To carve their own niche in the world of urban music, Repeat Offenders pride themselves on humility and their ability to captivate audiences with their “throwback” style of hip hop. These artists feel a deep obligation to the community, and to music in general, to avoid the overused song content of misogyny, violence, wealth, and drug use. Instead, on a quest to change the hip-hop landscape, Repeat Offenders’ emotional lyrics and performances attempt to expand this musical genre and address personal and social struggles that they and members of their community face.
The history of this group traces back to the Pennsylvania dormitories of Millersville University during the fall of 1993. The love for, and knowledge of, many musical genres brought Shawn Jacks (aka S.L.U.G.) and Matthew Kolb (aka Thrill) together, and they formed an instant bond. Soon after their introduction, Shawn introduced Matthew to Chris Hammond (aka Hip Hop), and the seeds had been planted.
Over the next few years, Shawn began molding his own lyrical style, Matthew expanded his dj’ing to Millersville University’s radio station, and Chris’ produced his own, original pounding hip hop instrumentals to form the group’s compelling first album, "Lyrical Incarceration". Repeat Offenders then produced and directed the video for the album’s first single, “Slugfest.” Although their first collaborative effort, the album "Lyrical Incarceration", lacked the financial backing and airplay push of a major label record, it laid the foundation for the realness that was to come.
Their follow-up, "By Example", was critically acclaimed and cemented their impact on the current state of hip-hop. An exemplary, cohesive collection of tracks all aimed at uplifting and espousing the everyday person, their second album also took a more personal tone and offered audiences and listeners a closer look at these artists and their daily lives. Centered on family, chock full of pensive, heartfelt lyrics as well as aggressive and undeniably powerful tracks, "By Example" is Repeat Offenders’ statement of accountability in hip hop. The release of this album saw Repeat Offenders creating quite a local buzz; but it was their live performances that earned them respect and appreciation amongst their peers.
To date, Repeat Offenders has reached out to audiences in Costa Rica, Haiti, and Peru and rocked live shows in states like PA, NJ, DE, CT, NY, and MA, including an award-winning performance at the Rock Solid Pressure Showcase in Danbury, CT. The first single from By Example, “I Found Her,” was featured on the Feoh Records’ 2004 compilation, Summer Dying Fast, while other Repeat Offender tracks, like “Bounce To This” were included in the independent film project, Mary/Jane.
The success of By Example culminated with it being named and honored as one of the Top 25 independent releases of 2006 (indie-music.com). Most recently, they’ve blazed New York City stages like Mr. R’s "What’s Hot Radio Showcase" and lent their musical blessings to weddings, house parties, and Sweet 16 engagements. They’ve connected with the tremendously talented live quartet, The Big Dirty, and together these two entities take shows from individual performances to united celebrations of music.
In addition to releasing the "Extended Family Mixtape", they’ve also shined on other ventures like "The Lyrical Skills Project" and South Hill Productions’ "Soul Sessions Volume 1", "Throwback Soul" and "Soul Sessions Volume 2". As these PA hip hop overachievers continue to hone their direction and refine their writing skills, listeners can rest assured that their aptly titled new album "On Purpose" is just as potent.