The Spooks: Faster Than You Know: Part 2

Allhiphop: Your first album got a little publicity from Laurence Fishburne, talk about that? Mr. Booka T: The people from our first label, Artemis, were in touch with Laurence Fishburne, and the people from our label brought him the demo and he actually liked a few of the songs and it kinda took off from […]

Allhiphop: Your

first album got a little publicity from Laurence Fishburne, talk about that?

Mr. Booka T: The

people from our first label, Artemis, were in touch with Laurence Fishburne,

and the people from our label brought him the demo and he actually liked a few

of the songs and it kinda took off from there, he loved the song “Things

I’ve Seen,” and so he used it for his directorial debut, Once In The

Life, and o when we did the video, we asked if he could come and do a guest

appearance and he did. And after that he started passing the album to all his

actor friends, so we would be performing places and we’d see cast members

from OZ. We stayed in contact with a friend of his named Barry Cole and that’s

how we did the Disappearing Acts Soundtrack and the “O” Soundtrack,

it’s also out connection with Laurence that we’re doing this Broadway


Allhiphop: Your

first single “Things I’ve Seen,” was like the number one played

single in Europe in 2001, is it disheartening to be more successful in Europe

than here?

Mr. Booka T: For

some of us it is and for some of us it isn’t. For me (Booka T), I appreciate

all the love we get over there but sometimes it’s a shame that people determine

how hot you are as a band by how much promotion your record company puts behind

you. Overseas we were promoted properly and we were on even playing field with

a lot of other bands that were out, but over here, Artemis was independent and

we didn’t get a lot of promotion and different things. That can be bothersome

when that the only thing that stops a good album or song from being heard. Before

being a recording artist, I’m just an artist, and I make music because

I want people to enjoy it and people to hear it. So when you have an album that’s

been our for three months and people walk up to you and ask you ‘yo, when

your album coming out,’ it’s like damn. Truthfully, I’m (Ming)

just glad we have our music out anywhere and that people actually like it and

that we have a fan base and get to travel. Of course you always want to blow

up at home first and then venture out, but I really can’t be mad if it

happens the opposite way, plus it gives us a reason to get on a plane. In the

end it’s just about people who love your music and want to watch you perform

and support you and wherever that is I’m there.

Allhiphop: Why

do you guys think you were more successful in Europe, do you think its your

sound or do you think it relates to some decisions the record label made?

Mr. Booka T: From

what I’ve experienced in Europe, it’s different over there with TV

and their programming and their radio, like over here things kind of have their

own station or their own pockets, like nothings really cross referenced, you

won’t hear hip hop next to modern rock on the same station, it’s either

hip hop or rock. Whereas in Europe it’s mixed up more, and because of that,

it sort of allows people a broader perspective and open mindedness to something

that may not have that mainstream sound…I (Booka T) don’t think that

we were playing on an even playing field in some cases. We toured with a lot

of people, like Busta and Common, a lot of times nobody even knew we had an

album out cause we didn’t have ads in all the magazines. A lot of programmers

were like, we don’t know were you guys fit, I was like just fit us in anywhere

else that you play The Roots, or you would play Common, or Les Nubian.

Allhiphop: Do you

think any of those things have changed?

Mr. Booka T: I

don’t know, I hope so. I think the albums hot. I think this album will

reach more people than maybe the first album did.

Allhiphop: What

can we expect on the new album?

Mr. Booka T: The

difference between this album as compared to S.I.O.S.O.S. is that we have some

featured artist, we have Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 on the lead single “Faster

Than You Know,” and we have Lady Alma, who is like a Black Lily legend

in Philly, she like the queen of neo soul, pre Jill Scott, she’s actually

Jaguar Wrights cousin. We have an underground group from Philly called POG.

We got Evil Dee on a cut, a Philly and Brooklyn collaboration type thing. We

got these hot producers called Pitch Black, they’ve produced everyone from

Musiq to Blu Cantrell. I think this album is a bit more down to earth in some

aspects. We talk about a lot of everyday things. We have a song called “Deadbeat,”

it’s a song about deadbeat fathers and that unfortunate situation that

is pretty prevalent, but it’s cool because it’s done to a real upbeat

kind of trip-hoppy beat, it’s a really important topic, and hopefully a

lot of people will peep the words and learn a lesson from it. We making em dance

with songs like “Crazy,” which was produced by Super Dave West.

Allhiphop: Lyrically,

the album feels a little different than the last one, did you guys work on your

lyrics in the past three years?

Mr. Booka T: When

we wrote the first album, we were just more concerned about flow, we were just

all over the place, on one song we might have like 10 different flows by one

person, and the lyrics were a lot more abstract cause we were in our own world

like ‘we’re in the S#### world and we just like making music for the

sake of making music and who gives a damn if anyone understands what’s

going on.’ But with this album we thought, ‘ya know, we do live on

the planet earth and we want people to really understand the messages that are

in every song and really feel what we’re saying. And we’ve matured

as artist, as well as human beings, I’ve (Booka T) had a daughter, we’ve

seen the world, a lot of things have changed. So we were like lets come out

of our own little world and come to planet earth a bit longer and let people

really understand and get into what we’re thinking.

Allhiphop: Why

is the title of the album Faster Than You Know?”

Mr. Booka T: Basically

it’s just about giving up the whole façade and let yourself be,

let love in, and things will happen “Faster Than You Know.” It means

a lot of things, like the Spooks are back Faster Than You Know, it’s not

one specific meaning behind that. It kind of sums up the album and what we went

through these past three years, there were times that we weren’t even sure

if we were gona have a second album, and then Water left the group, just a lot

of things happened, and were still here Faster Than You know, faster than we