Casual hip-hop listeners will remember Moka Only’s work with Swollen Members, the multiple Juno-winning hip-hop collective that he founded (and left in 2005). But he’s certainly accomplished as a solo artist too - since emerging onto the scene in the early ‘90s, he’s released a staggering 50+ albums under his own name. Magickal Weirdness is the rapping vet’s latest effort, and while it could be construed as a dense disc at 32 tracks (yes, you read that correctly), it manages to be anything but. Chill vibes aplenty here, thanks in part to his easy-going, West Coast attitude and to his smooth production. The record is his first through his newly minted, subscription-based label Beautiful Records (in partnership with URBNET), which will soon offer all of his latest releases, and certain bonuses, for a yearly fee at different tiers. We expect his peers to follow suit, adopting similar clever business models to better reach their respective fanbases – who else can claim to be a trailblazer two decades into the game?
Moka is nominated for several awards this year already – one for the WCMA Rap Recording of the Year 2015 and three nods for the Canadian Urban Television Awards.
Catch him in Vancouver for a hometown show on August 19 at the Railway Club or in Victoria on August 20 at Lucky Bar. Details can be found on his website.