Jeff Spec
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Jeff Spec

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Rhythm And Blues
Avery | 2005

Straight from Vancouver, comes Jeff Spec, recording since 1995, and therefore a producer/MC with quite a following and reputation in British Columbia and beyond. As a member of the City Planners crew, alongside Ishkan, Sweet G, Sichuan and Moka Only, the rep grew bigger and outside Canada, the recognition has only grown more with his 2002 release on Day By Day Ent, 'Dark City'.

Let me start off by saying that it takes quite a lot of guts for a rapper to name his album 'Rhythm and Blues', as the expression never did well amongst hip-hop purists ànd fans (remember the whole 'Rap and Bullshit' hype). My guess: he's referring to the authentic style of music; after all rhythm and blues are essential in order to have good music. Especially for a real and honest artist such as Spec, who starts his album with a hungry, mighty rap over an old school drum break like it was 1983 all over again. 'Been on the side-lines, believe I’mma win, it’s the pulse in my wrist, I’mma bleed through my pen', he courageously flows in 'In The Air', of which the chorus features Moka Only doin an interpolation of Phil Collins’ 'In The Air Tonight'. More recognisable sampling is laced by Sweet G in 'Who Am I', where he chops Ann Peebles' 'Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness' (of Wu-Tang fame) unto some polished head-noddin drums. In the meanwhile Jeff Spec keeps it true, talking about where he’s from ('I came from the bottom, Holmes, that’s why I’m so gutter'), what he tries to achieve and who he actually is. 'I am what I is, live it no less', he claims in the funky 'Back Against The Wall', holdin a steamy clavinet and a swingin bass line. It gets deeper in the introspective 'My Thoughts', produced by Murge, holdin some icey piano stabs and a shivering guitar riff. The production is solid and carries as well as outlines Jeff’s raw voice. The beats are sometimes rough, now and then heroic, sometimes smooth and soulful and carry additional instruments such as bass guitars, clavinets and organs.

'Rhythm And Blues' is a great effort and another step forward in the career of Jeff Spec. With the help of the fellow City Planners, he built an album that pleases me even more than 'Dark City'. The lyrics won’t fool you; honest, hungry, aggressive and well-supported by the musically rich production. No nonsense, no smoke, no mirrors, no gimmicks.
- Platform 8470


Discography

"Rhythm and Blues" - LP, Avery Records 2006
"Never Can Say Goodbye" - 12" Single, Universal Urban, 2003
"Dark City" - LP, Day By Day Entertainment, 2002
"The Regular" - LP, Legendary Entertainment, 2001
"Fort Knock" - LP, Independent, 2000
"It's Simple" - LP, Independent, 1999

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Bio

Jeff Spec is a long standing and respected member of Vancouver’s Hip Hop community. Along with his crew the “City Planners”, which includes members Moka Only, Ishkan, Sichuan and Sweet G, Jeff Spec has been a huge part of developing Vancouver’s unique and creative sound. Jeff Spec has been billed with numerous artists over the years such as MOP, Xzibit, The Beatnuts, Non Phixion, Digital Underground, Living Legends, Kardinal Offishall as well as many many more. His straight forward, biting and witty delivery has garnered him great reviews for previous projects such as “Dark City”. Jeff Spec along with the “City Planners” was featured in URB Magazines Next 100 in 2001, and he also won the Universal Urban “My Block” remix contest which resulted in him having his song “Never Can Say Goodbye” released and distributed by Universal Urban record entitled homegrown. Jeff has been featured on such projects as Moka Only’s “Roadlife,” DJ Murge’s “Search and Rescue” & “Breakdown…Breakthrough,” and Ishkan’s “Murder Mouth”.

His new album, from start to finish, is a creative soundscape drawing on the production talents of Jeff, Sweet G, Sichuan, DJ Murge and others to lay the backdrop to Jeff’s rhymes. “Rhythm and Blues” is just that; it’s rhythm and blues. Jeff introduces the listener to himself, his highs and lows and his successes and failures. The album is truthful, heartfelt and real. In every way Rhythm and Blues is a complete and fulfilling album for its listeners.