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. That’s 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 don’t 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: I’m a little astonished because it seemed only yesterday that I was warning that just a few people couldn’t 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, it’s a lot different.
NT: What do you think of some of the new artists coming out in Hip Hop?
MO: I’m aware of what’s out there, and I salute any artist that’s doing something that’s obviously from their heart and they’re excited about their craft, that’s all I can really say about it. I’m very much into myself and what I do, so I don’t often lend too deeply an ear to other people’s stuff except for the people in my immediate circle in Vancouver and Los Angeles. There’s a lot of talent coming up, unfortunately I miss a lot of it. I guess I’ll catch up with it later.
NT: Is it hard for Canadian hip hop artists to break the US market?
MO: I’m not a Canadian hip hop artist. I haven’t found it hard. When I say that, I mean, I’m not a separatist. You know what I’m sayin? There are a lot of people in the hip hop scene in Canada, and it seems as if they’re on the edge of separatism. That’s 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 that’s more regional, than national. I’m just a hip hop artist, not a Canadian hip hop artist. I have lived half of my life in America, constantly back and forth. There’s no real difference to me, other than population.
NT: Are you going to be taking Zzbra on tour?
MO: You bet. We’re trying to take it to a stage show, and we’ll have some surprises. We’re thinking of even doing a tour concept where me and Evil open for ourselves, open up for Zzbra. We could do a whole package.