Jeff Spec
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Jeff Spec

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Band Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Interview - Refined Hype"

My City: Jeff Spec is Live from Vancouver [Exclusive Interview]
Posted by Nathan S. on 09/03/10 | Filed under Features, My City, Jeff Spec

Us ugly Americans often discount any hip-hop emanating from our northern neighbor, but the truth is that Canada's produced no shortage of dope emcees (besides Drake). In the latest edition of our My City interview series, up-and-coming Vancouver rhymer and sneaker-head Jeff Spec talks about Van-City's creative hip-hop energy, the boundaries of Canada's music industry and his new album "Sneakerboxx".

RefinedHype: You recently dropped your new album "Sneakerboxxx". Listening to it, would I be able to tell you're from Vancouver? Does the city have a distinctive sound?

Jeff Spec: That's a question I used to ask myself a lot... but I'd have to say I do my best not to sound like any place or person in particular. I noticed a certain sound happening here a lot, which I can definitely say I did a lot to help create, so that's when I went left with the whole band thing. The group of musicians I was fortunate enough to work with has a pretty distinct style too. I'd say you wouldn't find another record that sounds very much like "Sneakerboxxx", if I achieved my goal on it.

RefinedHype: How do you think your music and career would be different if you lived in a more "major" city like L.A., New York, Atlanta, etc.

Jeff Spec: Sometimes I've thought that it'd be a lot easier to 'make it' in a big music market like that... Vancouver is a big city (it would be in the top 10 for population in America, I believe), but it's never been any kind of music Mecca, which is odd because we have a lot of talent here. I love my city, but it's always been a big disconnect between musical talent and the music business or hustle or whatever, and I can't figure out why. We have a gang of people trying to be artists that might do better as managers, booking agents, etc, etc, but everyone wants the spotlight rather than to be part of a good team, you know? Don't worry though, the near future holds more time in these places for me!!

RefinedHype: What is it about your hometown that inspires you?

Jeff Spec: Vancouver has this thing that nobody can put their finger on. Artists from other cities come here to write and record a lot, because there's an air of inspiration and creativity here... Maybe that's where we get the everybody-as-an-entertainer syndrome from. It's a beautiful place with a lot of natural appeal and not too much drama, plus it's real slow paced, so it's easy to get caught up being creative too.

RefinedHype: If I'm rolling through Vancouver, where can I find you?

Jeff Spec: My neighborhood is the east side, more specifically Main Street. I guess that's the 'artsy' part of town, as well as Commercial Drive.

RefinedHype: Last words? Shout outs? Confessions?

Jeff Spec: I just want to put it out there that I'll be touring Canada this fall, in October to be exact, and then I'm hitting the U.S. in the late fall/early winter, so if any promoters are looking to book some solid hip hop music, hit up Live Vision (my booking agency) at which will go live real soon. Anyone out there who's into what I do can watch for tour dates on my MySpace and FB pages, or check me on Twitter... And the album is on iTunes and Bandcamp!! -

"Interview - Kevin Nottingham"

Artist Spotlight: Jeff Spec
by KEVIN on OCTOBER 4, 2010 · 2 COMMENTS


Vancouver emcee, Jeff Spec, recently dropped a pretty dope album called Sneakerboxx [cop it].  It’s one that I’ve had on rotation lately, so we reached out to Jeff to find out what he’s all about. Hit the jump to get to know Jeff Spec…

Where you reppin:
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Introduce yourself:
I’m Jeff Spec, an MC, Producer, Record Collector, Sneakerhead, etc.
Main musical inspirations:
I take inspiration from a ton of different sources, like I think most artists do… Musically, I love soul and R&B, classic rock, jazz, all types of hip hop, and tons more. I try not to get caught on one style of music, just to keep my sound a little more diverse. Beyond music, I feel inspired by anything and everything I see inside my world… Just delivering honest music that people can really relate to, as opposed to what record executives would have us believe is the common denominator.
When did you fall in love with hip hop?
The first time I heard it, which was probably ’87… My neighbor had “Licensed To Ill”. I had never really heard of hip hop or rap before, and it blew my mind to hear what was happening. I’m not even particularly a Beastie Boys fan, but the concept of rapping instead of singing was really magnetic to me. Then, a year or two later, I heard Special Ed’s “I Got It Made”, and that’s when I knew it was a lifelong thing for me that I had to be a part of.
Current projects we should be looking out for:
The latest record I did is called Sneakerboxxx, almost all recorded with live instrumentation. This is a new look for me, and I’m pretty excited about it. The single, “On My Feet”, is one of the only songs on it where I flipped a record, and the video is all around the internet right now, so that’s something to check for as well.
Previous work that we should know about:
I have a bunch of mixtapes and albums, I’ve been doing my thing for a minute. Highlights to me are “Rhythm And Blues” (2006), and “…a little night music” (2007). Also, me and Engineer did a record in 2009 called “It’s Been A Long Time”.
If you had to pick one song that defines your career to date, what song would that be?
I have a joint called “My Story” on the new album that’s a bit of a breakdown of my approach to music and life in general, so at the moment that might have to be the theme song. If I picked one that wasn’t my own, I’d say the Pharcyde’s “Something That Means Something”, because what is a song if it doesn’t have a meaning? That’s my whole attitude when I’m in creative mode.
If you weren’t doing music, what would your occupation be?
Well, I do a bit of work with people with autism, which is a really important part of my life. I don’t see it as a career necessarily, but feel that I’ll always have some involvement, at least with the people I’m already working with. Also, it’s in my goals to write a research-based book, within about the next 10 years. I’ll know when I find the subject.
Why should the readers and fans give you a shot and listen to your music from here on out?
Today’s music listener is really lucky in a lot of ways, like the selection is crazy compared to even 10 years ago. Still, I think the honesty and vulnerability is missing from a lot of even the greats’ music these days. My music is about being exposed in a way where people can relate to me even if they don’t want to, and hopefully feel connected to it after it’s all said and done. And I stay focused on the skills, which is tougher to find in hip hop right now. You know I’m never gonna do some BS just to hopefully get a deal or whatever.
If you could only take one record on a deserted island with you, what album would that be?
If I can cheat on this question a bit, I would take an acetate with me, and by the time I was finished on the island, I would press the realest collection of songs I could ever record on it… ha! If I have to pick something that already exists, it’s either Stevie Wonder’s “Songs In The Key of Life” or Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” – coin toss between those two.
Tell us one thing that very few people may know about you.
I’m a cancer survivor. Most of my close friends know because they supported me through it, but I don’t talk about it too much otherwise.
What’s next for you?
My focus now is building a full-time band and pushing that as the main thing. Being Jeff Spec is cool, I love what I do and have done, but I feel like it’s time to expand and move on to the next chapter, with a group project that’s sustainable into the future.
Any shout outs or last words?
I want to let everyone know not to sleep on my hometown, Vancouver. I see us being a notable and respected presence in hip hop in the near future. We have a few artists that are well known, like Moka Only, Swollen Members, and to some extent Sweatshop Union, but everyone out there will soon know names like E.D.G.E., Jay Kin, Jason James (a/k/a Web), District 36, Evil Ebeneezer, Emotionz, Engineer, Main Offenders, and the list goes on.
Also, I know that this is a blog that supports real hip hop, and I have to commend you for that. I see that people right now are taking their music selection into their own hands, and the traditional outlets for music are dying off. Some artists have complained that they don’t sell records like they used to, but I think that it’s good for music in the long run, so I encourage people to get my music how ever they need to do it. Support is appreciated, and you can cop it on iTunes or Bandcamp, but don’t let not buying it stop you from listening to it!! I’ll be in your city soon, just come check me at the show! -

"Sneakerboxxx Review - Lesson Six"





June, people. JUNE! And only now am I getting around to listening to Jeff Spec’s latest album. Although it does correlate well with the North American release of Sneakerboxx, which is totally intentional, of course. This is Jeff’s fifteenth release, dating all the way back to his self published and recorded albums back in the late 90's and early 2000's.
“Turn it UP!” is as close to a perfectly named opening tracks as there ever will be. Bass kicks in, then it all drops down as the vocals come in to a smooth sound. It’s an anthemic call out to the people of the world. The production of this track really sets the tone for the album. It’s all perfectly polished and full of great beats, a real live music feel, almost gospel in parts.
There are a few tracks that have really catchy choruses, thanks to the work from NaRai. The first being track three,” Stop”; it remenisces on the past while others are about the present and the future. You get the feeling that the album speaks about the journey to where he is today; its honest throughout, depressingly so in” Stranger”, again featuring NaRai.
It’s a world of television, you’re surrounded by stars / Life’s a gamble, even if you counting the cards / Whether or not I like the sound of the odds / Just the way it is / They don’t like the little guy, I’m just trying to make it big
It’s not all bleak, even when Jeff is at his most political – like in “80's Baby” –  he has your feet tapping and head nodding as his delivery is excellent. “My Story” is the newest single of the album and it’s one of the best. Perfectly fitting with the message of Lesson 6, talking about his emergence and persistence to get into hip-hop, and most importantly it’s from the heart. The references to previous tracks and the subject, sneakers, is used so well throughout.
It’s hard to name the best tracks of the album as they all work so well to make the it what it is. The middle section does lose the opening’s power but it has the fore-mentioned catchyness. “Microphone Bully”, featuring Shane Lee – and it’s brilliant opening skit – kicks the album back into this vibe and wholeheartedly throws itself into the gospel theme.
The bonus track is one of my favourites on the album. Why is it a bonus? It should be unashamedly in there at the start. Jeff Spec definitely shines on Sneakerboxx, a well produced album that flows from start to finish. Only wish I had got onto this when the sun was shining and I could wear my damned Sneakers.
4/5 - Lesson Six

"Sneakerboxxx Review - Exclaim!"

Jeff Spec
By Thomas Quinlan

For his newest album, Jeff Spec enlists the assistance of a number of producers and live musicians, led by production duo Max Zigursky and Jim Black, along with the rest of their group, the Star Captains. Together, the two produce three of the album's 11 tracks, one alongside Spec and Max does one more solo, each song utilizing a number of live musicians, with each producer also contributing keys and guitar, respectively, to their songs and others. Even the tracks without their contributions suit the mood, resulting in a chill, but funky, hip-hop album with a live band flow, plenty of solos, lots of soulful singing and long instrumental outros. It's an exciting opportunity, one that Jeff uses to rap about government greed, hard work, nostalgia and his mic skills. And songs like "Truck Shit," a hip-hop track for the "dudes with the sneakers, gritty with fitted, limited run T-shirts," and bonus number "On My Feet," a witty love song about kicks that incorporates the names of sneaker brands and clever shoe references, prove that Sneakerboxxx is more than just a clever play on the title of Big Boi's side of the Outkast double album; it's also Spec's proclamation of his feelings for the sporty footwear. Sure, it's not your typical backpacker hip-hop album, but more artists should step outside the boxxx like this. (Pushin)
- Exclaim! (Print and Online)

"Sneakerboxxx Review - Hail Megatron"

A Collectors Dream: Review of Jeff Spec’s Sneakerboxxx

I’m not a collector of shoes in any sense of the word. I own two pair of sneakers and the rest are dress shoes because I prefer to dress in clothes that require dress or darker shoes. But thats beside the point. When you see the title of this album you are instantly going to think that this album is an album strictly about shoes but that is not the case. In the interview I did with Jeff Spec, he informed everyone that it is about sneakers but about much more.??With sneakers, you keep the box and use it to store things. Things from CD’s to movies to those old Pokemon cards are what you store in those. But sneaker boxes are about memories, collections, and life experiences. Its about what you keep in the box and what you took out initially… the sneakers.??Jeff Spec’s Sneakerboxxx is a collective album about shoes, life, art, and the feeling you get from all of those. This album is a fun album, a wise album, and an album for the masses. He does a great job blending all those and its well worth the $9 price of admission and more.??Read more after the break.??- Mega
?From the first track of this album, Jeff introduces you to a live band, and the line “i think the preacher man is the same as the teacher man… lookin out for number one” which hits a strong statement for this album. After that, the album keeps the same hard hitting tempo and never lets go.??There are tracks on here for riding “Truck Shit” and, of course, the track for sneakers “On My Feet” but theres one underlying tone in this album that, i feel, shouldnt be ignored.??The message of remembering and keeping everything as it should be… no matter what happened in the past.??Throughout this album, Jeff talks about things he has dealt with in the past. From friends and family who had their hand in a bit of bad news (drugs, alcohol, etc) to remembering good times and how simple things used to be (80s Baby) where he talks about how everything wasnt so complicated and everyone liked Run DMC and how you wanted the REAL Transformers over the Go-Bots.??Jeff reminisces a time where everything was better but as he says the past is the past and you need to look for the future. Its almost like he took a pair of shoes out of a box and put them on so we can take a walk in his shoes. And as we listen to him talk its like he is putting his life experiences into the empty box, filling what once held a pair of new shoes with his memories and his life. If we were to look into his shoebox, I think we would see a microphone, an empty baggie that once held drugs but now contains a picture of a loved one, an LP (for you young ones, thats a record), shoelaces to his favorite pair of shoes, a picture of the woman he loves or loved, his favorite novel, several cassette tapes, and a flyer from his first show. Because those things mean the most to him. And we can tell that from listening to this album.??Overall, I feel this album contains the soul of an artist whose soles are worn out. He’s walked a hard life and how he is enjoying sweet success. And he should… this is the album that will set his career off and one of those albums that you can listen to and reflect on your own life. If I had a sneakerbox to put memories in I think i would put this in there just for the simple fact that it has shown me a lot of memories through creative delivery, carefully worded prose, and the heart of an artist who loves life because of the things in his past. That’s how is should be. So I ask you…??What would be in YOUR sneakerbox? -

"Sneakerboxxx Review - Frank 151"

Jeff Spec - Sneakerboxxx (Album Review)

Vancouver native Jeff Spec is the type of MC you rarely hear on the radio today, which is a damn shame. Sneakerboxxx is fresh from beginning to end with soulful beats and thought provoking lyrics. In no way is this album about kicks, either sneakers or jokes. Sneakerboxxx bolsters tracks like "Stop","My Story", and "Stranger" that echo the artist's pain through the headphones and begin to make their way to the heart. Jeff Spec does a good job in trying to connect to the listener by penning his pain into his lyrics but also telling the listener to remain positive. "Stranger" illustrates three different people Jeff encountered in his life in which they let themselves go and were never the same again. The beat, which was produced by Jeff himself, has a sort of church feel to it. The keyboard sounds like an organ and background vocals, which are sung by NaRai resemble a church choir, illustrating Jeff as the preacher giving examples to his audience on how not to lose grip on who you are. The album does have tracks in which Jeff displays his lyrical skill."On My Feet" which is a concept song resembling Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R", uses sneakers as a metaphor to describe the women Jeff has known in his life. Sneakerboxxx is meant to make you feel good and should definitely be a pick up for any hip hop connoisseur. - Frank 151

"Sneakerboxxx Review - Donuts And Milk"

So I'm sitting here jammin out to the latest work from Hip Hop artist Jeff Spec titled Sneakerboxxx. When I say artist, I truly mean artist. A lot of people use that term loosely, however this cat is just that. So imagine a new day sneaker head meets a true underground hip hop head meets the rock n roll meets the 80's meets The Grouch... That's Jeff Spec. I have had Sneakerboxxx in daily rotation for about 2 days now and I have to say that it is nice to hear the roots of hip hop come through my headphones. Jeff blends great story telling with true hip hop rhythms and beats. From track to track you can tell that Jeff really put his everyday experiences and heart into this project. From a hip hop "fan" point of view it is refreshing to hear an artist bleed and preach a real message such as sneakerboxxx. He has a long range of talent through out the album and it is definite. The tracks go from 80's hip hop beats to acoustic tracks. "Turn it up"... is a banger!! I am feelin it! I have to say over all this is "make you feel good" music with an upbeat message. You can cop Sneakerboxxx on iTunes or just hit him up on his website. Big ups to Jeff Spec from D&M -

"Sneakerboxxx Review - A Day And A Dream"

Review: Jeff Spec – Sneakerboxxx

Obsessive-compulsive would be the best way to describe a sneakerhead. They’re meticulous in selections, from patterns to colorways to even when and how often will they wear their desired sneaker of choice. Music fans have turned out to be in the same vein, picky, indecisive and most of all slightly loyal to a particular artist or group.
Jeff Spec’s album Sneakerboxxx challenges a myriad of different aspects of life. With enough flashes of astute brilliance, the Vancouver native continues to create full fleshed out hip-hop albums relying on multiple subjects and his varied cadence from urgent to laidback and relaxed. The heavy reliance on jazz influenced sounds gives the album an easy going feel but Spec’s lyrics are contentious with thoughts of passing friendships, loves and even social commentary tossed in to boot.

From the album’s opening salvo in “Turn It Up!” to its apropos ode to sneakers in “On My Feet”, Spec wastes very little time outlining who he is and what he’s about. He’s an everyday man, one of very little material possessions (actually condemning them on “Love Like That”) and many thoughts. The world weighs heavily on his shoulders as he’s seen plenty in his time and chooses carefully where to express himself and also to reel it in.
With so much live instrumentation involved, it gives the album a more organic feel.  Dreary organs eat up emotion on “Stranger” featuring frequent feature NaRai and even play the church role on “Microphone Bully” featuring Shane Eli. At times, Bully seems like it’s a composition filled with so many elements that you get distracted by the lyrics. Eli and Spec trade barbs for an exact three minutes and leave listeners questioning who exactly got the best of who.
It may only be eleven tracks, but it’s eleven quality tracks blending the best of what the sample laden mid 90s hip-hop sound felt like, plenty of instrumentation, heavy jazz influences and straight-forward lyricism. Spec knows how to craft the world around him into perfect mood music, a collection of stories and issues held together to build on something possibly even bigger.

"84 Area Review of Sneakerboxxx"

?Positive rap is said to be lacking in today’s society, but that’s definitely not the case in the album “Sneakerboxxx” by independent artist Jeff Spec. I don’t know if I should even start off by calling him a rapper. Jeff tells stories and rhymes in a poetic matter that easily puts him in an elite category among others. Although “Sneakerboxxx” doesn’t tell a continuing story through each song, Spec comes with amazing lyrics and creative punchlines throughout the whole album. There isn’t one track that makes you doubt his ability as a true hip hop artist. To compliment his innovative wordplay are crafty hip hop beats laced with organs, drums, and special effects that all go well in tune with each other. With every song, Spec gives listeners a little insight of his background as well as the finer things in life that he adores. In the track “My Story“, he tells of his struggle and passion for achievement through his music.?In my opinion, this album is nothing but AMAZING. Jeff Spec is a true hip hop artist. He reminds me of Common through his eccentric poetic style of rhyming. You can automatically tell his love for music as the album progresses from the first track to its last. I also give compliments to the production of the album. Each beat displayed is great, filled with beautiful instruments and crafty special effects. I see great opportunity for Jeff Spec as he continues to make marvelous music and keep hip hop alive.
My personal favorite: Whenever You Fall feat. NaRai and Omar Khan.?4.5 out of 5 stars. -

"!earshot Chart - Sneakerboxxx July 20/2010"

1 4 The Roots How I Got Over Def Jam
2 1 D-Sisive Vaudeville Urbnet
3 3 Janelle Monae The Archandroid Bad Boy
4 2 Shad TSOL Black Box
5 -- Jeff Spec Sneakerboxxx Self-Released
6 5 Pigeon Hole Age Like Astronauts Urbnet
7 6 Buck 65 20 Odd Years: Volume 1 – Avant Warner
8 7 Reflection Eternal Revolutions Per Minute Blacksmith
9 8 The Trillionaire$ By Hook Or By Crook Urbnet
10 re Ginsberg's Inkling Ummmm Neferiu
re = re-entry to chart - !earshot online

"!earshot Chart - Sneakerboxxx July 27/2010"

TW LW Artist Title Label
1 1 The Roots How I Got Over Def Jam
2 2 D-Sisive Vaudeville Urbnet
3 6 Pigeon Hole Age Like Astronauts Urbnet
4 4 Shad TSOL Black Box
5 7 Buck 65 20 Odd Years: Volume 1 – Avant Warner
6 -- Homeboy Sandman The Good Sun High Water Music
7 -- Marco Polo The Stupendous Adventures Of Marco Polo Duck Down
8 8 Reflection Eternal Revolutions Per Minute Blacksmith
9 5 Jeff Spec Sneakerboxxx Self-Released
10 re Pip Skid Skid Row Foul Tone
re = re-entry to chart
- !earshot online

"Rhythm and Blues review"

Jeff Spec - Rhythm and Blues

Jeff Spec is tearing up Vancouver 's underground hip hop scene with his new album Rhythm and Blues. Newly signed to Avery Records Jeff Spec and producer (Sweet G) mix smooth rhymes and ripping beats.

Although formally unknown to me, Jeff Spec was a refreshing listen from the norm. Jeff Spec offers listeners a well polished music experience, having been on the scene since the 80's he's definitely paid his dues in the hip hop game. Rhymes and Blue is a great listen, offering a variety of different musical flavors.

Starting off with track 2 "In the air tonight" a beat reminiscent off an old Phil Collins song, Jeff spec exclaims his trials in the hip hop game, working hard to keep the cash flow constant . I generally prefer a deeper message in the long run but the beat is as sick as it gets. "All in together" has a great Latin flavor, and the track "back against the wall" slams us with another brilliant beat that would rival the best.

Through mixed thoughts I would still say I enjoyed this album. I suppose the only critique is the lyrical content really wasn't my slice of cake. On the bright side of things the album offers great song composition, enjoyable beats and proves itself to be a solid production. Listen to it for yourself, check out the music and support Vancouver's underground.

-Mishak -

"Rhythm and Blues review 2"

eff Spec's highly anticipated release "Rhythm & Blues" (Avery Records) is anything BUT a disappointment. Our favourite Vancouver/Victoria veteran chose to step up to the plate by compiling an entire album with beats featuring creatively mixed R & B samples, hand over most production to top rated local producer SWEET G, and let his personal thoughts flow poetically from his pen, and fittingly titling it "Rhythm & Blues".

The equation? Jeff Spec's heartfelt rhymes + Sweet G's infectious beats = underground hip-hop fan's delight!

On "My Thoughts" and "My World", Jeff's thought-out rhymes are accompanied by alternative sounding but reflective beats. You won't hear about any guns or violence simply REAL personal reflection and life experiences. "This my heartbeat believe it"

"All In Together", "Home", and "In The Air" feature infectious hooks by local songstress Ashleigh Eymann and the sweet vocals of Moka Only.

Crowd pleasers like "What I Do" and "Learn Ya", balance out the album well with effervescent up-tempo beats.

"Rhythm & Blues" features just the right amount of heart and personal touch to make ya want more. This is no surprise as each and every time Jeff steps to the plate, he's prepared to hit a home run before he ever settles for a walk. Unlike most players in the game, Jeff's no pinch hitter. And with his years in the field, we know he's not about to strike out anytime soon.

"Chart Positions for Rhythm and Blues"

!earshot charts - April 2006 - top 20 hip hop
1 J Dilla Donuts Stones Throw
2 Aceyalone Magnificent City Project Blowed/Decon
3 Dilated Peoples 20 / 20 Capitol
4 Public Enemy Rebirth Of A Nation Guerilla Funk Recordings
5 Cadence Weapon * Breaking Kayfabe Upper Class
6 Blue Scholars Blue Scholars Independent
7 Soul Position Things Go Better With RJ And AL Rhymesayers
8 Murs And 9th Wonder Murray's Revenge Record Collection
9 Third Sight Symbionese Liberation Album Disgruntled 1
0 Ghostface Killah Fishscale Def Jam
11 Epic/Nomad * Epic/Nomad CHR
12 Jay Bizzy * The Ghost Of Jacob Marley Urbnet
13 Jel Soft Money Anticon
14 Various Paris Presents: Hard Truth Soldiers Guerilla Funk Recordings
15 Various * 2005 Brockway Entertainment Canadian Rap Mix Brockway
16 Five Deez Kommunicator Rapster
17 P.O.S. Audition Rhymesayers
18 Jeff Spec * Rhythm And Blues Avery
19 Various Dave Chappelle's Block Party Geffen
20 Gnarls Barkley Selections From St. Elsewhere Downtown/Atlantic
!earshot charts - May 2006 - top 20 hip hop
The Coup
Pick A Bigger Weapon
Murs And 9th Wonder
Murray's Revenge
Record Collection
Soul Position
Things Go Better With RJ And AL
Big Apple Rappin'
Soul Jazz
Spank Rock
Big Dada
Gnarls Barkley
Selections From St. Elsewhere
Ghislain Poirier *
Jeff Spec *
Rhythm And Blues
Public Enemy
Rebirth Of A Nation
Guerilla Funk Recordings
The Streets
Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living
Recyclone And SOSO *
Stagnation And Woe
Dilated Peoples
20 / 20
Magnificent City
Project Blowed/Decon
Eastern Philosophy
Fun EP (Sad Clown Bad Dub 8)
People Under The Stairs
J Dilla
Stones Throw
Phatt Al *
New Empire
Grubbs *
Plague City
Foul Tone
Sound Providers
Looking Backward: 2001-1998

CHLY Nanaimo 19-JAN-07
1 Lil Wayne & DJ Drama The Dedication Mix Tape 2 Cash Money
2 Jeff Spec * Rhythm And Blues Avery
3 Various Artists Kids In The Hall Koch
4 Jay-Z Kingdom Come Def Jam
5 Ice Cube Laugh Now, Cry Later Lench Mob
6 Busta Rhymes The Big Bang Universal
7 Various Artists * Underground Hip Hop Vol.5 Keep It Classic
8 Various Artists * Ughh Volume 4 Urbnet
9 Aesop Rock The Next Best Thing Upper Playgroun
10 DJ Ese Side 2 Embedded

1 Coup Pick A Bigger Weapon Epitaph
2 Murs Murray's Revenge Record Collect.
3 Spank Rock YoYoYoYo Big Dada
4 Streets * The Hardest Way To Make.. Vice
5 Soul Position Things Go Better With RJ& Rhymesayers
6 Ghislain Poirier * Rebondir EP Rebondir
7 Recyclone + Soso * Stagnation And Woe Phonographique
8 Dilated Peoples 20/20 ABB/Capitol
9 People Under The Sta Stepfather Basement
10 Jeff Spec * Rhythm And Blues Avery
1 Murs And 9th Wonder Murray's Revenge Record Collect.
2 Soul Position Things Go Better With RJ& Rhymesayers
3 Public Enemy Rebirth Of A Nation Guerilla Funk
4 Dilated Peoples 20/20 ABB/Capitol
5 Coup Pick A Bigger Weapon Epitaph
6 Various Artists Big Apple Rappin: Early D Soul Jazz
7 Jdilla/Jay Dee Donuts Stones Throw
8 Gnarls Barkley Selections From St. Elsew Downtown/Atlantic
9 Jeff Spec * Rhythm And Blues Avery
10 Blue Scholars Blue Scholars Spectre
1 Dilated Peoples 20/20 ABB/Capitol
2 Soul Position Things Go Better With RJ& Rhymesayers
3 Jdilla/Jay Dee Donuts Stones Throw
4 4 Public Enemy Rebirth Of A Nation Guerilla Funk
5 1 Various Artists Big Apple Rappin: Early D Soul Jazz
6 Five Deez Kommunicator Rapster
7 Coup Pick A Bigger Weapon Epitaph
8 Cadence Weapon * Breaking Kayfabe Upper Class
9 Blue Scholars Blue Scholars Spectre
10 Jeff Spec * Rhythm And Blues Avery


CFBX Top 25 Urban/Hip-Hop Albums for 2006
Various Artists*
Underground Hip-Hop Vol. 4 (Urbnet)
Character Traits*
Pencil Pushers (Still Moving)
The Phonograff*
From the Bottom Up (Equilibrium)
Jurassic 5
Feedback (Interscope)
Various Artists*
2005 Brockway Entertainment Sampler (Brockway)
Dilated People
20/20 (Capitol)
Hitch Hikin' Music (Urbnet)
Inklined (Independent)
Get it Done (Peanuts and Corn)
1 0
Atlantis: Hymns for Disco (Virgin)
Soul Position
Things Go Better with RJ and Al (Rhymesayers)
Various Artists*
Legendary Gatherings (ICM)
DL Incognito*
Organic Music for a Digital World (Urbnet)
Park-Like Setting*
Craftsmen (Peanuts and Corn)
Phatt Al*
Transistor (Independent)
Call Me Evil (Camobear)
OK Cobra*
OK Cobra (Urbnet)
Jeff Spec*
Rhythm and Blues (Avery)
Jorun Bombay*
Jorun's Way (Dead Beats)
War Party*
The Resistance (Independent)
The Roots
Game Theory (Def Jam)
Audition (Rhymesayers)
The Streets
The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (679)
2Mex and Life Rexall
$martyrs (Cornerstone RAS)
Lady Sovereign
Vertically Challenged (Chocolate Industries) - earshot! / Chart Attack

"Sneakerboxxx review - Sound Advisor"

Sound Advisor: Jeff Spec “Sneakerboxxx” LP
Submitted by c.blak on May 30, 2010 – 7:59 pm
No Comment
Tags: Dan Klenner, Jeff Spec, Max Zipursky, Moka Only, NaRai, Omar Khan, Shane Eli, Tyme One

We take a closer look at Jeff Spec’s latest album, Sneakerboxxx
Looking back over some of my previous posts for this blog I can see how my endorsement for a particular album or piece of music may not move you to immediately go out and spend your hard-earned money on my say-so. I’ll be the first to admit that I hardly, if ever, speak harshly about the music on this site. But it’s not because I’m scared to, or because I’m being paid to give my thumbs up (paid?!?!?   hahahahahaha!! “I’m broke n*gga, I”m broke!” © Dave Chappelle). The reason why most of my “reviews” or “opinions” are positive is really simple to explain; it’s because I only blog about the music that I really like. Does that make for fair & unbiased coverage of the independent music scene. No…no it does not. But make no mistake, my opinions have always been, and will remain, honest and from the heart. There is a lot of music out there that doesn’t inspire me to do a write-up, and even more that  I just DO NOT LIKE (and it’s not all Lil B/Souljah Boy/Waka Flocka joints either), but I don’t have the time, patience or experience to critique it all. Still, if nothing else sells you on the fact that I really do love the music that I endorse on this blog, consider this fact:  I am a man with a wife, a job, and chronic kidney problems, who is also enrolled in college. I wouldn’t waste your time or my own to try to push some music that I didn’t truly enjoy. So, now that I’ve said all of that, let me say this…you really need to buy this new Sneakerboxxx album from emcee and producer Jeff Spec.

“Why?” Well the short answer is “..because it’s dope!”, but you probably want something more than that. Well, one of the things that makes Sneakerboxxx such a good album is an often overlooked musical trait that helped to propel a project like Breaking Atoms (from the group Main Source) to its legendary status; consistency. Independent hip hop albums can often sound like a divergent collection of tracks that have been haphazardly thrown together just so some artists can say “hey, I have an album out!”. Yet , it seems to me that when you consider the “classic” hip hop albums from the era of major label deals and big budgets, you often find that one of the things that makes them so great is this sort of “vibe” that flows from one track to the next. The vibe that’s channeled in Sneakerboxxx is boom-bap hip hop filtered through the charged sound of live instruments and talented musicians. Jeff Spec may share his production responsibilities with co-creators Max Zipursky, Shane Eli, and Tyme One, but all of the individual parts that make up Sneakerboxxx still join together to create one very soulful, thoroughly bumping, unified work. The CD opens with the sounds of an electrified and fuzzed-out baseline whose notes seem to exit the amplifier like a growl, helping to set the “live music” atmosphere for the rest of the CD. The lead track, entitled “Turn it Up”, has the sound and feel of a full band coming together for one very funky jam session. The track is packed with agile keyboard work that’s laid atop some heavy rhythms, creating a natural and organic sound that is found throughout the LP.
Turn it Up
From start to finish, Sneakerboxxx is filled with examples of how skillfully the musicians working on this album are able to create unique grooves that play well off of each other. Although the album’s live instrumentation plays heavily in giving it an overall consistent theme, sample-based cuts like “Stop” from producer Tyme One and the bonus track “On My Feet” still manage to sound right at home alongside more organic sounding joints like “Whenever You Fall” or “Love Like That (I Don’t Know)”.
Another element that makes this CD so dope is the vocal work put in by Jeff Spec and his guest artists. To carry the Main Source parallel just a little further, Jeff Spec is solid performer and emcee in the same vein as Large Professor. Although his rhyme style and subject matter doesn’t veer too far off of the traditional hip hop path, his verses avoid coming across as forced or contrived, and fit perfectly inside each track.  His songs address a wide range of topics, including issues of drug addiction (“Strangers”), and the trappings of materialism (“Love Like That (I Don’t Know)”). And while the CD has its serious points, it also has some straight up, rhyme-for-rhyme hip hop tracks like the church sermon-esque “Microphone Bully” and the shoe addiction/love affair analogy found in the album’s closing track “On My Feet”. Appearances from Moka Only, Omar Khan, Dan Klenner, Shane Eli and the talented singer NaRai help to give a fresh new sound to an already soulful album. In fact, not to take away from Spec or any of the other performers of the album, but it would be great to hear a full length effort from Ms NaRai at some point in the near future.
Love Like That (I Don't Know) (feat. Moka Only & NaRai)
I’m no writer, so I’ll just make it plain…I think this is a great album. I’ve had it for a few days now and I’m still enjoying it. It’s fun music, it’s serious music, it’s forward thinking music, it’s boom-bap music, and much more. Will Sneakerboxxx find its place alongside revered hip hop classics in the annals of hip hop history? Is Jeff Spec a hip hop wunderkind that’s discovered what it takes to make a classic album in these “disposable arts” days and times? Will I finally start  “discovering” artists before they are well into their career? Is anyone actually reading this? These are all questions that I can’t answer. But what I can say is that even with the artistic playing field becoming more and more level over the past couple of years, it is getting harder and harder to find an album that you find yourself even revisiting once the initial thrill is gone. Only time will tell if Sneakerboxxx has the same sort of staying power as some of my favorites. But I’m willing to bet that you’ll find me playing my copy for quite some time to come.
You can purchase physical or digital copies of Sneakerboxxx right now (!) from Jeff Spec’s Bandcamp page (here) -

"Hip Hop Canada Press Release"

Vancouver, B.C. – Sneakerboxxx is the latest offering from Jeff Spec, one of Vancouver’s most prolific hip-hop artists. The album is experimental in the context of modern hip-hop, incorporating mainly live instrumentation alongside soulful vocal arrangements. Jeff’s rhymes range from storytelling to social commentary, and from creative wordplay to conversational poetry. The 11 tracks promise to offer something for everyone; guest appearances include Moka Only and Shane Eli, as well as up-and-coming vocalists NaRai, Omar Khan, and Daniel Klenner.

While Jeff has worked with various labels in the past, including New York-based Day By Day Entertainment, Sneakerboxx is released on his own imprint, Pushin’ Records. Spec is a staple on the live music scene in Vancouver and abroad, and has developed a fanbase reaching around the globe. His previous albums “Rhythm and Blues” and “…a little night music” charted in the Chart Attack and !earshot top 10 for hip-hop, nationwide. He will be touring Canada and the U.S. throughout the year in support of the record, and will release at least 4 videos, starting with “Truck Sh*t” in late June, 2010.

The material included on Sneakerboxx has already proven to appeal to a broader audience than (but definitely not excluding) just the traditional hip-hop heads, due in part to heavy contributions from Vancouver’s Star Captains, a jazz-soul fusion sextet that boasts a strong stage presence and a healthy following of its own.

To sample or purchase Sneakerboxx visit

Chris “Jeff Spec” Novakoski, Pushin Records
604.720.6129 -

"The Mad Bloggers Posting"

So this dude out the blue hits me up on Twitter about his music. Here's what he says...

"What's good? Not sure if you know of me, I'm from Vancouver BC and have a new album to promote - as a blogger, do you have any tips/advice?"

So I proceeded to give him my opinions on how to get heads to listen to his music. I say this...

"Don't spam it. Talk to people normally. Throw the link out so people can hear. Bandcamp is a nice site for previewing. Being more personal works. Like, what you're doing now is better than 'Hey, got a new album out. Check it out.' and then just flood the social networks with your music."

He did well with me. I listened. And I'm glad because this album is nice. So now....I'm hitting you guys with the link so you can see for yourself. He already had a Bandcamp page. I love those sites. Let's me review it before deciding to buy it, because we all know, I can't bring Bandcamp with me to the gym, car or job unless I always have my laptop, which I don't. I don't even own one. Haha. Check it out. Hit play and all the tracks will play or you can click the down arrow next to the song title.

Jeff Spec's BandCamp
Jeff Spec's MySpace
Jeff Spec's Twitter

"The Wack Blog "Mic Bully" leak"

Jeff Spec has been hard at work on his new album “Sneakerboxx” and as it would happen, he passed us here at the Wack Blog the first single with Shane Eli, “Mic Bully”

Download HERE!

As well! Jeff has been kind enough to put his the entire album up for preview at his Bandcamp site:

It’s sounding like the entire album’s musician work is completely crafted from live instruments, which is a jumpoff from Jeff’s previous work. However, don’t let that discredit the effort, Jeff’s as dope as ever, (“ever since Jeff Spec was known as Intellect”)

Check it out and spend the dough! Jeff is a ringer and this album is sounding like another Grancouver classic!
Physical copies available soon! -

"Kevin Nottingham leak"

Jeff Spec: Microphone Bully (feat. Shane Eli)
by KEVIN on MAY 28, 2010 · 1 COMMENT

Dope track from Jeff Spec, off his upcoming album Sneakerboxxx (I Did It For Kicks). The whole album is dope and should be available mid June. For now, check out “Microphone Bully” featuring Shane Eli.



"Sneakerboxxx" (LP - Pushin Records, June 2010)
"...a little night music" (LP - Pushin' Records, May 2008)
"Rhythm and Blues" (LP - Avery, 2006)
"Never Can Say Goodbye" (12" - Universal Urban, 2003)
"Dark City" (LP - Day By Day Entertainment, 2002)



It was at the age of 9, after hearing Special Ed’s classic “I Got It Made”, that Jeff Spec (named “Chris” by his parents) knew that hip hop music would always be a part of his life. “It was just so inspiring” says Jeff; “he wasn’t that much older than I was, and he was doing his thing - and people were listening to him”. Shortly after, while still in elementary school, Jeff found himself in the school hallways freestyling with close friends, and performing at any talent show that he could get into.

Now, well over a decade later, he has released more than 15 albums and a variety of singles, and performed in a wide variety of markets in Canada, the United States, and Japan. He and his crew, City Planners (including Moka Only, Ishkan, Sichuan, and Sweet G), have gained a high degree of notoriety for their D-I-Y, grassroots hip hop mentality, and are synonymous with the Vancouver independent music scene.

Jeff’s albums have shown a widespread appeal, and he has developed fan bases around North America and worldwide. His previous releases have been distributed in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and the internet and iTunes have brought him listeners from even further abroad.

In 2002, Jeff signed his first international record contract, with the independent label Day By Day Entertainment (home to underground legend MF Grimm), for his album “Dark City”. The album enjoyed a degree of critical acclaim and introduced Jeff to many more listeners than he had ever previously reached. Later that year, Jeff’s music caught some ears at Universal Urban, and in early 2003, his single “Never Can Say Goodbye” was released by the major label on a radio-only 12” single.

For the next few years, while not releasing any LP’s, Jeff kept his name out with 2 volumes of a mixtape entitled “The Last Shall Be First”, which sold a few hundred copies during his stint in Toronto in 2005. In the meantime, he remained busy with the recording of his very personal album “Rhythm and Blues”, and a residency as a host at a local hip hop night. Upon its 2006 release, “Rhythm and Blues” was warmly received to Top 10 positioning on !earshot and Chart Attack’s hip hop charts. His subsequent mixtape “Motion Picture” (2007) only solidified his position among Canada’s finest MC’s (and producers), and his following project, “…a little night music” (Camobear, 2008) is his best and most recent work to date. Presently, Jeff and his live band are gearing up to head back into the studio, and create something that will be new for everybody, replacing the presence of sampling with new compositions and live instrumentation.

In addition to headlining his own club shows and tours, Jeff has shared stages with Raekwon (tour), Talib Kweli, Redman and Method Man, Digable Planets, Ice T, Digital Underground, MOP, Xzibit, The Luniz, The Beatnuts, Non Phixion, Souls Of Mischief, The Pharcyde, Hieroglyphics, Kool Keith, Rahzel The Godfather of Noise, Saafir, Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Swollen Members, Kardinall Offishall, Saukrates, The Alkaholiks, De La Soul, Mixmaster Mike, Living Legends, Funkdoobiest, Mystic Journeymen, Jeru the Damaja, and too many more to name.