear the place down.