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Profile on Style: Vancouver legend Moka Only [Interview]

Vancouver, BC – As Moka Only kicks off his nationwide tour in Alberta this week, HipHopCanada caught up with him between shows in Morinnville and Edmonton to chat about style. Between his various personas—Ron Contour, Doctor Do Much, and many more— Moka is known not only for his lyrical mastery and numerous collaborations, but also for his cutting-edge urban style. Moka has represented Red Dragon Apparel (RDS) for over a decade now and recently teamed up with Saskatchewan MC Def 3 for the “Dragon’s Gate” video to further promote the label. But Moka revealed to us that he is also a huge fan of the Vancouver-based Skull Skates brand, and hopes to see future collaborations with them. He also likes to match his socks to his t-shirts. Check out our interview after the jump. #BAXWAR

Profile on Style: Vancouver legend Moka Only [Interview] -

Moka Only: Q&A

Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada

HipHopCanada: Let’s talk about Red Dragon Apparel.

Moka Only: I’ve been with Red Dragon for over a decade now. It was started by a bunch of people who were skateboarders. Just people that I knew from Vancouver—people that me and Swollen [Members] knew. They would just give us clothes and we would try and help build the brand with them. Red Dragon has had a lot of success and just recently I’ve been doing more and more stuff with them. Released an exclusive song and video for Red Dragon as well.

HipHopCanada: Yes you did. With Def 3.

Moka Only: Yeah, with Def 3.

Moka Only & Def3 – Dragon’s Gate [Video]

HipHopCanada: So when you’re not dressed head-to-toe in Red Dragon, what do you like to wear?

Moka Only: I do have a big skateboard influence. I mean if you take it back 10 years ago, I was wearing a lot more big, baggy “hip-hop clothes.” I think I just grew tired of that. Nowadays my pants fit a lot more slimmed-down. I like to wear Chuck Taylors. Usually [with] black jeans. I like to wear a dark leather coat and often just a t-shirt—preferably a bright coloured one. And I match [my shirts] with my socks. As for accessories, I like a set of beads or a necklace. I got a couple of different necklaces I wear and I keep a ring on at all times.

HipHopCanada: What are you wearing right now?

Moka Only: I am wearing a red Freemasons t-shirt to represent the fraternity that I belong to—Freemasons. I’m wearing a very dark brown leather jacket, dark grey jeans, red socks to match the t-shirt, and black low-top Chuck Taylors. And for a baseball cap I’m wearing a mesh trucker’s hat by Skull Skates.

HipHopCanada: Skull Skates?

Moka Only: Skull Skates is a long-running skateboard and clothes company out of Vancouver. They have a real cult following. Skull Skates’ logo is very recognizable—it’s just a skull with the word “skates” underneath it. That’s another company I’d like to mesh with, as well. And hopefully there might be a collaboration between me and them.

HipHopCanada: So you’re going to do a music video for them, too?

Moka Only: I’d definitely like to make sure they get some shine. I mention them in my songs. I’d have to see what kind of collaboration we’d have down the line, but I’m definitely looking for something. For the hip-hop artist, commerce is important. We have to survive—we have to live. If I don’t work, I don’t eat. I can be a little more creative as far as keeping a revenue-stream going. Sometimes that involves linking up with different companies, as long as it’s companies that I’m into. There’s a lot more to it than just the music. I have an idea—a concept—of how my life goes. I am the captain of the mellow. That’s what I do.

Photography courtesy of Moka Only
Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada

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Moka Only & DEF3 – Dragon’s Gate [Video]

Moka Only & DEF3 – Dragon’s Gate [Video] -

Moka Only in Concert

Catch Moka Only in Calgary this Friday at Lord Nelson’s (1020 – 8 Ave S.W.) with supporting acts The Come Up Gang, Fallen Ones, Iron Lion, Saintanik, Alpha Uniform and more. Tickets are $20. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Style Profile: Moka Only [Interview] -

Twitter: @MOKA_ONLY

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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