Readers sound off about today's traffic-light cameras and yesterday's red-hot hip-hop nights.

local hip-hop

Feature, March 6, 2008

Stop, Thief! readers comment on Chad Garrison's "Red Alert" feature story about traffic-light cameras:

St. Louis gets everything last! Having just moved to St. Louis from Orange County, California, I experienced these over the last few years. A lawsuit was brought against the county to fight the revenue sharing with the equipment company, which was won. I believe the grounds were based on the incentive of miscalibrating them to increase revenue by the equipment company. They had to be tested and certified to ensure proper operation. St. Louis residents need to make this happen or they will be taken to the cleaners with these "safety" signals.
Russell Cummings

It's a money thing, all right: I received one of these tickets when they first went up. I missed it by a foot. If your front tire is on or behind the white line when it turns red you just coughed up 100 bucks. One inch past and you're safe. Florissant has been bombarded by these in the last year, and I drive through three of them just to get home. With about 40 percent going to Arizona for some company, how can it not be a money thing? Give all the money to the schools and let's see if they continue to put these up everywhere.

Feature, February 28, 2008

Hip-Hop Hothouse

Dirty Dan gets in a plug...: I enjoyed Keegan Hamilton's "Fist City." I remember Hi-Pointe Café and how popular it was. I wanted to do something like that, so I shopped around for a venue and landed on the Royal Palace on Natural Bridge Road.  I couldn't afford a well-known MC, so I decided to host the show myself. "Rhythm and Rhyme Thursdays" has been going on since September.

I nicknamed it "Hip-Hop Open Mic" because essentially that's what it is. The show lacks the popularity and style of the Hi-Pointe; however, it is growing. I produce and promote the show but haven't made a dime after spending hundreds of dollars on radio advertising; people still seem to have no clue what is going on. Eventually, it will pick up, and I'll make my money. After all, that's the whole point. I wanted to beat someone else to a rap open mic and be the biggest in St. Louis.

Sorry you didn't know about the show before you published your story. Any publicity would've been good for little ol' me.
"Dirty" Dan McGee, Ferguson

...And so does Family Affair: I am a big fan of underground and major hip-hop; I am also an RFT reader. I went to the local Traffic Music Awards, where artists such as Joka, Hakeem tha Dream, MC, Az One, OOOps, Potzee and City Boi performed. The awards were great, but long. Towards the end a group by the name of Family Affair came out with a song called "U Go Luv tha Family," a hot remix which consisted of the artists I already named and a few more, including themselves. I was very impressed because not many artists will put a song together with their competition. This is what I call history in the making. The host of the Traffic Awards said, "Now this is the collaboration of the year."

Most artists may do a remix with one or two people, but for them to put a song together and include at least ten local, and some very well-known artists from St. Louis, deserves a standing "O." I was not only impressed but proud. I was proud because St. Louis is known as a "hating" city. This is an example of St. Louis coming together.

Later that night, as I left the awards, I turned my radio to 104.1 and Family Affair played their remix. The hook was hot, the beat was bangin' and it was an all-around hot song. I wanted to hear more from them, so I went to YouTube and typed in "STL Family Affair," and all of the music was hot. Family Affair is the next big thing, in my eyes.

I just wanted to acknowledge before anyone does it that these guys are hip-hop and not that phony music you hear on your local radio stations. They're not going with the trend of dance music, they are starting their own trends. I would love to see them in the RFT.
Sashay Williams, St. Louis

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