Rap Game Rob Ford: How Z-Ro Predicted the Crack Scandal

Chris Randle is a writer from Toronto who has written for The Globe and Mail, The...

Recent Articles


Z-Ro (a.k.a. Joseph Wayne McVey) is a Southern rapper known for songs about feeling lonely, depressed, betrayed or addicted to drank. Rob Ford is, at this precise moment of writing, still improbably the mayor of Toronto. Not the most intuitive pairing, one might think—unless you know that pretty much every popular musician of note secretly belongs to the Illuminati. (Remember when Biggie predicted 9/11?) For mysterious but undoubtedly sinister reasons, Z-Ro’s role in the conspiracy has forgone pyramids and alien reptiles to focus on Toronto municipal politics. Listening to his 2008 album Crack this week, I realized that it contained an intricately veiled prophecy of the Ford mayoralty. Only now can the clues be decoded.

On Wednesday, Doug Ford described his brother as “the people’s mayor,” more “accessible” than ever before, apparently referring to his habit of fielding phone calls from any stranger who makes one. But there are numbers the younger Ford clearly needs to stop dialing, as Z-Ro made clear five eerie years ago: It’s a shame having a cell phone, but don’t want it to ring / Cause I don’t wanna deal with bullshit people and the bullshit they might bring / That’s why I send them to voicemail heaven (I don’t wanna talk) / Cause bullshit run a marathon, I rather keep it real and walk.”

“Hell yeah I was loving it ‘cause I was making my cheese / But it didn’t feel real good once it started happening to me / I was reaping what I was sowing, that was that haterism / I hated to see my pants pockets without some paper in ‘em.” Yes, cheese, an honest, laborious comestible—not like that wasteful gravy train the mayor’s campaign vowed to stop, goes the implication? Here our Masonic MC symbolically describes the feeling of onerous regulation that first inspired Ford to leave his family sticker company and run for office.

When I feel like fuckin / I’mma wrap a 100 dollar bill around my dick.” $100 dollar bill = the public purse. Rob Ford’s dick = his veto pen or whatever. Horned-up fuck-lust = high-minded, Apollonian devotion to the average taxpayer.

Now you can Harlem Shuffle or electric slide / But I’m like Three 6 Mafia movin’ my body from side to side / Instead of doing the two-step I shoot two TECs / I ain’t goin’ to crip walk even though I down with the blue set.” Remember that time the mayor hung out with Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper? (They would probably prefer if you didn’t.) He might not be much of a dancer, but he has moved in the same crowd as numerous prominent Conservatives!

“Mane, you know it’s a trip / Having these nothing-ass niggas and these bullshit-ass broads / Always got something to say about the next man and his household / Unable to get on top of they shit cause they so worried about everybody else’s.” This is about the Toronto Star.

“But I’m an equal-opportunity lender, I’m not a snob / Meet me in Mo City and I might just give you a job / Cause I’m looking for a few good men, tryna expand my operation / I’ve been local long enough, time to go nation / Making the transition from the streets to the fame / A couple clubs, gas stations and hotels in my name.” For “gas station,” read “gigantic ill-conceived casino complex,” but the sense of tragic, empire-building hubris is still hauntingly vivid.

“Or like a Ford I’m built Ford tough / Blowing on that real purple stuff.” Hidden in plain sight. I assume that Ro persuaded his Anunnaki masters to let him have fun by this point. Did you know that Nintendo foretold the imminent alien invasion?

Read The Gift of Ford, a Hazlitt E-Book Original by Ivor Tossell.

Find Hazlitt on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter