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Hey – why is it that Battle Axe 12″ s are really more like EPs? They all feature at least three songs and this new Moka Only 12″ flaunts a funky four. Moka’s hop-up/drop-down flow works well with the bouncy wah wah bassline on “Imagine Me” (produced by Moka himself) and while the lyrical content (a blend of tongue-in-cheek braggadocio with underground, keep-it-real posturing) isn’t super fresh, he’s not as annoyingly didactic as many an other MC I could think of. “Rolling Along” (w/ Abstract Rude) does just that – dancing across Paul Nice’s piano track and Moka comes with a little more on the verbal tip: “LA/Vancou connect/to spark up new cassettes/inferno/the blaze that pays/stays for days.” The best song on the 12″, “Rolling Along” might just have you following, but not with an instrumental as this (and “Crunch”) aren’t so blessed.

If it was just these two, the 12″ would be great, but they add two more songs for the B-side, both produced by Paul Nice: “This That” and “Crunch”. While neither deserves the gas face, they don’t necessarily add much more to the listener’s impression of Moka. He sounds like he’s dropping that ’92 flow on “This That” and “Crunch”, despite guesting Swollen Members, is mad generic – the same kind of pseudo-posse cut that every underground MC seems to generate. What I mean to say is that there’s nothing on this 12″ which is quantifiable bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s all great either. I suppose those into freedom of choice will like the four song selection, but I always thought shorter was better so long as the material was tight.

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