Swollen Members have put in work. Mad Child began building a name for himself as a solo artist while living in San Francisco, and upon returning to his hometown of Vancouver, met Prevail , another MC who was rapidly making a reputation for himself in the west coast underground alongside his then rap partner, Moka Only . They saw each other's abilities, heard opportunity knocking and joined forces. Shortly after that point, Moka decided he wanted to go it alone and pursue his music as a solo artist. In 1996 Mad Child and Prev traveled to the B-Boy Summit in San Diego, where Mad Child battled and was initiated into the legendary Rock Steady Crew , hip hop's highest respected collective, making Swollen Members one of only three Rock Steady affiliated rap groups.
That year Swollen Members began recording their first tracks as a group. They also collaborated with other talented MCs, DJs, and producers who they had linked up and built friendships with. They received praise for the quality of the tracks they created, and it became clear that it was time to start releasing material as a group. With the release of three 12” singles on Mad Child's own independent record label Battleaxe Records , Swollen Members quickly established themselves with hip hop fans and built an underground following. These singles laid the foundation for the next step, the release of Swollen Members' debut album, Balance , in 1999. The album received a great deal of critical acclaim, has independently sold in excess of 50,000 copies worldwide to date, and continues to gain new fans. The album also netted Swollen Members the 2001 Juno Award (Canadian version of a Grammy) for Best Rap Recording.
Following the success of Balance , Swollen Members' second album, Bad Dreams , showcased their advancement and maturity. Guests and collaborators on the album included Chali Tuna (Jurassic 5), Dilated Peoples, Planet Asia, Son Doobie (Funkdoobiest), Buc Fifty, The Alchemist, Joey Chavez, Kemo, and more. With extraordinary success for an independent rap album, Bad Dreams won Swollen Members recognition and acclaim across the globe. The album was not only embraced by the underground, but also received attention from a wider audience, with several hit singles resulting in the album reaching platinum status in Canada. Bad Dreams also earned Swollen Members their second Juno Award and four MuchMusic Video Awards.
Since the release of their first album, Swollen Members have toured constantly, hitting every major market in the world, performing hundreds of shows a year in front of audiences of up to 15,000 people. Publications around the world have given Swollen Members' music and live shows excellent coverage, and their tracks receive strong airplay on both commercial and college radio. Their music has also been featured in a large number of movies, television shows, extreme sports videos, commercials, video games, and compilations, selling millions of copies combined. Swollen Members have appeared on television shows, and have also had several of their live performances televised. Their music videos have received heavy rotation on MuchMusic, MTV, and independent video shows around the world.
Swollen Members' third release, Monsters in the Closet , took them to an even higher level. The album includes banging singles, unreleased tracks and remixes, taking the raw, substance of Balance and combining it with the polished maturity of Bad Dreams . Moka Only reunited with group, and DJ/producer Rob the Viking also became an official member, while guests include multi-platinum selling artist (and long-time friend) Nelly Furtado, Def Jam recording artist Saukrates, plus production from Evidence (Dilated Peoples), Joey Chavez, DJ Vadim, Paul Nice, Rob The Viking, Saukrates, Kemo, Zodak and others.
Their latest effort, Heavy, weighs in as their most sonically evolved to date. Featuring 14 powerhouse tracks - including the smash single “Watch This”. Crafted with their signature wicked-funk beats and powerful lyrical style, Heavy is the bridge between their underground beginnings and their future stardom. This is not only an important time for the group but for their potential impact on rap music as a whole.
Steadfast and determined in their mission to get their music out to fans, Swollen Members have shared the stage with some of today's biggest acts – from hip hop to rock – and have captivated crowds around the globe with their energetic live shows.