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Album Review: Spec- Trax, Christ & Videotape Vol. 1

spec- trac, Christ & videotape vol. 1

Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.

3 Things That Blew Me Away On Spec’s Mixtape Trilogy: Trax, Christ & Videotape Vol. 1: Videotape

If you don’t know about Spec, it’s definitely about time you get to know him. He has been serving as one of Clear Sight Music’s premier producers. He has helped produce some of their hottest songs like Clear Sight Christmas, Surrender and Not So Average. He also played a big part on Flame’s chart-topping album, The 6th.

Needless to say, I knew he could produce, but I sadly underestimated just how talented he is. The album title was creative, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. Conceptually, Spec mastered this mixtape. Each song was the name of a movie. He weaved the theme of the movie through every thread of the track. I listened to the whole album multiple times, so that I wouldn’t miss anything. I didn’t just enjoy listening to this album. I felt that I watched it too. I want to focus on three different areas where Trax, Christ & Videotape Vol. 1 blew me away.

Concept

When you see a mixtape full of movie titles, the listener expects the artist to relate it somehow. I thought the way Spec related the tracks was extraordinary. He gave samples of great movies before each track. He then took that sample and wrapped it in the beat. If that wasn’t enough, he wrote about a topic that everyone could relate to and made the chorus match the idea behind the clip. This wasn’t a one track idea either, he did this on the entire thing! He made the listening an experience. I’d anticipate each song, wondering what clip he’d use, and how he was going to blend the movie throughout it.

I loved “Madagascar” as an example of this. Prior to having my first son, I watched Madagascar plenty of times while babysitting with my wife (girlfriend at the time). If you know anyone that knows this movie, the first thing they think of is, “I like to move it move it!” Spec started the track off with a funny clip from Marty (Chris Rock’s character), then you hear “I like to move it move it!” He took that funny clip and proceeded to let the beat drop with a sample of Marty hidden in it. Next, the chorus comes on and you hear glimpses of Flame’s “Move.” His verses were about moving towards Christ and leaving the false fantasies in life alone. This was easily one of the most creative albums I’ve heard so far.

Features

Being that Spec has ties with Clear Sight, I expected Flame and V. Rose to be on the mixtape. Surprisingly, Flame was not featured, but V. Rose added her amazing vocals to “20th Century Fox.” The features blew me away because I did not know everyone, and because of it, I liked what I heard. Artists like ChrissyLane, Asia Lee, and Confess of CFB were new to my ears and left me trying to find what projects they may have out. I love when artists put someone that is not as well known on a song, and the artist delivers.

Spec did a great job at giving new people exposure and also had a lot of familiar voices. K-Drama, D-Maub, and Viktory all spit great verses. I liked K-Drama’s verse on “Spider-man” best. He said, “but my flesh don’t wanna do it, I call it venom. The enemy within myself wants me to walk in it like denim.” Spec’s features with the more well known artists allowed me to give him his “rapper” card. The features didn’t overshadow his verses. He stood strong, rapped well and showed out as a lyricist.

Overall Talent

As I stated earlier, I clearly underestimated all that comes with the artist/singer/producer named Spec. The first thing I noticed was his flow and lyrics. He showed versatility because each song was unique from start to finish. He tackled each beat with confidence, sound doctrine and dare I say it, “swagger.” He didn’t sound like he was trying to rap. He sounded like he should have been rapping! He sang on some of the hooks and he even did that well. He wasn’t belting out or nothing, so I won’t give him the “singer” card just yet.  I now see him as an artist. Not just a producer.

However, He blew me away as a producer because I was not ready for what was delivered. I love when an artist finishes a verse with an unlikely rhyming scheme. In this case, he made songs with beats unlike anything I expected. Mind you, I’ve been listening to different tracks he’s produced in the past. This sounded like his previous stuff on steroids. If you are a producer and would like to be inspired, this mixtape will do just that.

End Of The Show

When I was finished with this album, I was blown away. I really try not to hype up wack stuff, I promise. I just truly appreciate when you can tell that time, effort and creativity was poured into a project. He started the album off with a clip of a woman professing that Hollywood is Christ’s. She mentions God raising up people with unique, creative gifts in the arts. I feel that what she said, is what we are seeing in the Christian hip hop scene. The quality in our genre is easily up to par with what we are hearing on the radio. Spec did an amazing job showcasing the creative talents that he’s been blessed with. I look forward to hearing what he’s got cooking up both musically and lyrically.

Questions

Did you agree or disagree with this album review? Were there any aspects of the mixtape that blew you away?

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Branden Murphy has served as a Campus Missionary. He loves Christian hip hop and uses it within his ministry to reach and converse with many different students. He plans to use his heart for music and ministry to write album reviews on Wadeoradio.com. Branden is also married with two children. You can follow Branden on Twitter: @Bmurph633.

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