UPDATE: On November 5, 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine about a year ago.
Current Toronto mayor Rob Ford is a mighty divisive figure in the city's political scene right now and the many, many headlines he's been generating lately help explain why.
But while stories like "Man Tied To Alleged Rob Ford Drug Video Arrested In Alberta," "Toronto Mayor's Aides Quit Amid 'Crackstarter' Controversy" and "Did Rob Ford Know And Lie About Alleged 'Crackstarter' Video?" all make for wonderful watercooler tittering, they ignore one dramatically unappreciated role Rob Ford has played in enriching the romantic tapestry of the city — artistic muse.
The giant statue of Rob Ford's head sculpted out of butter at last summer's Canadian National Exhibition was a good start, but of late — to use a football analogy the mayor would be fond of — it's been musicians who've been taking the ball and running with it.
It seems everyone from Berlin-based art provocateur Peaches to Juno-nominated rapper D-sisive have found inspiration from Rob Ford's big, sweaty personality. The result is what might be a new theme-based musical sub-genre. We've been calling it Gravy Train Music.
We took the best Rob Ford-based songs we've heard recently and collected them for your listening pleasure.
Click the slideshow below to check the songs out.
Charron "Rob Ford Smoking Crack"
Freestyle rap battle champ Charron has made the biggest mark so far with his song "Rob Ford Smoking Crack." Released just three days ago over 20,000 people have already checked out his song on YouTube.
D-Sisive "Rob Ford"
Juno nominated rapper D-sisive was accused of being a Rob Ford sympathist when he released this song from the <a href="http://d-sisive.bandcamp.com/album/jonestown-2-jimmy-go-bye-bye" target="_blank">free downloadable album</a> "Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye" in 2011. It's not really like that.
K-Dot-O-Dot "The Mayor"
Antagonistic Toronto underground rapper K-Dot-O-Dot has decided he kinda likes Rob Ford and is expressing it in songform. It should be noted as well that K-Dot and his partner 9th Uno who make up the act Drugstore Cowboys have <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTzodDWmr6Q" target="_blank">put one of their old songs called "I Smoke Crack" on YouTube</a> with the purposefully misleading title "Rob Ford Smoking Crack."
Bettiforde ft. Peaches "Bored Of Rob Ford"
Going under the name #Entertainment, smut rapper and StinkMitt member Bettiforde has created "Bored Of Rob Ford" with guest vocals from Peaches, actor Michael Venus and Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras, among others.
640 Toronto "Rob Ford Gravy Train Song"
The 640 team made this parody song about Rob Ford's "gravy train" catchphrase.
Silvergun & Spleen "Crack"
Although this song is called "Crack" and is kinda about crack, it technically isn't about the mayor. However, when promoting the launch of the video on Twitter the band spammed so many people with the link and the hashtags #RobFord #crack that they got <a href="https://twitter.com/SilvergunSpleen" target="_blank">temporarily suspended from the service</a>.
"Rob Ford For Mayor Theme Song"
Uploaded by "RobFordFans," here's the other side of the Rob Ford music-making spectrum.
MrLucasJ "Rob Ford Smoking Crack Video"
Shameer Rahman "Mr. Rob Ford Song"
Toronto dancehall musician Shameer Rahman will get everyone dancing with "Mr. Rob Ford Song." If this scandal is still brewing by the time Caribana 2013 hits (Aug.1-4) this deserves to be its anthem.
"Rob Ford Crack Remix" DJ Steve Porter
Rob Ford Scandal As Told Through Song
"The Suburbs" - Arcade Fire
Every scandal has to start somewhere, and this one ultimately begins with the Toronto suburbs voting in Rob Ford. And despite the admission of crack smoking, alcohol abuse, homophobic, racist and sexist remarks, etc. the suburban Ford Nation still stand behind him even as downtowners storm city hall in protest. <strong>Relevant lyrics: "You always seemed so sure, that one day we'd be fighting in a suburban war / your part of town against mine, I saw you standing on the opposite shore."</strong>
"Busted" - Black Keys
But things really kicked off in May, 2013, as Gawker broke the news that a video exists of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. Busted! Or so we thought. <strong>Relevant lyrics: "Well I'm busted, yes I'm busted, but my heart won't let me die."</strong>
"Exit Does Not Exist" - Modest Mouse
The next day, Rob Ford called a press conference. "I cannot comment on a tape I haven't seen or does not exist," he said before leaving his brother to field questions. Perhaps his attempted exit from the scandal would have worked but, of course, the tape does exist. <strong>Relevant lyrics: "As a matter of fact I don't recall this photo being taken, you don't even actually exist, so I just started shaking."</strong>
"Scandal" - Queen
And so the scandal began. Gawker's Crackstarter campaign (to raise enough money to buy the crack tape from those who introduced it in the first place) began to soar, and anyone with a working mind believed it was only a matter of time before Ford was ousted. Because that seemed reasonable – the last word any of us would ever use to describe the Rob Ford debacle six months later. <strong>Relevant lyric: "Today the headlines tomorrow hard times, and no one ever really knows the truth from the lies; and in the end the story must hide, deeper and deeper and deeper inside."</strong>
"9 Crimes" - Damien Rice
But soon, hope began to fade. Gawker's crack-video contact went missing, the Crackstarter funds were donated to worthy causes and Rob Ford continued to reign. However, allegations began to quietly build, with murmurs that the mayor did far more than just smoke crack. Maybe "nine crimes" is actually quite generous of us. <strong>Relevant lyrics: "And it’s not alright.” (Yeah! How do you like that?)"</strong>
"Liar" - Henry Rollins
Soon, this became the only one word that seemed appropriate every time Ford opened his mouth. <strong>Relevant lyrics: “You feel so lucky, but your ego obscures reality, and you never bother to wonder why.”</strong>
"Time Bomb" - Rancid
But then on a dark day in late October, Rob Ford stepped up and apologized – for . . . mistakes. He was sorry for making drunken mistakes. And that's all anybody needed to hear, and everything’s fine now. (Just kidding. This was merely the first drop on the roller coaster none of us want to be riding.) <strong>Relevant lyrics: "The boy’s a time bomb."</strong>
"Confessions" - Usher
Then on November 5, Rob Ford came out of his office to surprise us all. "Ask me what you asked back in May," he commanded. "Exactly. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine." <strong>Relevant lyrics: "Sittin’ here stuck on stupid, tryna figure out when, what, and how I'mma let this come out of my mouth; said it ain't gonna be easy, but I need to stop thinkin’, contemplatin’ be a man and get it over with (over with)."</strong>
"Apologize (Too Late)" - Timbaland (feat. One Republic)
After further elaborating that his crack-smoking "probably occurred in one of my drunken stupors," he said, "all I can do is apologize and move on." But... <strong>Relevant lyrics: "It's too late to apologize, it's too late."</strong>
"Idiot" - Wavves
Unfortunately, with every day that passed with no resignation and more allegations, Rob Ford seemed less and less like a man ready to deal with his problems, and more like, well, the title of the song in question. This was, of course, confirmed when he said “eating p---y” while wearing a sports jersey at City Hall on November 13. Relevant lyrics: "I’m not supposed to be a kid, but I'm an idiot; I'd say I’m sorry, but it wouldn't mean shit."
"No Snitchin'" - Chamillionaire
And it all just kept getting worse. During council on November 12, Rob Ford began priding himself on his apologies, then admitted he "effed up" before promising he'd never "pinpoint" fellow council members because he's "not a rat." He'd also used the term on his ex-radio show ("I’m not a rat and I don't squeal on people") despite it being usually associated with the sort of thugs and gangsters Ford's been hanging out with. Relevant lyrics: "If you know what I know, then you’ll keep your mouth closed, we don't tolerate snitches."
"Stop" - Spice Girls
Which brings us to Rob Ford having "more than enough to eat at home" according to his November 13 statement. Oh, and news that Doug and Rob Ford will now have a series on the Sun Network. Nope. Stop. Stop it right now. Goodbye. <strong>Relevant lyrics: "Stop right now, thank you very much."</strong>
"Headlines" - Drake
Since Ford's admission, Toronto has found itself front and centre of international news, resulting in record-breaking levels of humiliation and cool-feeling on our part. On the one hand, "SNL," "The Daily Show," and "The Colbert Report" have served up the crème de la crème of Toronto-oriented satire. On the other, Rob Ford has appeared on Fox News and CNN to embarrass the city in person. <strong>Relevant lyric: "I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence, started not to give a fuck and stopped fearing the consequence. Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments. Faded way too long, I'm floating in and out of consciousness."</strong>
"Powerless" - Nelly Furtado
Aside from Rob Ford wearing his Argos jersey to Sunday's game and arguably cursing the team, he is being stripped of key mayoral powers by city council, rendering him a mere mortal (or councillor, I guess) who can no longer appoint a deputy mayor or executive committee members. Alas, he can still appear on his Sun TV show and Anderson Cooper 360. <strong>Relevant lyric: "But when you feel so powerless, what are you going to do?"</strong>
"Get Out (Leave)" - Jojo
With only brother Doug Ford behind Rob Ford at City Hall, what has to happen before he goes to get actual help? How many more apologies can we possibly be on the receiving end of? How many more allegations need to come forward? How many more underworld ties are we going to see? How many more sports teams will have apologize for their jersey being worn by the mayor? How many more lists do we have to write? In the worlds of JoJo… <strong>Relevant lyric: "Get out – leave!"</strong>
Danko Jones' Rob Ford Memes