It’s been three years since South Carolina based Spectac has deigned to grace the hip-hop world with his presence, but he’s back and this time he’s in collaboration with respected DJ, producer and long time friend Shakim. The two of them have pulled together to produce an album that may well be about to surprise many people with it’s harsher edge and serious, political tone.
For The People
The album is a bit of an intriguing one. It’s sort of like the best kind of history lesson you’d want. It tackles some pretty raw themes and isn’t afraid to cut to the chase with the serious stuff. For that reason, for some it ain’t gonna be an easy listen. It’s the sort of album you could imagine that really, really cool teacher you had at school playing to the class to get them interested in their heritage rather than making them copy it out from the most boring text books.
Actually, that’s exactly the sort of background Spectac himself comes from. He’s already well known in South Carolina and his childhood story is that he was encouraged by his parents to strive to be the best he could, so he took up teaching, just as they had done and now he divides his time between doing that and recording some pretty dope tunes.
What’s interesting with the album is how much of a hypnotic listen it is. It draws you in, each track seems to have its own catchy little hook. The first single to be taken from the album is the wonderful “Moment of Truth” which has an almost symphonic hook to it:
It’s really hypnotic, with a strong message about trying to change the system for the better so kids have something to look forward to. He quite simply doesn’t pull any punches with his language and the phrases he uses to get this ideology across.
“I Was Born” is a laid back sounding song, with another strong political message, opening with a sampled speech from the President Obama and then launching into a strong invective about how much life has changed for everyone over the years but how people still have to fight for their rights:
“For now it’s kind of funny, cos you don’t miss it till it’s gone, when it’s gone it’s too late, but for now, I was born…”
Finally, “Emancipation” is an awesome track. It contrasts the shallowness of modern celebrity culture with the struggles of slavery for black people and strives to show how fake much of modern life is. It says that even though there’s now a black president in charge of the country it doesn’t mean that overnight the struggle has ceased and that all the problems of life have disappeared, it’s just a signal to keep on pushing and fighting.
Spectac’s back story
Spectac himself seems to draw nothing but praise both from his peers and from his hip hop counterparts. This is mostly due to his musical prowess, but not least because of the work he’s done with the kids he teaches, trying to instil confidence in them to overcome issues like bullying, peer pressure, sexual problems, relationship quandaries and concerns relating to confidence and self esteem. The fact that he remains in his teaching position whilst having a cool second career as a hip-hop star seems to sit well with everyone, it pleases the kids he teaches and also helps him get across his messages to a wider audience too. He’s quoted as saying “I tell the kids you cannot change a system while on the outside of it, I let my audience know that I understand how hard things can be during the critical teen years. The key is to let them know I am with them. The key to my presentation is to show them, through my experiences, the limitless possibilities life has to offer”.
When can I buy it?
It’s due to be released around the 19th February and is already available for pre-order on iTunes or on CD. The first single from the album “Moment Of Truth” came out on 22nd January and has received great critical acclaim. Give the album a go too. It’s seriously brilliant, moving and very affecting. Let’s hope Spectac doesn’t leave it another three years before his next release.
Written by: Jennifer Houghton