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[preview] Spec Boogie Introspective

What can I say. Years back, Spec Boogie hit me up when RTD still had a "blogspot.com" on it's ass, I found an MC that helped me understand not only the importance of the Internet in Hip-Hop's next phase, but also got introduced to a true BK spitter and his crew, the Lessondary. Now I know some cats from the clique more than others, but Spec's always been there, doing his thing, and getting a grip of shine. Seems like its been forever and a few days since I first heard about Introspective, and the first time I head "Bed Stuy", I was in awe. Yeah, it sampled one of my favorite movies, but it's not often you catch a tribute to one's city that sounds truly from the heart, and not from the mind trying to capitalize on city pride. Spec's a different animal, and while I piece together pieces of his life through the pieces he places in his lyrics, I feel like I know him. Could grab a beer and chat like old friends.

This week, Boog released Introspective, and it's the truth. It features the aforementioned "Bed Stuy", as well as "Show Up Drunk" with his Lessondary compadres, and features from Tanya Morgan and Peter Hadar. It's a testament to his skillset, and is only 40 minutes. All killer, no filler. Hit the jump to preview the entire project, and read the official press release, then go put down $10 on this.

<a href="http://specboogie.bandcamp.com/album/introspective">Introspective by Spec Boogie</a>

2010 is proving to be a successful year for Spec Boogie. His classic single Bed Stuy enjoyed international recognition which currently has him touring throughout Europe and Africa, providing an electric live show while supporting artists as diverse as Freeway, Peanut Butter Wolf and comedian Janeane Garofalo. Spec has been able to cultivate a dedicated fan base without the help of label backing, famous friends or industry politics thanks to his reputation for pushing the boundaries of hip hop with innovative projects such as the movie mashup mixtape Specflix, and the indie rock remixing Dollar Sign Language that saw Spec adding verses to Peter, Bjorn & John, LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, and M.I.A before it was the norm.

Hailing from the same corner where The Notorious B.I.G. and his O.G.B Crew once roamed, Spec Boogie has seen more than his share of difficult times. While his childhood friends found themselves caught up in the frequent violence and incarceration that plagued the youth of Bedford Stuyvesant in the ‘80’s, Spec Boogie’s watchful parents coupled with his role "the hood's little brother" kept him out of the fray. But in Spec Boogie’s teens, the protective household was shattered after both of his parents passed away in a three-year span. Introspective is an ode to the perseverance and the positive energy that is harnessed as a result of living through such unique experiences.

Blaring horns, and lush vocal samples provide much of Introspective's sonic backdrop as Spec Boogie's quotable heavy, baritone delivery effortlessly blends with the various moods of the album. From the simple, barely rhyming, raw emotion of his breakout single Bed Stuy where he raps, "I've seen pussies grow to men when they get a piece/ I've seen men go to pieces when they lose pussy" to the intricate precision of SB where he uses only those two letters in succession to craft 64 bars, to the vivid storytelling of Brothers Keeper and Memories, Spec Boogie's conversational style dances around the tracks without ever seeming forced or unnatural. With features and production limited only to his Lessondary crew and 10 songs topping off at around 40 minutes in total, Introspective brags a strict "no filler" policy that is rarely seen in todays hype means everything market.

Written and recorded in the same Brooklyn neighborhood that inspired it, Introspective serves as a rare and look into pre and mid gentrification Bed Stuy from the perspective of a twenty something year old who had barely experienced life outside of his four corners ("Everybody here ain't a Huxtable/ Only thing we have in common is the bud & cockroaches in our houses and we're being watched" he raps on The Stoop). Introspective is a shining example of what hip hop can be when it is pure of the creative shackles that todays artists hide behind. "I'll worry about label rules and practices when and if I'm ever on a label. Until then I'll just do what feels right." says Spec, and Introspective definitely feels right.

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