By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Now, this is clearly my fault. Or is it? Wanting to shift the blame as far away from myself as possible, I decided to call up the TrackBoyz and blame it on the similarity of the names. I mean, we can't be the first people to mix up the St. Louis-based producers of "Air Force Ones" (TrackBoyz) and the St. Louis-based producers of "Right Thurr," can we?
"It happens more than it should," agrees Tarboy from the TrackBoyz. And he confirms that the TrackBoyz were there first: "We had the name for a couple of years before they had the name."
"[When we started], we felt bad because there were already the [Brooklyn-based producing duo] Trackmasterz out there. But it wasn't a big deal to me because they're located in a different region. But with everybody here in a 25-mile radius...."
Oh, this was sounding good. Images of a huge rap war spreading throughout the Lou, totally overshadowing my mistake, were running through my head. Unfortunately for me, the TrackBoyz aren't looking to dis anyone.
"I respect them musically and all that," continues Tarboy. "I don't have no problems with them at all. I wish they had more music etiquette when they picked that name. Because if they'd been out before us, I wouldn't have picked that name. But as far as the name 'Track' goes, [it's fine] as long as [the Trak Starz] are making money, and I hope they are."
Well, drat. The Boyz went back to work (they just finished up working with Eminem and D-12 and are preparing to get started on Nelly's next album). With the Starz ensconced in a bunker somewhere in Atlanta, I was unable to reach them to make up a bunch of lies about the Boyz calling them suckers or something. So I guess there won't be a big squabble, and I'm going to have to shoulder some blame after all.
(But a message to the Track Vandals, a local group of MCs who just sent me some songs: You might want to think about that name again.)
The Washington Avenue scene is kicking into full party mode this weekend with yet another S.N.O.W. (Sunday Night on Washington) Fest on, um, Sunday. The genius of the festival is that it takes place on a night before a legal holiday (that's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, folks) and convinces you that the best way to celebrate the legacy of America's greatest civil-rights leader is with a massive hangover. This works for people whose idea of MLK Day is to flip on BET for a while, but even if you have more lofty plans, you should check out the fest. The RFT is one of the sponsors of the event, but believe me, I'm not getting any kickbacks for pushing the concert -- in fact, nobody ever offers me kickbacks for anything. It makes me feel unloved.
If you haven't gotten your groove on in a while, Sunday night is the time to get back on track. I mean, St. Louis isn't like that town in Footloose where dancing on the Sabbath is a sin -- and if it is, just pretend you're Kevin Bacon and kick off those Sunday shoes. Come say hello to some old friends like Velvet and Lo, and check out some of the newer venues that keep sprouting up on the Ave. like very stylish, loud tumors. Not that everything on Washington is a dance club -- along with the booty-shaking establishments such as Isis, chill joints such as the Farrago Café and Tangerine will be open for the fest. I need to check out Wasabi, and I've never set foot in Deep 6, the Ritz or the Studio Café, so I'll be making the scene. I don't really dance (I don't mean I don't like it; I mean the arrhythmic motions I make on a dance floor can't possibly be classified as "dance"), but I imagine I'll be able to find something to do in all of those bars (here's a hint: They're bars). Don't worry -- I'll take notes, too. In fact, you really don't need to bother showing up at all; I'll tell you all about it next week. See, I told you I wasn't on the take.