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"Off the Books" Single by The Beatnuts featuring Big Punisher & Cuban Link from the album Stone Crazy Released September 16, 1997 Format 12-inch single, Vinyl, CD Genre East Coast hip hop Length 3:42 Label Relativity Records Writer(s) Lester Fernandez, Jerry Tineo, Christopher Rios Producer The Beatnuts The Beatnuts singles chronology "Do You Believe?" (1997) "Off the Books" (1997) "Here's a Drink" (1997) Big Pun chronology "I'm Not a Player" (1997) "Off the Books" (1997) "Still Not a Player" (1998) Cuban Link chronology "Off the Books" (1997) "Flowers for the Dead" (2000) "Off the Books" is the third single from Stone Crazy, a 1997 album by East Coast hip hop group The Beatnuts. It was released by Relativity Records in both 12 inch and CD format in 1997. The song is produced by The Beatnuts and features raps by Juju and Psycho Les, as well as the first on-record performances by Big Punisher and Cuban Link. Big Pun's real first on-record performance was the B-Side to Fat Joe's "Envy" single, "Firewater" with Fat Joe, Raekwon and Armageddon. Each verse on the posse cut contains braggadocios quotes about how much "street cred" each rapper has. Lyrics from Psycho Les's verse were later sampled in "The Rep Grows Bigga" by Gang Starr and two Beatnuts songs: "No Escapin' This" and "Slam Pit". The track's beat samples "Break that Party and Opening" by Melvin Van Peebles, "Sing Song" by Buddy Baker, "Get out of My Life, Woman" by George Semper and "Hihache" by Lafayette Afro Rock Band. "Off the Books" was the most commercially successful single from Stone Crazy; it reached #86 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it the first Beatnuts single to appear on the pop chart. Tom Doggett of RapReviews.com explains the source of the song's success: [The first] verse turned a lot of heads, and had plenty to do with Pun blowing up. What isn't always remembered was the Sesame Street flute sample that inspired him, laid over the uptempo drums and wailing vocal snippet. "Off The Books" is brilliant, one of the most accessible rap songs ever made. Thugs will be pleased with the vicious verses, and yet any club will still get hopping with one spin.[1] Its popularity landed it on two Beatnuts hits compilations: Beatnuts Forever and Classic Nuts, Vol. 1. It can additionally be found on the soundtracks of two films, 1998's Butter and 2001's Blazin', as well as Big Pun's 2001 album Endangered Species and various hip hop compilation albums. An "Off the Books" music video, which highlights the lavish lives lived by each rapper, was directed by Dave Meyers. Contents 1 Single track list 1.1 CD single 1.2 12" vinyl 1.2.1 A-Side 1.2.2 B-Side 2 References Single track list CD single "Off the Books (Album Version)" "Off the Books (Instrumental)" "Bless the M.I.C." "Intermission" "Get Funky (Remix)" 12" vinyl A-Side "Off the Books (Clean Version)" (3:34) "Off the Books (Dirty Version)" (3:34) B-Side "Off the Books (T.V. Track)" (3:34) "Off the Books (Instrumental)" (3:34) "Off the Books (Acapella)" (3:25) References ^ Doggett, Tom (2004-11-23). "Stone Crazy Review". RapReviews.com. http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_stonecrazy.html. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  v · d · eThe Beatnuts Psycho Les · Juju · Al' Tariq Albums The Beatnuts: Street Level · Stone Crazy · Hydra Beats, Vol. 5 · A Musical Massacre · Take It or Squeeze It · The Originators · Milk Me Compilations World Famous Classics · Beatnuts Forever · Classic Nuts, Vol. 1 · U.F.O. Files EPs Intoxicated Demons: The EP · Remix EP: The Spot Singles "Reign of the Tec" · "No Equal" · "Props Over Here" · "Hit Me with That" · "Hellraiser (Remix)" · "Find That" · "Do You Believe?" · "Off the Books" · "Here's a Drink" · "Watch Out Now" · "Se Acabo" · "No Escapin' This" · "Let's Git Doe" · "We Got the Funk" · "Buying out the Bar" · "Work that Pole" · "Simple Murder" · "Ya Betta Believe It" · "Hot" · "Find Us" · "It's Nothing" Featured singles "Pre of Cash" · "Out for the Cash" · "Who the Trifest?" · "Can't Relate" · "Very Good My Friends" · "Duck Season" Related The Beatnuts discography · Psycho Therapy (The Soundtrack)