Playing off the fact that his birth certificate reads "white" when he certainly is not, Filipino-American Ryan Fernandez chose the name Offwhyte when he began performing around Chicago in the late '90s. The rapper had moved to Chicago from his native Alabama to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was there that he formed the cutting-edge underground rap label Galapagos4 with the help of Jeff Kuglich and graffiti artist JASH. Upon Offwhyte's graduation, both he and the label would both move to Los Angeles. In 2000 he would make his debut with the critically acclaimed Squints. Two years later his sophomore release, The Fifth Sun, would be distributed in the U.K. by the renowned label Peacefrog. A brief move to Switzerland would find him partnering with DJ Reezm and En Sayne for the 2004 EP Crossing the Potomac, released on the Ish label. Offwhyte came back home -- to L.A. and Galapagos4 -- for the 2005 EP Bow to the Sceptor, his most politically charged effort to date. A grittier sound and a bit of reggae appeared on his 2007 release, Mainstay. ~ David Jeffries
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