Hip-hop watch: Broke Mokes' new EP

Adam Laeha

In celebration of the release of their first official EP, Keep Your Head Up, the Broke Mokes are hosting a party this Friday, October 2, at The Republik. The Mokes spread largely through YouTube and word of mouth at first, then through performing live shows. What has become clear, is that these boys aren’t a gimmick; they’ve worked hard to polish and refine their craft.

MC’s Dae1, Izzy I AM and Koins got together in 2010 to form the Broke Mokes on the windward side of Oahu, in Kaneohe. Each member contributes a distinct and readily digestible flow, and an energy that exudes confidence in their craft during live performances. In terms of contemporary comparisons, the Mokes are the island answer to the double time—the swag. Their crispy hooks, reminiscent of early Three 6 Mafia, and singing cadence, evocative of Bone Thugs, can be heard on their breakout track “Scandalous.” The Broke Mokes are a modern mash-up, a mix plate of mix tapes and style: modern hip-hop with a local flavor.

But they have something else that makes them great to watch too. When they perform, you can tell without a doubt that they love what they do. They’re a group of friends having fun while on a real hustle to the top. It’s hard not being taken in by their charisma. Rooted in the islands, the Broke Mokes work alongside a large crew of local artists. These beatmakers and rap crews are the structure of Hawaii’s hip-hop community and, through support and collaboration with on-island talent, Hawaii is producing quality hip-hop and more.

Also performing Friday will be Jim Hurdle, I.A, KwalifiedXCozy, CNRBOY, PunaheleX Ruckka and Young Sire. There is so much great hip-hop out there that sometimes it’s easy to forget that we don’t always have to import acts from the mainland to see it. Together with the Mokes, the artists performing on Friday are only one selection of the hip-hop talent that is alive and well in the islands.

The shows will go on

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