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January 11, 2002

Jeff Spec

Jeff SpecAndy: Who is Jeff Spec when he’s not doing hip hop?

Jeff Spec: I’m basically a regular dude, I just like to kick it with my friends and my girl, watch movies, drink a lot of coffee, check out other people’s music … Sometimes I like to bug out, or just go to the club and act a fool, but that’s not too often. I probably just do the same shit anybody reading this does.

Why is the new album called Dark City? and was the movie any good?

Yeah, the album is named after the movie, and after my city, cause if you live in Canada, you know it gets dark as a mu’fucker after like 4:30 in the winter time, and this is a winter album. The movie is tight, I liked the concept and the darkness of the cinematography in it. Plus the overall sound of the music on this record is kinda dark at times, just what I been feeling on the production end of things lately.

Do you watch porn anymore?

Anymore? Ya’ll been monitoring me?

Whats the last drug you did?

To be completely honest, I’ve never done a drug in my life, never even took a hit of some weed, ever. Never smoked a cigarette. I did get my binge drink on in college for a while though, and I drink coffee like a mufucker, so I guess I have vices like any normal human being.

Is God an important person in your life?

I don’t want to come across like I’m the most pious person or whatnot, but I have found myself lately making statements that make me think I have more of a faith than I realized (things like “maybe doing such and such would make a little better in the eyes of God”). I don’t go to church, and I don’t mean God in the conventional way you might think, but I do believe that we aren’t alone and there is something or someone that kinda guides the way things go down.

Where is Dark City going to take the listener?

Dark City is some of that old straightforward rap shit – I made it strictly for rap and hip hop music fans, to me that’s what it’s all about. It’s not full of lessons to take home with you (atleast not intentionally) and it’s not some avant garde shit, but it is aesthetically tight and well constructed. People are gonna listen to it when they want some solid music, basically, and it should remind them that being underground isn’t an excuse to be sloppy.

Who do you like more, and why: Dru Down or Too Short?

This is kind of a tough one – I gotta go with Too Short on veteran status, and I feel like I have some shit in common with him, actually – he does shit his own way, and sticks to it. But I like Dru Down cause he’s on some way out there pimp shit – both of ’em is pimps, but Dru brought the Luniz into the game too, and that’s a good credential. They were on like half of his first album.

What was going on in your life while recording the album?

Things were actually pretty calm while I was doing this album – money wasn’t exactly flowing out the faucets, but I’ve been having shows and keeping busy, secured the two album deal with Day By Day (out of the U.S.), and really focusing on establishing a name amongst some majors too. My attitude lately is that music is for everybody, and while I don’t think you’d find anybody that doesn’t make music for themselves first and foremost, I’ve been loving seeing people at the club enjoy my shit too. I just reinvented my whole outlook recently too – I think I take myself as serious as anybody now, but I also have more fun with shit than ever, and don’t take anything too serious.

When is the last time you went by Intellect?

That’d be when me and Moka did the Rappers album a few years back, and even then I was Intellect a/k/a Jeff Spec. I just canned the name because of the whole dictionary word type of sound it had, it wasn’t really representative of my whole self, and it put too much of a burden on me as a personality.

Is hiphop your only job?

Yeah, if you can even call it a job – I don’t. People say they work hard at music, and I pity those people, because they’re taking something they love and making it ‘work’. I know it’s not some kind of hobby or past time, and I would call it a career, but I also have the most fun when I’m doing it, so I would have to call it something other than a job.

Any last words, about the album, the state of hiphop, or any other things?

I’m not too much of a critic on the state of hip hop – I think the main thing is that people from the suburbs have to stop trying to save urban music, it’s not theirs in the first place – and second of all, why do people hate on hip hop so much if they got into because they love it? It’s like “I hate commercial hip hop” … Why? It’s still just as real as any other shit to somebody – or “I’m not feelin’ that underground/gangsta/club/etc. shit” – man, same thing. People need to stop forcing their opinions on this and just let it be what it is. Variety is the spice of life.