First off: our sincerest apologies for not posting any new content in so long. We’ve been slacking, clearly. Also, we’ve been stuck in traffic. And that part is totally the fault of these guys.
See, earlier this week, a bunch of douchebags from Orange County calling themselves Imperial Stars thought it would be cool if they promoted their new single, “Traffic Jam 101,” by…get this…causing a traffic jam! On the fucking 101 freeway! Genius, no?
To achieve this totally awesome end, the group drove a big-ass van down the 101 freeway in Hollywood during Tuesday rush hour (okay, it was 10:30 am, but this is LA, people…it’s always rush hour), then parked it sideways across three lanes of traffic, climbed on top, and started performing a little impromptu concert for all the poor suckers running late to their auditions and yoga classes. Concert ended when the cops showed up and arrested all three guys for disturbing the peace and unlawful assembly, but a really lame-ass hip-hop band from the O.C. that no one had ever heard of was all over the evening news, so hey…mission accomplished, I guess. No such thing as bad publicity and all that.
Now, obviously, one crass but effective publicity stunt does not a weird band make, so you’re probably wondering why we’re wasting precious bandwidth on these clowns. Well, there’s a few reasons. First off, there’s the band’s publicity materials, which seriously read like they were run through one of those programs that translates text into, I dunno, Slovenian or some shit, then back into English. Here’s a brief sample, from the band’s Facebook page:
“Dynamic synthesizers, authoritative drum patterns and mainstay power vocals that remind even the average ear of greatness, The Imperial Stars pierced themselves into the heart of music history…Vocalist Paul Arabella exhales igneous verse that bridge chorus potential into hit records…Imbedded into the culture of hip hop from the ages of adolescence, big Paul reinvented himself in content and persona that parallels elevated status.”
Second, there’s the band’s actual music, which almost makes the press materials seem coherent by comparison. At some point in “Traffic Jam 101,” the aforementioned Paul Arabella (who kinda looks like Andy Samberg in O.C. hip-hop drag) drops igneous verses like, “In the traffic jam, bumper to bumper/Heat for your winter, cool for your summer.” And head Imperial Christopher Wright says he “play my music for the children of the stars.” Dude, did the “children of the stars” tell you to ruin the morning of thousands of strangers?
Last but not least, there’s the alleged reason Imperial Stars decided to risk arrest so they could subject Hollywood commuters to their crappy song. They did it for the children.
“We were thinking we needed to do something big to grab the attention of the American people to this cause of the 1.5 million homeless children,” guitarist Keith Yackey told a local radio station the day after the stunt. The group claims it will donate 50% of all proceeds from sale of the “Traffic Jam 101” single to help homeless youth.
If this is whole thing is some kind of weird Die Antwoord style meta-joke, it’s kinda brilliant. But if Imperial Stars—who, by the way, used to make incredibly derivative faux-gangsta rap under the name Imperial Assassins—are trying to be serious…and I think they are…well, then, wow. Just wow.
- Imperial Stars official site (it says you need to give them your email address to enter, but fuck that–just follow this link and you can peruse the site in all its glory)
- Imperial Stars (aka Imperial Assassins) on MySpace
- Imperial Stars Facebook fan page