Offbeat will be an ongoing category that will spotlight an album or song (past or present) from a genre other than hip-hop or R&B that I’ve managed to stumble across.  

Turn On The Bright Lights was the first of four albums by post-punk revival band Interpol.  I randomly picked this up in 2002 for the most ridiculous reason…the cover had a cool look to it.  This is one of those times when I lucked up off of a whim.  The music behind the album cover matched the mood of the album: dark and brooding with a fiery, colorful undertone.  Quite simply, Turn On The Bright Lights is basically a perfectly put-together album and received well-deserved critical acclaim coming out of the gate.  To cop it on iTunes, Click Here.

Obstacle 1 x Interpol 

Untitled (Live) x Interpol

How do you not dig this joint?  We never heard from Rampage again after this and his feature on Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” remix, but this track is definitely an appreciated contribution.  And seriously, nobody hypes a track better than Busta Rhymes, feverishly shouting at the crowd where the chorus would normally be on a more light-in-the-ass track.  

This video is powerful. It was powerful then and twenty-plus years later, it’s still THAT powerful.  Think about it: “I’m a rebel so I rebel”.  Public Enemy were some of the first artists to speak out about injustice taking place in the Black community.  When Chuck D wrote this he was painting a picture; a picture that showed that Blacks simply were not going to take it anymore and that by any means necessary we were going to be treated equally.  Every thing he said in the rap he did in the video.  It was like watching a movie with the matching book that it was based on…a classic for real!  Sidenote: Peep the Raiders caps, Flav’s gold grill & Eric B walking side by side with Chuck in the dookie rope and baseball satin.  Swag before “swag” was even coined.

I don’t know about you, but when Carl Thomas dropped Emotional, it was a good day for R&B.  It was true soul music made for grown folks.  Even when Carl throws a little hip-hop into the mix, the soul still takes precedent and it seems like Carl Thomas is one of the only artists to keep the quality up to snuff after leaving Bad Boy.  Snoop Dogg joins Carl on his latest effort “Don’t Kiss Me” and the chemistry is on point.  Looking forward to getting my hands on that Conquer album.    

I saw that Jean Grae dropped this track on Twitter earlier.  Definitely an MC I always check for who always manages to come with a unique approach to songwriting.  Don’t sleep.  Hoping to get that Cake Or Death product sooner than later.


Sean Falyon dropped his Jackin’ 4 Beats mixtape earlier this month, so late pass on this one.  Check out recent visuals from “SFBE Riot” below and stream and download the mixtape if you dig it.  


Here’s another release from Stalley with Ski Beatz on the boards.  I’ve been saying for some time that Ski and Stalley have the best chemistry and I’m glad Stalley’s sticking to this sound.  Seems like the wins are piling up for the Ohio MC.

Thank you, Beat Gods!  The Cool Kids bless us with the instrumentals off of their classic (not even debatable) mixtape Gone Fishing, which is still, to me, their best work to date.  Gone Fishing as a cohesive, album-quality mixtape that really stamped Chuck Inglish in my mind as one of the best producers out right now.  Oh, and he can rap.  After Michael Rocks’ stellar solo effort on The Rocks Report and the follow-up Premier Politics.  

Download Here

Check out Boldy James and GLC performing “David Ruffin” all the way live at The Shelter in Detroit (Shot by Chris Vogt @ChrisJVogt).  Boldy James’ new mixtape Consignment is due on 2/27.  I’ll be sure to have that right here for the good people.

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