Born Fredrick Orony in Eldoret (but originally from Oyugis-Homa Bay), MC Spook has been one of most vocal voices in the Kenyan underground Hip-hop universe especially from the “64” region. His lyricism borrows heavily from “horrorcore”, conscious poetry, mysticism, spirituality and street narrative. Having been in the game for 9 years, he is one of the most radical voices that’s hard to ignore.
The following interview took place on 10th December, 2016, at 1.00 pm on the roof-top of Rehema Complex building in Eldoret. It’s a beautiful sight and Spook is in a “HOOPS, HONEY & HIP-HOP” black T-shirt; a clock necklace and jeans, sipping on a white cup of Vanilla yogurt. He says he likes to come here often to chill and reflect. I press record…
Spook: I started rapping immediately I finished high school. Poetry and music was in me so I decided like I should compose things and—
Wudz: When was that?
Spook: In 2007.
Wudz: So what inspired you to get into rap?
Spook: Uhm, I used to listen to people like Immortal Technique, Killer Priest…So I saw that these people have something that can transform society. As a young poet coming up; as a young emcee, I thought that I should pursue the—
Wudz: So your greatest influence is Immortal Technique?
Spook: Yea, that’s my dude, nigga. That’s my role model.
Wudz: Alright, great. So then, 2007 this is 2016, sounds like 9 years. By now I mean you should blow up. Nine years is a long time.
Spook: Yea, you know with this music thing when you stay real with it, nobody wants to listen.
Wudz: Nobody wants to buy an album…
Spook: Yea, but you know me, dude. One day I will.
Wudz: So locally as a Kenyan emcee, is there an influence, or is all Western?
Spook: Yea, of course, there is my homey right here—
Wudz: You talking about me?
Spook: Haha. Yea. Ochuka, Trabolee, Romi.
Wudz: The guys you’ve mentioned are like the 3rd generation emcees since the inception of Kenyan rap. How about them emcees from way back?
Spook: Yea, I used to listen to K-Shaka then I switched to Kitu Sewer. Apart from that I never really listen to most Kenyan shit.
Wudz: Ok. Why are you doing this? Why do you rap? Why do you do music?
Spook: Music is me, man. That’s who I am. I want to transform society….We can change people’s ideas through music. When you listen to most of my songs you find that they tackle vast areas of these things.
Spook: Immortal Tech is rich.
Wudz: You want that too, right? You want to live a decent life, right? And you’ve been doing this for 9 years. No record sold, maybe a few. No major bills coming through. Do you wanna keep doing the same thing?
Spook: No. I want to change.
Wudz: You changing because you want money or that’s what you wanna do?
Spook: You know music is changing, the market is changing, the fans are changing each and every day. So me myself I must change with the music market. So I must change and see what’s gonna happen.
Wudz: So if you change and then don’t sell records, are you going to switch again? ‘Cause you know, music is dynamic…
Spook: You know me, I’m dope. When I change, it’s because I know I’m gonna make something. The few things I’m working on, I see is doing good. Will just need some right direction and some right people around. And I think I’m gonna make something.
Wudz: So at the point you are right now, you want a breakthrough?
Spook: Yea, that’s what I want.
Wudz: How are you going to do it?
Spook: I think I’m gonna get serious. The whole time I’ve been doing it for fun. I’ve got mouths to feed…
Wudz: You’re a father, right?
Spook: Yea. I got a daughter, Kimberly Jones and one is on the way.
Wudz: So this music thing means a lot to you?
Wudz: You see in Kenya is not easy to sell records. And if you manage to make a little money off of it and get a little fame, there’s a lot of hatred that comes with it–especially from the underground critics. Are you ready for all that?
Spook: Yea. One thing I learnt when I stared rapping is that a lot of people don’t support my stuff. Most ‘fans’ want you to stay something they want to hear. When go you against the grain, it becomes an issue. So what I want to do is, give a fan what they want to hear—but in another way.
Wudz: Speaking of, most people who follow you on social media – especially Facebook – you’re this guy who is always sneaking disses, uploading selfies every day. Don’t you think this compromises on your art?
We can change people’s ideas through music. – MC Spook
Spook: No it doesn’t. Social media is the backstage where you get to mingle with fans and critics alike, any time of day. I am not shy of expressing my feelings, thoughts and moods on social media. I’m a joker by nature and I don’t have to take everything too seriously all the time. You can be funny, carefree and intelligent at the same time.
Wudz: Word has it that you have 20 unreleased albums and mix-tapes under your belt.
Spook: Hahaha. That’s what folks say. Since I started music, I have only made 5 albums: Voice of Kiliminani, Night of the Dead Poets (Unreleased), Meeting the Eclipse, Fifth Letter (which I ditched because of poor production and marketing) and Waridi Love Series.
Wudz: Which is the best among those?
Spook: Meeting the Eclipse was straight fire! I got positive feedback from fans.
Wudz: Dope. Now the album you working on now, what’s the name?
Spook: I decided to come up with something that represents my town. This town has raised me. The album is like a story book: From track 1 to track 5, it speaks of this city; then from track 6 to track 10, it talks about me living in this city.
Wudz: What do we expect in the album: more underground stuff or you going mainstream?
Spook: There is a bit of trap in there. I would say it is the best album I have ever done. Most of my philosophy is embedded in the whole album. It’s 80% collaboration from up-coming cats. I have VSee Tha Vaccine, Derro, Snappy, Kevo B.
Wudz: Besides rap, what else do you do?
Spook: I’m a pastor and the CEO of MS Records. I have like 7 producers working for me. I’m also mentoring young emcees like, Derro, Victator, Rap Kin Collo and my sister, Lioness.
Wudz: What’s the future like for MC Spook? Five years from now, are you going to be still a small-time rapper in Eldoret or are you cashing in?
Spook: I wanna go beyond. I wanna create more connections countrywide. I have booked radio interviews coming soon.
Spook: Early Jan.
Wudz: Anybody you wanna work/collabo with?
Spook: I wanna murder Khaligraph Jones on a track.
Wudz: Give me something intelligent I can quote.
Spook: I don’t think a person becomes wise by reading books. A wise person should just be a wise person.
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