“Family & Friends” may be the debut EP from Mochii, but it’s been a long time coming. The Louisiana native, known to his actual family and friends as Kwame Hawkins, has been preparing for his introduction to the world of music since he started rapping when he was just eight years old. In the subsequent years he eventually taught himself to play piano and compose his own music. He first started working with his hometown friends, Creators of Dope Entertainment (C.O.D.E.).
Mochii decided to branch out on his own, but for that he needed money. Coming from humble beginnings he felt the only way he could get the capital was by joining the United States Army. So that’s what he did. After paying his dues with Uncle Sam for four long years, he got out. “I realized that I didn’t want to work for anybody anymore. I hated always being on someone else’s schedule. I got out, moved to Houston and began to pursue my career in music.”
In Texas his unique talents found friendly collaborators in the engineers and producers working in Houston’s world renowned recording studios. In 2019 he dropped his first single, “Papers.” Now Mochii is kicking off the new decade with a three song set that showcases his cool brand of soulful melodic Hip-Hop. As a composer, Hawkins has an innately Jazzy R&B groove. And as a rapper, his style combines the best of the old school and new.
The record opens with the appropriately titled, “Groove.” He sets the mood early with some nice analog synth sounds. As soon as Mochii starts dropping rhymes, it is clear we’re in for something special. His quirky and cool style harkens back to pioneers of hippie stoner-rap like De La Soul and Q-Tip. But his is not a retro sound. He brings modern production style in as well. This mix of the past and the present combine to make something new… future music.
“Leave Home” is an autobiographical tale of Kwame’s journey to where he is going. His rapid-fire rap technique over a slow jam groove is a real mood. It is impressive and unusual for an artist to arrive on his debut record with such a fully formed well-defined sound.
The third and final track, “Top” is probably my favorite. Mochii highlights every one of his strengths first hinted at on the previous two tracks. From the mellow Jazz bass line, to syncopated percussion, R&B riffs and the rapper’s own cool flow that manages to be both laid back and high-energy. Vocally he shifts rhythms back and forth, inside and out. And he makes it sound easy. On the track he raps, “I’m on a roll, so get out my lane.” Believe that.
Check out Mochii on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. And follow the links below to connect with the artist. Stay in the know on all of his current and future releases.