‘In and Of Itself’ is a day inside Moka Only’s head

The latest album is a sweet hello and an occasional revisit to old times with Daniel Denton.
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A singer-songwriter from Boston, MA that also writes blogs about music from time to time. A loud and proud as fuck member of the Alt-Black, LGBT and autistic community.

One-hundred and eighteen. One-hundred and eighteen official rap albums, beat tapes, jazz albums, mixtapes, EPs, and collab tapes, and this is if you don’t count the instrumental versions of albums like Patina and It Can Do. Feel free to take a head count on Moka’s Wikipedia or Bandcamp page if you feel the math is off. If you are not bugged out by the birth-christened Daniel Denton’s work ethic, you are likely Robert Pollard of Dayton’s Guided by Voices (or cloud rap pioneer/outsider sensation Viper). 

Moka has a specific sound throughout his discography: hazy, psychedelic hip-hop that occasionally reaches bugged out territory—but not too much to sacrifice the beat knocks. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong if you take it as Moka staying consistently faithful to the jazzy, hazy productions that helped secure the sonic stamp of artists such as The Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief, and even A Tribe Called Quest. Each tape released lets us into the current mindset of Moka in a way that feels like every purchase or stream is a conversation with him. To Moka casuals or loyals such, In and Of Itself is a sweet hello and an occasional revisit to old times. (“Do With Myself,” if you followed Moka through the beloved days of MySpace, is a track that could be found on the 2nd Creepee Eepee tape.)

On this project, he speaks on the climate of rap music (“I Do Rap”), his continued chase for the big bag (“Oh Thousands”), and you can hear him possibly bagging the groceries on “Naturally”. En route, Moka isn’t above letting some of his beats breathe on its own (“Willington Interlude,” “Double RL”). But this album’s concept is like a day in Moka’s head from the sunny “Tablecloth” to the nocturnal wooziness of “Need to Do.” This vibe continues when he dares to rap about just having a regular day on “How Boring Do You Like It?” a song can also be taken as a half-sarcastic response to those who wanted him to do “regular raps” in the past.

If you missed Moka and seek to catch up with him, this album will both satisfy an urge and leave your ears open for whatever he has next down the pipeline. If you know Moka’s work ethic, he ALWAYS has something in the works.

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