Offsite: yet another Wisconsin-based rapper

Blake Gillespie

What’s in the Wisconsin water? Since milo put the northern state into the rap conversation with his philosophically sound art rap, a movement trickled into narrative that extends to artists like Safari Al, Webster X, and CRASHprez. A young energy and independent spirit, possibly pollinated by proximity to Rhymesayers in Minneapolis, is guiding our idea of Wisconsin away from cheesheads and Republican politics, replaced by cerebral rap that’s cultivated a crop of Soundcloud producers to shape a sound to call its own.

Enter Offsite to the conversation. Though he reports from Tokyo, he claims Milwaukee. His Invisible Ideals is going to conjure distant memories of Josh Martinez, while the production is lifted from Evil Needle, Art*Vandelay, and Tokimonsta. Offsite’s Invisible Ideals might exist as a mixtape, but he writes with a visionary spirit as though the production were catered for his contribution. On “Saikyō Pusher” he explores his expatriate loneliness over a harrowing Us. beat, fighting the alienation with adrift fantasies on the metro, volumes of reading material, and pornography. He’s prone to hyper reference much like milo, with healthy doses of anime, Borges, and video games, but it never lapses into nerd aesthetic.

In fact, aesthetic is a conceit with no weight in the Midwest. There are no rap caricatures, no bandwagoners of art rap, no frauds. What Offsite delivers on Invisible Ideals is a poetic report from abroad, sparing no detail or embarrassment in his isolation. Even in a fanciful ode to Cowboy Bebop heroine Faye Valentine (disambiguation to porn actress Faye Reagan, formerly Faye Valentine) on “this little Fury (for Faye Valentine), Offsite bares an honest heart in his desire to eat peanut butter sandwiches by the river with a bounty hunter/porn star. Without the knowledge of Faye’s identity, it remains a genuine offering and that is the achievement of Invisible Ideals; the anime references and occasional awkward bar never disrupt the message.

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