Growing up in Detroit has afforded me and many others the opportunity to literally hang out in Canada like it's just another city because of how close it is to us. Just a ten minute drive through the U.S./Canadian International Tunnel gets you into Ontario, Canada in no time at all. Over all Canada is a pretty fun country, but there are some places that are little more entertaining than others. I would have to say that the Canadian hotspot would have to be Toronto, Canada! From the shopping, to the festivals and just the people alone, it's normally a party type vibe out there. There music scene is pretty good too, depending on what kind of stuff you are into? Don't sleep! Over the years Canada has birthed some very good rapper artists like Choclair, Saukrates, Michie Mee, Kardinal Offishall and my main man Moka Only! If you haven't heard about any of these emcees, you may want to do a little bit of research on them and see what goodies you find.
I've been following Moka's career since he was a member of the underground hip-hop group Swollen Members back in the early 1990s. He actually started his solo endeavor in 1994, but the first time I heard him solo was on an LP called "Dusty Humps" in 1996! That's back in the day when I would buy just about anything that came out with a decent cover on it? Moka does have the gymnastical lyrics of a Canibus, nor does he have the brilliant creativity of Ghostface, but he does have his own original style. He's pretty laid back with his flow, easy to understand and his production is usually on point? Over years some critics and fans alike felt that Moka destroyed the chemistry of the Swollen Member group? That's a personal opinion, but I do believe it was part of the reason Moka left the Swollen Members group. No matter what people say about him, they never call the man lazy. The dude already has approximately 15 solo albums under his belt, and the total goes up to 26 if you include his demos and underground efforts. I will admit that Moka seemed like he had lost his way musically over the last few years though. Changing up his original style for more experimental type records, which didn't really workout for him in my personal opinion. Obviously, he figured out that his new sound wasn't a good look for him as well, so for his new album that dropped earlier this year "Vermilion" Moka took back to his original vibe.
Vermilion is one of his best efforts to date, and if you like your hip-hop with addictive beats and rhymes with that boom-bap feel of the golden era, I think this album may be for you? This is the first album in a minute where I didn't find myself skipping through most of the tracks, and I actually hit the rewind button a few times. Now, let me remind the readers of this post that Moka Only is NOT a gifted emcee lyrically, but I personally like his steelo even when he seems to be mumbling his rhymes sometimes. So, checkout these two tracks from his new album and hear what you think. If you think they suck or not, feel free to leave me a comment telling me so...
Checkout his myspace page here: