Northern Transmissions chatted with Moka Only about his new project with Evil Ebenezer: Zzbra.
Northern Transmissions: How did Zzbra come to fruition?
Moka Only: Well, it was first recorded 5 or 6 years ago. Thats when we made the album, and at the time we were really gung ho about it. I had already known Evil for a while and a mutual friend of ours that produced the album suggested that we work together on an entire project and he would produce it. I had produced so many albums on my own so for someone else to produce a project was kind of a treat for me. We began work on it, over the course of two weeks in 2006, but the reasons it never came out had to do with timing, and structure, so we let it sit and age like wine, and I think it sounds great, I dont think it sounds dated at all.
NT: What kind of impact has Hip Hop had on modern culture and how it continues to sell despite the current downturn in music industry?
MO: Im a little astonished because it seemed only yesterday that I was warning that just a few people couldnt support this industry. But you know black culture has always had a huge impact on all facets of society, from fashion to slang, from the Blues era, to Jazz, right into Rock and Roll. Even five years ago as compared to now, what people are selling, its a lot different.
NT: What do you think of some of the new artists coming out in Hip Hop?
MO: Im aware of whats out there, and I salute any artist thats doing something thats obviously from their heart and theyre excited about their craft, thats all I can really say about it. Im very much into myself and what I do, so I dont often lend too deeply an ear to other peoples stuff except for the people in my immediate circle in Vancouver and Los Angeles. Theres a lot of talent coming up, unfortunately I miss a lot of it. I guess Ill catch up with it later.
NT: Is it hard for Canadian hip hop artists to break the US market?
MO: Im not a Canadian hip hop artist. I havent found it hard. When I say that, I mean, Im not a separatist. You know what Im sayin? There are a lot of people in the hip hop scene in Canada, and it seems as if theyre on the edge of separatism. Thats not what we need in hip hop, in culture, and Canadian culture in general. It may be some identity that we have of our own, but I think thats more regional, than national. Im just a hip hop artist, not a Canadian hip hop artist. I have lived half of my life in America, constantly back and forth. Theres no real difference to me, other than population.
NT: Are you going to be taking Zzbra on tour?
MO: You bet. Were trying to take it to a stage show, and well have some surprises. Were thinking of even doing a tour concept where me and Evil open for ourselves, open up for Zzbra. We could do a whole package.