While each would-be artist that emerges with an underground hit mimics the style of those before them, Speak chooses to bring a new brand of braggadocio to the table. The self-proclaimed “34th best rapper alive” unites both hip hop and indie fans alike and wins over new listeners with each electric live show, where he’s been known to jump off rafters, dance belligerently, and banter conspicuously with the crowd, popping confetti all the while. It’s a show that isn’t just a rap show—it’s entertainment, following the the footsteps (rather than mimicking the footsteps) of the all great showmen before him. It is, however, a key distraction from the greater point: he makes great music.
Speak began his musical journey with a love for jazz, latin, and soul instilled by his mother and father; he then found his way into the hip hop scene after hearing The Roots’ Things Fall Apart in the fifth grade. In high school he was the center of attention, competing in and winning numerous high-profile emcee battles across the U.S. In 2001 he was a part of the popular group Contexual Flow; after they disbanded he formed Soul Rock Affiliates with DJ Nevi Nev and Afta-1, who released an EP and garnered considerable local success before going separate directions in 2006. He has since shared the stage with several notable acts like Emanon, Percee P, Common, Talib Kweli, Chromeo, Supernatural, Ghostface Killah, and many more.
It wasn’t always hip hop, though. Speak grew to love all forms of music, even playing drums for an indie pop group in 2007. He has crafted intelligent and catchy lyrics, showing his prowess as a songwriter and musician foremost. His record collection spans genres like none other, and is a fairly good representation of what comes out in his music.
“I’d describe it as the WWF in the early 90’s meets Bob Dylan,” he says. “If John Lennon had Killa Cam’s swag, I reckon it’d probably be something like me.”
Speak since has created his own imprint, Applebird Records, to release his music, and has recently put out his Kite Flyers EP. A full-length release, Octopus Luck Number 8, has been two years in the making and will soon see the light of day… maybe. He is playing shows and touring constantly.
Edited by COco_FABoo on 17 Mar 2010, 19:35
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