Monday, June 20, 2011
Swollen Members are a Canadian hip hop group from Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada consisting mainly of the duo Mad Child, and Prevail. Frequent collaborators include vocalist Moka Only (who was actually a member of the group for a short period of time in the 90s, and then again from 2002–2005) and producer Rob the Viking, an official group member since 2002. Since the group's formation in 1996, Swollen Members has released five studio albums, one greatest hits album and one compilation, as well as numerous other singles.
Swollen Members was founded in the mid-1990s by Vancouverites Mad Child (Shane Bunting), Prevail (Kiley Hendriks), Rob the Viking, and Moka Only (Daniel Denton). Having begun a solo career while living in San Francisco, California, Mad Child returned to Vancouver to work. There he met Prevail and Moka Only, who had been working together. They joined together under the name Swollen Members.In 1997, Mad Child and Prevail went to the B-Boy Summit in San Diego, California, where Mad Child won several rap battles and was initiated into the Rock Steady Crew. Swollen Members is one of only three rap groups affiliated with Rock Steady, Others include Dilated Peoples and The Arsonists.Their first releases were three 12" singles on Mad Child's record label Battleaxe Records, between the years of 1996 and 1998, then came the debut album Balance in 1999. Balance received wide critical acclaim and has been claimed by the band to have sold in excess of 50000 copies. Featuring collaborations with artists such as Everlast, Divine Styler, and Dilated Peoples, the album received the 2001 Juno Award for Best Rap Recording.Following Balance, Swollen Members recorded and released Bad Dreams, released on November 13, 2001, and featuring guests such as Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Son Doobie, Joey Chavez, and former member Moka Only. It appealed to both underground and mainstream audiences, with several singles reaching platinum status in Canada. The album earned Swollen Members their second Juno Award and four Much Music Video Awards including best rap video, best director and best independent video.2002's Monsters In The Closet, their third release, brought official group membership for Moka Only and Rob The Viking to Swollen Members. Monsters In The Closet was a collection of B-sides and outtakes along with three new songs, "Breathe" which featured British Colombian pop singer, Nelly Furtado. Production credits include Evidence from Dilated Peoples.In 2003, the band released Heavy. In the same year the songs "All Night" and "Deep End (Utah Saints Remix)" were featured in the video game SSX3. In 2004, the Swollen Members song "Bottom Line" was featured in the video games WWE Day of Reckoning and WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw.In 2005, Moka Only decided to break off from the group for a second time and continue work on his solo career. The following year, Swollen Members released their fifth full album, Black Magic. It is understood that Mad Child and Prevail made an attempt to return to their previously critically acclaimed style and method. Their previous album Heavy was unlisted on their official site discography. A single from the album, "Put Me On (feat. Everlast)", was released in August, 2006. Later that year, Network Management dropped the group due to Mad Child's affiliation with the Hell's Angels.Armed to the Teeth was released October 27 through Swollen's new label Suburban Noize Records. Featured artists on the album include La Coka Nostra, Talib Kweli, Tech N9ne, Tre Nyce, and a return of Moka Only on the previously-released track, "Red Dragon". This release was followed by a North American tour with Australian Hip-Hop group Bliss 'n' Eso. Swollen Members scheduled the release of a studio album, Dagger Mouth, for April 2011, under Suburban Noize. Its first single is "Mr. Impossible". The second single released off Dagger Mouth is "Bring Me Down" which features rapper Saigon.