A hip-hop group might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think Best Band. But why the hell not? ArtOfficial is nothing if not that — both a full-fledged band and some of the best musicians the 305 has to offer. Keyboardist Danny Perez, bassist Ralf Valencia, and saxophonist Keith Cooper lay down the live instrumentation: supple and seductive grooves that bob and weave among styles ranging from jazz to funk to rock. Meanwhile, MCs Logics and Newsense deliver deft and swift vocals, giving those jazzy rhythms their finely honed hip-hop edge. The five-piece has been earning well-deserved acclaim both locally and beyond ever since the release of its 2007 debut EP, Stranger, drawing comparisons to the Roots, and dropping music as far as Japan (2008's Fist Fights & Foot Races, which was released stateside in January). The time has come to crown ArtOfficial Best Band right here in its hometown.