featured REVIEW


Moka Only Apenuts Durable Mammal • 1998

One of my favourite MC/producer of the moment is Moka Only. Smooth lyrics about girls, music, travelling, everyday life and cool jazz beats is the recipe of this Canadian, who’s co-founder of the Swollen Members and now (2004) joined the group again after goin solo. 'Apenuts' is one of the many albums Moka has released between 1995 and 2001, but most of them were just tape-releases and only circulated in the Canadian underground (the first marketed release is 'Lime Green' on Battle Axe Warriors).

Now thanks to re-issues and the Internet, these albums are kinda easy to find…and that’s very good news for fans like yours truly. 'Apenuts' is one of these early releases. It’s a typical Moka album and one of the jazziest records made by the Mammal. The tracks are produced by Deceo. Being a creative mind, Deceo has the ability to find the finest jazz loops, makin it sound real fresh. Piano’s, horns, vibes… it’s all there, nicely chopped. In '92' Moka reminisces over one of the dopest hip-hop years: go diggin with friends, makin demo’s, drinking cappuccino , listening to KMD, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Lord Finesse: Moka proves to be a true head. On the next number, 'Love Story' Deceo steps off the usual formulae of unknown samples and chopped the 70’s hit 'Could it Be I’m Falling In Love' into a feel-good, up-tempo beat like only Pete Rock could make. '

Cyant Rush' has Moka singing on the chorus emerging the listener to forget the rush of today’s society. Singing the chorus is one of his trademarks, but instead of soundin corny it really adds a soulful vibe to the whole. A really, really dope song is 'Best Thang' with an incredible guitar sample, damn, that beat keeps hanging in your head time after time. It adds a sort of Latin touch to the album (also the first instrumental skit 'Interlude' has that same Latin vibe). Moka always manages to add an extra musical element to his music; for example on 'Obvious' we find him whistling along with the beat. Typical Moka Only. The track 'Maijic' has a melancholic horn, Q-Tip’s voice sampled in the chorus and Moka claiming to hold on to the magic (read: music) in his life. It creates, in opposite to the other tracks, a kind of melodramatic atmosphere.

'Apenuts' is a 100% Moka Only album (without any guest MC’s !), full of quality jazz hip hop, turning your head in a sunshine state of mind. Whenever you’re mood is low, pop this album in your deck (this album doesn’t exist on vinyl) but don’t forget to check out other Moka releases!

POSTED ON 05|17|2004 by cpf

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