Five things you should know about 'I get on (the TTC)'
Melissa Leong, National Post
Published: Tuesday, December 09, 2008
A catchy new hip hop video making the rounds on the Internet has caught the attention and admiration of the city's transit commission. People have watched the ode to public transit, called I Get On (the TTC), almost 30,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube last Thursday. Melissa Leong suggests five things to take note of:
1 Last month, Syrus Watson, a 21-yearold studying comedy writing and performance at Humber College, was on the subway, listening to a song by Young Jeezy, featuring Kanye West, when he decided to write his own lyrics to the tune. The parody even includes the ubiquitous Auto-Tune technology, which corrects a singer's pitch while sometimes giving him a robot voice.
"I've always thought, the way hip hop is right now, I could be a rapper, anybody could be a rapper," Mr. Watson says. With Auto-Tune, anyone can also be a singer.
2 Mr. Watson recorded the song with Randal Medford, a 21-year-old broadcasting graduate of Centennial College, in a friend's garage studio. They complain about waiting for buses and people who intrude on your personal space. "Move your leg over dog, stop touching mine, I'm super straight ... I hate people on the bus that feel the need to flatu-late." But the song has love for the better way: "The TTC can be a drag, other times it's super great." "Gas price remedy, take the 43 Kennedy/ So broke, so poor, catch the 97 Bloor."
3 Adam Giambrone, chairman of the TTC, said the transit commission is "impressed" with the "terrific" video. "It represents many peoples' feeling towards TTC ... love and frustration," he said. Mr. Medford attended an awards gala with him Sunday night. They rode the Dufferin bus home together. Mr. Giambrone said they are exploring how they could use the video. How about instead of the chimes when the subway doors are closing, they play the chorus: "I get on the TTC, on, on the TTC."
4 Mr. Watson says he is a proud supporter of the TTC and continues to pack his pocket with Metropasses while his friends purchase vehicles. "Ever since I was young, that's how you get around. You live in Toronto. That's it. A lot of people have a lot of problems with it, delays, fare prices. Our fares are considerably lower than most places. ....
You should just appreciate the convenience of it and sit back and enjoy the ride." Think of what you can do with the free time. Write a song.
5 "We expected our friends to say, 'Oh, you guys are funny,' and that's it. Somehow it got big," Mr.
Medford says. Then he verbalizes the fear that likely plagues all stars of viral videos: "I don't want to be a one-time hit." "The best-case scenario would be that Syrus and I become spokespeople for the TTC. From there we start doing other jobs and we get an acting career out of it." (I heard that the Numa Numa Guy who got 700 million viewings of his 2004 Web cam dance video, recently made an album. So, there is hope.) http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1050071
The TTC vid is getting huge... there was a 1/2 page article on it in todays paper again.
TTC an unlikely muse for aspiring entertainer
Dec 09, 2008 03:53 PM
Comments on this story (3)
It's been 22 years since the Shuffle Demons released their classic, "Spadina Bus" and nearly half a century since 1950's "The Subway Song" celebrated the opening of the Yonge line.
Now there's a new ode to Toronto transit, a rap song and video called, "I Get On (The TTC)," that has been attracting thousands of hits on YouTube and social networking sites since it was posted Dec. 4 by a couple of 21-year-old performers from Scarborough.
The affectionate, light-hearted look at the city's quintessential ride on the Rocket, was written, performed and shot by Humber College student Syrus, whose real name is Rudolph Anthony Watson.
His friend, Randal 4Man (Randal Paul Medford), a former MuchMusic intern and graduate of Centennial College, assisted with the video shoot, back-up vocals and 10 hours worth of editing on the project.
Shot in late November, the video is a playful parody of American rapper Young Jeezy's, "I Put On For My City," a song Syrus loved.
Instead of convertibles and scantily clad women, the Toronto duo's version features scenes from Keele and Kipling stations, the 43 Kennedy bus and the TTC stop near Syrus's home.
In one scene, Syrus spills a deck of Metropasses from his pocket. In another, Randal is shown chasing a bus down the road after it fails to stop for him.
"I take the subway from Kennedy to Kipling on a daily basis. I've got nothing to do basically and I'm in comedy writing so I figure I might as well take the hour and a half and write some stuff," said Syrus, an aspiring comedic actor, who is studying comedic performance at Humber College.
The video has caught on because so many people can relate to the content, he said.
"Everybody has their individual experiences on (the TTC) but you've got to love it because it's convenient and you see funny stuff all the time, which is why I wrote about it," said Syrus, who says he has seen it all, from fighting couples and the mentally ill to people sitting and standing too close and digging in their ears.
Randal, who wants to direct, act and produce films, says he can't sit down on the bus or subway without falling asleep. But once, standing on a packed Dufferin bus from the Caribana parade for more than an hour, he and a friend engaged their fellow passengers in a loud debate on the difference between the sexes.
"The whole bus got into it. It was the most entertaining bus ride I've been on in my life," he said.
The pair knew they were onto something last Friday, a day after Randal had posted the video on his YouTube page.
That morning Syrus noted 726 hits. By the time he went to bed, "I Get On," had attracted 4,262 viewers.
A new version of the video was posted Dec. 9, deleting a brief homophobic slur that appeared in the original and was causing controversy online. Syrus and Randal say it was meant as a joke but when they realized it was offensive they moved as quickly as possible to take it out of the video.
TTC chair Adam Giambrone, who happened to ride the Dufferin bus with Randal on Sunday following an awards reception, is supportive of their effort.
"This song, along with a lot of the other pop presentations of the TTC, all confirm the fact that the TTC is important to the day-to-day lives of people. That comes through not only in terms of pop culture references but in ideas and positions people articulate," he said.
Short time TA, Long time Guver, Good time giver.
Registered: Jan 2000
Location: Toronto, Canada
On Dec. 9th, 2008 in order to break up the stresses of fall semester exam week, UNC students flash raved their Undergraduate Library. Without warning to those that were unaware, hundreds of students packed the library lobby and brought it hardcore for over 8 minutes.
lol, this is all kinds of awesome! Chinamon spotted at 2:31 in a rare display of dancing prowess.
"In a world of illusion you only see what you feel"