Jeff Spec Specnology

A founding member of Moka Only's City Planners, Jeff Spec has yet to receive the same accolades and exposure as his superstar crewmate, but it's not for a lack of trying. In his decade-plus of making music, Jeff Spec has released over 15 albums and mixtapes, including one on MF Grimm's Day By Day Entertainment, building a reputation amongst his fan base as a smart MC (his previous rap name was Intellect, after all), with a tight flow and lyrical content rife with old school rap references and often of a personal nature. Unfortunately, Jeff Spec doesn't display a great deal of swagger, nor does he attempt to experiment very much, so his solid, straight-ahead hip-hop gets easily overlooked. With Specnology, Jeff displays his production skills on half of the 14 tracks, and the majority of his beats stand out as more upbeat and exciting than the slow-to-mid-tempo boom bap of Muneshine, Deezuz and Engine, although the latter results in the more introspective songs. Jeff incorporates the funk and soul of the '70s for the theme song-styled "Nobody Else," a success even before the addition of the braggadocio of Jeff Spec and e.d.g.e. (who impresses with some witty extended references and an effortless flow), and Jeff keeps it moving with the horn-heavy "Specnology" and psych-rocker "Dam Thing Funny," the latter featuring fellow CP-er Ishkan and Reflektionz. As well, his beat for "I Can't Say It," with Moka Only, gets a little weird, but does a great job of sampling that old school rock'n'roll. Guest producer Impossible Nothing, who provides the second largest number of beats, with a total of three, deserves mention for "The Bells," the titular sample just a subtle sound amongst the aggressive synths, and "Elroy Jetson," which uses to great effect a variety of voice samples, plus guitar and drums, to create a funky, futuristic beat for Jeff to get fun and futuristic over. It's an upbeat highlight amongst the slower closing portion of the album. Sure, Specnology may not be a breakthrough for Jeff, but it's another solid addition to his discography that should satisfy his current fans and win over a few new ones. (Pusin')