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Stunt or Stand? 101 Traffic Jam Band Members Arrested

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Three members of an Orange County-based hip hop band were arrested yesterday following a publicity stunt that shut down the 101 Hollywood Freeway under the guise of raising awareness for homelessness.

Christopher Wright, Keith Yackey and David Paul Hale of The Imperial Stars were arrested yesterday following the stunt, which caused a traffic jam from Hollywood back into the San Fernando Valley, according to KTLA. The band had stopped their truck on the busy freeway and began to perform; the truck's driver fled the scene, taking the keys with him.

The men could be charged with obstructing traffic, however, perhaps the more powerful force they face is the public's outrage over their stunt, which affected thousands of drivers using the 101 for a mid-morning commute. But was it all for a good cause?

The band claims to be focused on working to benefit homeless children; a splash page on their website, which requires a valid email address to pass through to the main site, is devoted to their noble platform. Their Twitter account, with less than 200 followers as of this morning, is focused mostly on promoting their gigs; their efforts to combat homelessness comprise of two almost identical tweets sent out in September, which could very well be when the plan to do the traffic stunt was initiated, though that is of course just speculation.

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Meanwhile, band's biography smacks of self-aggrandizement: "Living the dream on stage under the heat of the lime light, Orange County California based amplified sound virtuosos cement themselves as one of the preeminent entertainment groups in popular music," reads their info page. Claiming industry savvy and displaying prolific thesaurus use, the band clearly holds itself in high esteem while promising staggering results: "The Imperial Stars are set to launch a new campaign to transform the Orange County Music scene by epic proportions."

Pretty impressive for a band that has 14 friends on Facebook, no?

During yesterday's traffic mess, one news anchor refused to give the name of the band, and intimated their management was run by a "loser." Though the name "Imperial Stars" may be on our tongues for a few days, the validity of their stunt can only be measured in the long run. Did they truly do anything to help homeless children yesterday? In a year, a month, a week, will anyone who was caught in their traffic jam buy the new Imperial Stars record, or will they simply remember the day it took them 3 hours to get from Van Nuys to East Hollywood "because some effing band" pulled a stunt?

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