Following the successful release of his sophomore album, XXV, Spec Kay is getting prepared to release his third album. He’s been compared to the likes of Kid Cudi, but he’s hungry to change the game and develop something new.
“One of my favorite parts about making music is when I get to take someone by surprise,” he says. Whether its his sound, lyrics, or visuals, he continues to shock everyone he crosses paths with.
Jay Z– In My Lifetime, Vol. One
“With this album, there was no big hit on the radio – it was just Jay Z rapping. That’s why this album sticks out to me the most. More than anything, it was about his raw and honest perspective. That’s what music is about to me. His lyrics were dark and his stripped samples felt very black and white. You got to know the real of Jay Z with this album. I connect most with music when it reflects the inner workings of the artist, and he did that here.”
Eminem- The Marshall Mathers LP
“This was the first album I listened to all the way through and it was on cassette tape, believe it or not. The album was funny, twisted and dark – a mixture in rap music I hadn’t really heard before. You’re listening to an MC put together so many words, in so many ways, and they end up telling these crazy stories and situations. Eminem’s unique personality really came through on this album and it taught me not to hide mine when it came to expressing myself through music. I consider this album and Eminem to be one of my first teachers in rap music.”
Dr. Dre– The Chronic
“When I first listened to this album I didn’t realize the collaborative effort behind it. Now that I know what it takes to make an album, The Chronic appeals to me on a whole new level. The sound on this album blended live instruments with samples, and it felt so organic. On top of that, the rappers themselves blended so well together. Dr. Dre did his thing on this album, and the sound and lyrics continue to be iconic.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Californication
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers made a classic album with this one – John playing like Hendrix, Flea going crazy on bass, and Anthony singing and rapping. When I first saw the “Californication” music video I thought it was coolest thing ever. I actually thought it was a video game at first. Their visuals hooked me in and I got attached to the song, and then the whole album. When it comes to the RHCP, I ultimately love how they played around with each other. It was effortless and fun. Flea would start something crazy and John would jump in on it. Everything from their music to how they performed was exciting and this album put me in a different head space when it came to sound and visuals.”
“When I first heard ATLiens man… this shit put the sound of southern rap on the map. The juxtaposition between Andre 3000 and Big Boi was fire. They went in on the beats and it felt like you were being schooled in the art of southern rapping. And then they had the intro “You May Die”, which was honestly beautiful. Out of the gate, the first three songs give you so much energy and the back-and-forth between Big Boy and Andre 3000 is like nothing else.”
Jay Z– Reasonable Doubt
“Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt is always sitting there in the back of my head. I still listen to this album quite often and I continue to pick up life lessons from it. The first song I ever heard off it was “Can’t Knock the Hustle”. I remember listening to it on the radio, sitting in front of the stereo speaker, and when the music started I was immediately enamored. Something about the way Jay-Z rapped was so enticing. He was so slick with his words. The entire album is filled with lyrics that became my life mottos. It restructured the way I think about life. There’s so much replay value in this album and I continually use it as inspiration when I’m trying to deliver my messages and sounds in clever way.”
Lupe Fiasco– The Cool
“The Cool is one of the richest sounding concept albums ever created. It’s more than a concept album to me. It’s a rap artist creating a story and intertwining it with cryptic sounds to make an incredible body of music. This album also has lyrics that amazed me and inspire me. There’s a lot of layers to the lyrics in these songs, but every time you listen you pick up more and more of his messaging. It keeps you coming back.”
Pharrell Williams– In My Mind
“Pharrell Williams is one of the most colorful and creative forces out there. When he was with Chad Hugo as The Neptunes I saw a bunch of my interests play out in their music – from BMX to streetwear to the stories being told. So, when Pharrell went solo and dropped In My Mind it was a culmination of all these things I loved, and he did it in a cool and colorful way. This album has everything in it including Pusha T verses, Jay Z verses, and Snoop and Charlie Wilson collabs. Pharrell even through some romance in there. Pharrell’s music is like a style guide for me. He’s definitely a big influence on me and one song from In My Mind called “You Can Do It Too” kept me encouraged to do my own music.”
Kanye West- Graduation
“I studied Graduation inside and out. I was truly in awe of this album and I always keep it in my rotation. It came out the last year of my high school career. Every song on Graduation spoke to me in one way or another. “I Wonder” really had me thinking about my life after high school. There would be days when I’d listen and ask myself, what’s next for me? How do I reach the goals I’m dead set on achieving? And the song “Good Morning” helped me face my anxiety and fear of not knowing what comes next in life.
This body of work is legendary because Kanye was not a trained musician, but he still put together one of the most creative and forward-thinking albums of all time. As a producer, I learned so much from Graduation. I started to grasp how to take a sample and flip it like he did with the Daft Punk sample in “Stronger”. I lost my mind with that one. Synths were heavy in this album and Graduation was one of the reasons I got so into them.”
Daft Punk- Human After All
“I was torn between Discovery and Human After All, because I could go on and on about both. I’m going with Human After All because it’s so primal. The eccentric, syncopated sounds on this album actually made me visualize things. It taps into your senses. When you listen to this album you get sucked into electronic soundscape. This album is simple, but intricate at the same time. They take such simple elements, but go so hard and heavy with them. They did that brilliantly with “Robot Rock” and it’s one of my favorite songs off the album.”
Watch the video for Spec Kay’s new single, “No Hook” below and stay tuned for more with him soon!
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