Every Monday night the hungriest rappers in St. Louis were drawn like iron to a magnet to the world's largest Amoco sign. Not for $3 gas, but for the Hi-Pointe's open-mic night. Though folks walked around carrying Coronas and rum-and-Cokes, if you looked closely you'd see that the night wasn't so much about good times as about scouting talent. Established players like Trackstar, Nappy Needles, Tef Poe and Gotta Be Karim ripped it like usual, then cast their gaze upon the newcomers. Aspiring rappers faced laughter, mockery or worsesilencebut once you were in here, you were in.