The Fire Mixtape
by Steven H.
It was a warm September Monday afternoon as I rode the bus home from school, zoned out from everything going on around me by listening to the Ariana Grande Album. The bus stopped at 17th avenue, and a man with a red beanie and a giant winter coat boarded the bus. Now I know this seems normal, since everyone uses public transit, but this man was special. As the bus slowly rolled to a red light, he walked towards me and ripped out one of my ear buds.
“Excuse me,” he began, “do you like hip and revolutionary music?”
I answered in the affirmative, and reached for my other earbud to finish listening to my song. He slapped the earbud out of my palms and stared at me with his eyes and asked me a very important question.
“Would you like my CD? I have my very own Rap Mixtape on it,” he asked. “It’s only $17.38.”
“Sorry,”I responded, “I don’t have that kind of money”.
“Don’t worry, I’ll give it to you for free,” said the man. At the next bus stop, he leaped out and sprinted to Starbucks.
After I got home, I started doing my homework. However, being the easily-distracted person I am, I ended up doing something else. I grabbed the CD in my pocket, and inserted it into the disk drive on my laptop. I turned up the volume to see why this obsolete object was worth $17.38. The first song began, and I was very surprised. IT WAS GOOD. It wasn’t some mediocre garbage that had been recorded on an iPhone and sold on Granville island; it was real, original, different music. And then the next song played, and it was amazing, too. So for the next six hours, I sat on my couch, eyes closed, listening to a mixtape that I’d gotten from a homeless guy on a bus.
The very next morning I got on the bus to go to school, listening to the My Everything Album. When I got there, I realized something. I had a Math final first block. It was worth 75% of my grade. I’d forgotten to study the previous afternoon because I had been listening to the mixtape. I began to panic. I was gripping my hair so tightly, I thought it would rip off like grass. My head was hot as a potato and I was breathing heavily. I wasn’t not sure what to do.
I reached into my backpack to get my math textbook to do a quick review, but after a hard twenty seconds of searching, I realized that I’d left it at home. I continued to panic, until I found my Sony Walkman with the mixtape in its disk slot. I realized that there was only one thing to do: listen to these fire songs.
Twenty minutes later, the final began. I was focused and relaxed, thanks to incredible magic of music. Somehow, I ended up passing the final. I was very confused, but I’m not gonna argue about getting a 93%. After minutes of thinking, I realized the reason behind my mark: it was the mixtape. The beat and looping had reinforced focus. I experimented with this theory by listening to the mixtape while doing homework. To my surprise, it worked! I got great scores in all of my classes. This didn’t just help me with school, it also helped with my football. Listening to my walkman before games recalibrated my focus and helped me make interceptions and hard-hitting tackles. I was even Defensive Player of the Week. It was a amazing.
Finally, I saw the creator of the magical mixtape again. I was on the bus. He recognized me, and asked about my thoughts on it. I gave him very positive feedback and told him about the incredible power it had. We later went to Starbucks to discuss the mixtape.
“What’s your rapper name?” I asked.
“The Fire Truck,” he responded.
“That’s a very beautiful name,” I said.
After a long twelve-minute discussion, we decided to get this mixtape published by a record label. So, we did what any reasonable person would do to get famous: flew to L.A, infiltrated rapper/comedian/actor Ice Cube’s house and put the CD next to his dresser while he was sleeping, with a sticky note saying, “You’re Welcome,” our contact information and our addresses.
After four days, we were arrested and sentenced to one month in jail. And that was how I met El Chapo.