Toronto, Ontario — March 8, 2020 — Canadian towing social media platforms have seen a number of postings featuring a rapper discussing the dangers facing towing professionals in the road, and the string of arson attacks and shootings in the GTA.
The songs are the creations of Jesse Hererra, a Dallas-based towing professional and former musician.
Last November, Herera saw a former colleague and friend’s face appear on the news. The man had been shot 13 times while conducting a vehicle repossession, and died.
A few weeks later, another friend, also a towing professional, called Herrera to let him know that he was conducting a risky roadside operation. A few minutes later, Herrera’s friend was struck and killed by a drunk driver.
“I didn’t want to just express myself with a post on Facebook. It didn’t feel right,” says Herrera.
A former musician, Hererra had left the music business to begin a new life as a towing professional in 2011. In the wake of the dual tragedies, Hererra felt that—by returning to music—he might be able to make a difference for the towing community.
“It had been a long time. I was 21 the last time I was in a studio—I am 34 now.”
His first song, My Brothers and Sisters, directly addresses his feelings in the wake of the events in November, and was released over Facebook.
The piece ends with a simple request to listeners. “Slow down, and move over.”
The towing community embraced Hererra for his efforts. Towing social media platforms began to celebrate Hererra, and use the hashtag #towlivesmatter.
“The response was encouraging. I heard from people across the United States and around the word. People in the industry realize it is an important issue,” says Hererra.
In the months since, Hererra has released several more songs with a similar theme. He has also considered how best to explain the position of the tow community to people who aren’t involved in it.
“A lot of people don’t think about the tow life. Even when I entered the industry, I didn’t really recognize all the dangers we face on the roads. When I joined, I just did it,” says Hererra. “It wasn’t until my wife drove with me, and pointed out how crazy things were on the road, that I started to even consider it. A lot of people don’t understand that.”
The trick, Hererra says, is to spread a positive message.
“Too much music has a negative message. If you have a positive message, people are more likely to be influenced by it. The truth is that things could be better, and, even if just five people pass that message on because of the music, the effect will keep being passed forward.”
In another song, (Dumb ***) Tow Wars, Hererra directly addresses the situation facing GTA tow pros who have been victimized by a series of arson attacks and shootings.
Hererra says that Canadian towing professionals face similar challenges to those in the United States.
“Wherever we are, we should try to speak up, and pass the message on about towing safety.”
Hererra’s music can be found on his Facebook page. It was also recently put onto a YouTube channel. The music contains some strong language.