Three years ago, the
Spooks sprinkled the music scene and with their jazzy, hip hop single “Things
I’ve Seen,” and since than the group has seen major success in Europe
while they remain a talented mystery hear in the US. They’ve also lost one
member, but gained a taste for more tangible lyrics.
With their first
album in the last three years on the horizon, the Spooks’ Mr. Booka T spoke
to Allhiphop about the frustrations that come with not fitting the norm, the
publicity boost they got from Laurence Fishburne, and realizing that you cannot
feed babies steak.
ya’ll been up to the last three years?
Spooks: A lot,
changing labels, building our studio and just perfecting our craft?
does perfecting your craft entail, what do you mean by that?
to engineer, we wanted to learn, in terms of recording our album ourselves,
we wanted to learn how to mix and do a little mastering as well as getting better
with our production game, we produced more on this album than we did on the
first…And we been trying to put some money in our pocket.
those who don’t know, how did the Spooks get together?
Spooks: We got
together in 1995, I (Mr. Booka T) went to college with Ming at the School of
Visual Arts and grew up with Joe Davis in Philly and Hypno we met through a
mutual friend. We use to get together and do freestyle ciphers and rhyming and
shit like that back in Philly. People starting saying we sound cool together
and saying we should get together and do some jams. At the time I (Mr. Booka
T) was in a group with Joe Davis and Ming and Hypno was solo. Ming was only
suppose to be on two of the songs as a guest vocalist, but once we did those
two songs, it was obvious to everyone that she should stay. And then those two
songs turned into three songs, then ten songs and then we did a demo and we
became The Spooks. We got the name from this novel by Sam Greenlee called "The
Spook Who Sat By The Door." It's about this guy who infiltrates the CIA
to learn everything that he could about different spy tactics and gurella warfare
and takes that knowledge back to the gangs of Chicago and prepares them for
a revolution that he felt was coming and eventually it did happen. And in a
way that how we felt about trying to get into the music industry cause it was
difficult because ours sound was “alternative” to a lot of people
so a lot of labels didn’t really gives us a shot. So we figured we’ll
produce the album and still get in the door and push our agenda and not necessarily
change up and make the people come around to us, and not come around to what
was going on in the mainstream at that time, so we felt that our plight was
kinda similar to the main character in the novel, so we just called ourselves
there been any line up changes?
Mr. Booka T: Yeah
there was one line up change, the member Water is no longer with us…yeah
he's doing like a solo project.
there any hard feelings?
Mr. Booka T: Nah,
we still cool he’s still fam, he just working on his joint. When it comes
to Spooks, we have a certain vibe to the sound which is made up of everyone’s
ideas and input…but what Water wanted to do was totally different from
what we usually do…he wanted to go on a totally different path and he felt
that the best way for him to express himself in that way was to work on a solo,
and we were like cool. Just like we have another project we’re working
on called “Tongue Is this right,” which myself (Booka T), Ming and
Hypno so that’s another project we’re working on. We’re also
scoring a Broadway play, we can’t tell you the name of the play just yet,
but it’ gona be cool.