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MTV: I know is a sketchy question for you guys, but where are you from?

Water & J.D.: Spooks is, like, from the shadows.

Bookaso: Underneath your chair, above your head, behind you, to your sides, anywhere there's a shadow.

JD: Yeah, 'cause the Spooks is true. You can't beat your shadow, no matter how hard you try.

W: That's right, baby. When you see the light, we there somewhere.

B: Watching you.

MTV: So you guys aren't going to claim, like, Queens or Brooklyn?

JD: We not claiming nobody, 'cause I don't own no land. I don't own no city, I don't own that. We from the shadows, strictly. We rise up.

W: That's something that we own. Plus our sound is, like, global. You can't regionalize us. You can't put a piece of land on us. When you hear the sound, you'll understand the answer. You gotta hear the album. You gotta hear the music.

B: We was forming Spooks in '94. Ming Xia came in '95. Basically, we were all soulless, and in terms of trying to get into the music industry and get deals, things just wasn't working out. So we figured we're some of the tightest MCs and singers from different places, and if we got together and formed one tight unit, you know, we could do this.

Basically the four of us, we were working on some songs, and Ming Xia was really supposed to guest star, like, on one song. And it just turned out so tight and she wanted to really remain a Spook and just be down with the unit. It turned into two songs, then three songs, then four songs. Then it was just like... it just meshed together so well, it was like, "This is it." This is the unit that's gonna go out and try to basically hijack the planet.

MTV: So what's it like being amongst a bunch of guys?

Ming Xia: It's like having brothers I never had. It's like family, really. I mean, I vibe off them, they vibe off me, and we kinda meet somewhere in the middle to create the Spook sound. It's an experience.

MTV: Where was your first performance as a group? Like a lot of people in New York first performed at Lyricists Lounge or in different places.

W: It was like an alley, no? No, it was an alley, you know what I'm saying, dude? It was an alleyway, and it was turned into a session. More or less we was all meeting each other, feeling each other out in this alley. It all started: one person rhyming, another person jumped up, and it just turned into, like, people was gathering around that we don't know, coming from other places listening, like, "Oh, that sound right."

MTV: Who would you say are your influences?

B: When I heard Treacherous 3 and Cold Crush Brothers, it was like, "I have to rhyme." Then as the years went on I was influenced by a lot of different people, from Portishead to groups like De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Bjork.

JD: Early on my influences was Treacherous 3, in particular Kool Moe Dee, without a doubt. And then Cold Crush Brothers. They are just sick still. Then as time went on, I started listening to a lot of jazz, like Miles Davis and people of that caliber, which there aren't very many. One of my favorite MCs is Freddie Foxxx. Chuck D, Busta Rhymes, and Q-Tip. Oh, James Brown! Yeah, because he play with the pocket.

MX: Bjork, Bono, Shade, Billie Holiday, Digable Planets, Wu-Tang.

W: Yo, I'm like this. Everything they said I'm pretty much in compliance with, but there's one person everybody left out, that's Greg N-I-C-E, Nice & Smooth. Greg Nice is like all energy, all entertainment. He not uptight on the mic.

Hypno: Probably my first favorite group was Earth, Wind & Fire. I happen to think Stevie Wonder is a great, I mean that's not original, but the boy is great. Heatwave was great, all the way to somebody like Kula Shaker. They draw you into their world and show you what they have to say.

"Things I’ve seen" (Real Audio)
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