Anyone familiar with Canadian west coast hip hop will surely know his name, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard one of his songs.
In his decade-and-a-half long career (so far) Moka Only has released more than 40 albums, both solo and collaborative, and has climbed the Canadian charts for his projects with Swollen Members and Len (who blew up in 1999 with their monster hit single “Steal My Sunshine”).
Moka Only, often considered to be a pioneer and driving force behind the west coast scene, has announced a stop at the Rockwater Grill and Bar on May 19.
It all began rather humbly in his hometown of Victoria, BC, where Moka Only discovered hip hop culture at an early age, starting out as a graffiti artist before switching to rhyming at house parties and freestyling anywhere and everywhere alongside partner K-Prevail (recording together as Splitsphere).
In 1994, Moka made the move to San Diego in order to further his rap career, creating a number of connections that he would later use to his advantage. Upon moving back to Canada in 1995 and taking up residence in Vancouver, Moka met Mad Child, and along with K-Prevail, now just Prevail, the three emcees founded Swollen Members one night at a Denny’s, with Moka coining their multiple meaning name. However, a group dynamic was not for Moka and he soon moved on to a solo career.
He has since joined them for several collaborations while furthering his solo career and both a rapper and a producer.
Moka released five recordings in 2011, and will be in Golden to play some new material, and old classics on Friday May 19. Tickets are $10.