Working as the latest chapter in the Moka Only sideshow, Swollen Members’ imprint helps introduce their Canadian counterpart to the rest of the world with Lime Green. Like other his releases, Moka’s latest is yet another self-produced oddity, drenched in his own personal experiences.
For those who haven’t followed Moka’s career with a microscope, Lime Green can work as the perfect introductory piece, yet it may also alienate newer listeners that aren’t ready to step aboard Moka Only’s audiotistic life journey.
The most impressive thing about Moka’s projects - Lime Green included - is the fact that, for the most part, this kid produces his albums entirely by himself, thus churning out an average of two each year. Not only that, Moka’s got a keen sense of musical taste, as his beats are massive as they are melodic, and perfectly catch the essence and emotion that he is trying to portray in each track. On tracks like “Invisible”, “Not The Man I Used To Know”, or “August Asphalt”, the listener can feel Moka’s sentiments from the synthesized beats alone, as these musical landscapes are created from nothing but the feelings in his heart.
Lyrically, don’t expect to find an overabundance of aggressive battle rhymes, heavy vocabulary, or super-clever metaphors from Moka Only, but instead simply the diary of solo artist. More than just an emcee, Moka Only is documenting his life and times, with lyrics that read like poetry: “I’m writing in my book / what a simple pleasure / or is it necessary to document this measure / of time / whether defined or not / I’m going to find the top / of my personal climbing rock”. Some might find this type of lyricism a little bit too introverted, yet those that enjoy the personalized touch that groups like Living Legends or Atmosphere provide will love it.
While Moka’s beats are like fresh fruit, his lackadaisical attitude and la-la hooks can get tiring after while. Midway through the album, guest appearances from fellow Battle Axe Warriors - LMNO (“Team Work”), Swollen Members (“Crunch”), and Abstract Rude (“Rolling Along”) - show an obvious need for the sharing of mic-time, most likely something that the Perfect Strangers (Moka Only + Madchild) album hopes to master.
Lime Green will work as Moka Only’s big introduction to the U.S. and the rest of the world. Whether fans will embrace it or not remains to be seen, but with the obvious amount of heart and soul he’s put into it, he shouldn’t have a problem. Looking for self-sufficient hip-hop with a personal touch? Take a sip of Moka Only.
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