IMG_4219Harold Stallworth is in the club singing off-key.

Sometimes a go-go cover sounds absolutely nothing like the genuine article, and more often than not, we’re all better for it. When the TOB Band—former home to up-and-coming D.C. rapper Yung Gleesh—repurposed Ron Isley’s “Contagious” and The Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly” during a performance at Gary’s Cafe earlier this spring, they showed little regard for tradition: TOB’s version moves at a different tempo than either of the original records; their abrupt beat drops make room for off-key wails, neighborhood shoutouts, and crowd participation. The band eventually dovetails back into the regularly scheduled apocalyptic bounce-beats, but the fleeting tranquility is much appreciated.

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