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
Ive 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 wed see cast members
from OZ. We stayed in contact with a friend of his named Barry Cole and thats
how we did the Disappearing Acts Soundtrack and the O Soundtrack,
its also out connection with Laurence that were doing this Broadway
first single Things Ive Seen, was like the number one played
single in Europe in 2001, is it disheartening to be more successful in Europe
Mr. Booka T: For
some of us it is and for some of us it isnt. For me (Booka T), I appreciate
all the love we get over there but sometimes its 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 didnt 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, Im 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 thats
been our for three months and people walk up to you and ask you yo, when
your album coming out, its like damn. Truthfully, Im (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 cant be mad if it
happens the opposite way, plus it gives us a reason to get on a plane. In the
end its just about people who love your music and want to watch you perform
and support you and wherever that is Im there.
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 Ive experienced in Europe, its 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
wont hear hip hop next to modern rock on the same station, its either
hip hop or rock. Whereas in Europe its 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) dont 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 didnt have ads in all the magazines. A lot of programmers
were like, we dont 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
dont know, I hope so. I think the albums hot. I think this album will
reach more people than maybe the first album did.
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, shes 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, theyve 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,
its a song about deadbeat fathers and that unfortunate situation that
is pretty prevalent, but its cool because its done to a real upbeat
kind of trip-hoppy beat, its 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.
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 were in the Spook world and we just like making music for the
sake of making music and who gives a damn if anyone understands whats
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 were saying. And weve matured
as artist, as well as human beings, Ive (Booka T) had a daughter, weve
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 were thinking.
is the title of the album Faster Than You Know?
Mr. Booka T: Basically
its 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, its 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 werent 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