2015 Summer Tour Post #3: Jackson, MI and Offbeat Records
Setting off around mid afternoon, we were off to Jackson, MI to play the most unique venue on our tour; a record/comic book/action figure store with a beer/liquor license called Offbeat. Phillip Rollins is the creator, owner and manager of this funky shop located in the industrial section of Jackson.
Check out Offbeat’s FB page to see the goodness: https://www.facebook.com/OBjxn
Phillip connected us with Will Jolly, a mixing/mastering engineer/producer/ DJ, to be our host during our stay in the capital of Mississippi.. Not only did Will provide a spot to stay, but he had beds for all of us in his spacious house, showed us his studio, played us the music he produced and even made us breakfast. Although Will was a few years older than us, we shared the same love for 90’s hip hop and music production. Will graduated from Full Sail and worked various engineering jobs in NOLA, the west coast and a handful of other locations throughout the US, so he had plenty of interesting experiences to share about his career in the music biz. It is inspiring to see someone who has “made it” in the industry and not jaded by their journey to get there.
After settling in at Will’s, the crew headed down to Offbeat to soundcheck and peep the store. The last time we performed at a record shop was a few years back on Long Island at a spot called the Cop Shop with our original hip-hop group, Illest Rhyme Droppaz. So being back at a space like this brought back many memories for the both of us.
Described as an “alternative culture store”, Offbeat was a diamond in the rough in this depleted area of Jackson. The nearby roads were filled with massive potholes and the surrounding buildings were all catered towards old industrial business. So needless to say, a creative record shop, was an unexpected surprise. Not only did Offbeat sell records, but they sold designer toys, screenprints, clothing, comic books, and art books. They even had an art gallery featuring a new artist each month and a nice selection of beers to offer!
As expected with our 1st tour, the turnout wasn’t big for the show, but those who did attend seemed to really enjoy the soulful vibes we brought. We kept the set rooted in the hip hop vibe that Offbeat represented, playing a slew of our original mid-tempo tracks, and the people of Jackson showed us plenty of love.
The next day we awoke after a glorious night of sleep (a dark and cold room does the trick) and Will was kind enough to prepare us a big breakfast for our 3 hour drive down to New Orleans. The anticipation was building for our first trip to NOLA, but we were very grateful for Will’s hospitality. It was an interesting experience to visit an old southern city like Jackson and see a different side of America’s history. Although the city itself seemed to be struggling, the people were kind, welcoming and optimistic with a drive to bring a fresh culture to Mississippi’s capital.