Jeff Spec Dark City

Whatever happened to Intellect? As Jeff Spec moves further and further from his former rap alias, he's presenting bouncier beats that are resulting in a rise in popularity. His extended family, the City Planners, composed of himself, Moka Only, Sichuan, Sweet G and Ishkan, were credited in Urb's "2001 Next 100." And with Moka leading the way, CP is sure to find success. Less exposed than Moka's last few releases, Jeff's Dark City is yet another step on the yellow brick road to superstardom. The beats, mostly self-produced, are tried, tested and true; the type of jump-up party jams on which the people are willing to drop their hard-earned cash. Jeff covers subjects like his hometown, his skills, life on the street and in the hip-hop game, and of course, his crew. Unfortunately, Dark City has little to offer in surprises and the unexpected. In fact, it has a tendency to fall into rap clichés. Still, "Taking Things Over" has a nice beat that's dominated by some violin, "The Gamble" sets up a nice card game concept and guests like Ishkan and Bird Apres offer a few unexpected angles throughout. Dark City will sell well, but next time, please bring back the intellect. (Day by Day)