With his streetwise demeanor and ferocious loyalty to Brooklyn, Spec Boogie happily falls into the category of an “old soul” – but his music is anything but dated. In fact, the guy is a trendsetter. Thanks to his nimble delivery, knack for wordplay (“I want to bring a brickhouse to my brownstone,” he raps), and ear for experimentation, the New York City product has been instrumental in cultivating the music, fashion and attitude embraced by the newest generation of Hip-Hop artists.
Hailing from the same corner where The Notorious B.I.G. once roamed, Spec Boogie has seen more than his share of difficult times. While his childhood friends found themselves caught up in the violence and incarceration that plagued the youth of Bedford Ave. and Quincy St. in the 80’s, his watchful parents kept him out of the fray. In his teens, the household was shattered after both of his parents passed away in a three-year span. Spec Boogie is neither preachy nor sensationalist as an artist, but these life experiences give him a certain gravitas – there’s a remarkable sincerity that weaves throughout his music. Even songs with less-than-weighty subject matter inherit the trait: when Spec Boogie says he’s going to roll a Dutch Master and steal your woman, you believe it.
After the passing of his parents, Spec Boogie sought refuge in Philadelphia, a decision that resulted in a tight affiliation with Questlove and the Grammy Award-winning group The Roots. Polishing his live stage show under the tutelage of the masters, Spec Boogie performed on several legs of Okayplayer tours. Upon returning to Brooklyn, he essentially founded the “streetwear” rap scene by releasing the single “Grow” with Lower East Side boutique Staple Design, dropping 10 Deep’s first mixtape (other artists who followed: Wale, Kid CuDi, Donnis), and slapping verses on indie rock songs from LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, and M.I.A before it was de rigueur. Back in early 2007, Spec Boogie was the first rapper to use a Peter Bjorn and John record as a canvas – and his take on “Amsterdam” was described by the band as “great” and heralded by Fader, Gorilla Vs. Bear, and Nick Catchdubs.
Spec Boogie’s critically acclaimed mixtapes include: Dollar Sign Language, On My Grind, Kid Gorgeous, and Specflix. His song and video for the single “Bed-Stuy” was featured on Nahright, OnSmash, a Japanese compilation on Wow/Now Records, the official mixtape for the film Brooklyn’s Finest and has enabled him to recently tour Europe and also make his successful debut in Africa performing at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. He has performed with artists including Kid CuDi, MF DOOM, Big Daddy Kane, Peanut Butter Wolf, Mos Def, Just Blaze and The Alchemist. Spec Boogie’s debut album Introspective features Peter Hadar, Heavy, Tanya Morgan and 4Hero.