The first song I ever uploaded to YouTube was when I was 14. It was just a joke song in which I took one of my best friend’s songs about pufferfish (metaphor) and made a parody out of it by switching all his serious lyrics into joke lyrics. You can find his YouTube under the name “AvidusVinco”; he recently just joined, and he’s been a big inspiration behind why I started to rap in the first place.
Anyway, this parody song started to get a lot of comments and they actually told me to make more songs—I wasn’t that interested in YouTube as it was just getting started and I had no idea it would become as big as it is today, so I wasn’t committed to taking advantage of the new website; if I knew where it would be today, I would have recorded a million more videos and uploaded them before the huge tsunami of crap was uploaded there, making it impossible for anyone to find any of your stuff.
Anyway, the next song I uploaded was to a contest held by Vanilla Ice and sponsored by TurboTax in which the first-place prize was 25,000. Honestly, I didn’t care so much for the prize because I knew the contest was either rigged or had unfair voting—I just wanted to impress Vanilla Ice and show him that a little song I did at 15 years old is better than anything that fruitcake has done in his life.
I eventually deleted that YouTube account and started a new one, mainly to promote my short films that dealt with world issues. I never really wanted to become a rapper for the sake of rapping to gain respect or fame or whatever else it is that others look for behind a mic.
I only used rapping as a vehicle to drive my philosophies and the wisdom I’d accumulated from all the people and places I encountered in my life. After I realized it takes a lot of work to make a film and even more work to promote it and get people to actually watch it, I moved to rap, just because I always was a fan of artists like Tupac and Immortal Technique and was inspired by the way they used their fame to spread messages and opinions to a wide audience.
I think one of the first songs I wrote was just a little verse about how there was a lot of ignorance going around about Muslims being evil and being terrorists. I recorded myself rapping the verses and uploaded the video to YouTube:
I received praise from Muslims but a lot of hatred from people who disliked the religion. I even received a few death threats which made me laugh and shake my head at the same time—that just made me more inclined to make songs that pissed off ignorant people.
After that video, I began to make more songs and uploading, and eventually, I just started making all sorts of songs.
You have received criticism for calling yourself “The Spook.” How did you select the name you would carry into your rap career?
Great question. Unfortunately, a lot of people are uninformed and have never heard of the term “homonym”, thus come to the ignorant conclusion, probably because they use Urbandictionary.com as their main source of information, that the term “spook” ONLY refers to the derogatory racial slur for Black people.
“Spook” has several meanings actually, but the context in which I use it is the connection it has in the spiritual world of apparitions and spirits, both positive and negative energies. For a part of my childhood, I grew up in Indonesia and witnessed many of these paranormal activities and I believe that my time there deeply affected who I am as a person and artist.
My rap name “The Spook” comes from a book called “The Spook’s Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney, and the Spook was a character who had extra senses to this 4th dimension or whatever you want to call it and would fight off the evil spirits to protect the people of his town.
The Spook was not a likable person and people often mistreated him or scowled him, despite the fact that he was saving their asses. I guess in a way, I try to do the same thing with my music, and ward off the evil prejudices in this world although the majority of people rather hear Little Wayne rap about lollipops.