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Swollen Members are a Canadian hip hop group from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada consisting principally of the duo Mad Child and Prevail. They have been called "two of the most innovative people in hip-hop". Frequent collaborators include vocalist Moka Only and producer Rob The Viking, an official group member since 2002. Since the group's formation in 1999, Swollen Members has released five studio albums and one compilation, which consists mainly of B-sides as well as three new songs.


Swollen Members was founded in the mid-1990s by Vancouveritesmarker Mad Child (Shane Bunting), Prevail (Kiley Hendriks), and Moka Only (Daniel Denton). Having begun a solo career while living in San Francisco, Californiamarker, 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. Soon after, however, Moka Only decided he wanted to pursue a solo career and left the group.

In 1996, Mad Child and Prevail went to the B-Boy Summit in San Diego, Californiamarker, where Mad Child won several rap battles and was initiated into the Rock Steady Crew. The crew is held in great respect as hip hop's highest collective - to join one must win a contest of skill against one of the highest ranked members. Swollen Members is one of only three rap groups affiliated with Rock Steady, Others include Dilated Peoples and The Arsonists.

That same year, the duo began recording their first tracks, with help from many of their friends from the scene - MC, DJs, and producer, including Rob the Viking. Rob would continue to work with the group through the years, eventually joining them officially. Their first releases were three 12" singles on Mad Child's record label Battleaxe Records, 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 50,000 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 MuchMusic Video Awards.

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, "Breath" which featured British Columbian Nelly Furtado. Production credits include Evidence from Dilated Peoples.

2003 brought Heavy, again released to critical acclaim and good sales, though many fans felt that Swollen Members had removed many elements of the style which had been so rewarding in the past. In the same year the songs "All Night" and "Deep End (Utah Saints Remix)" were featured in the videogame SSX3. In 2004, the Swollen Members song "Bottom Line" was featured in the videogames 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.

Swollen Members are currently touring with Tre Nyce by the name of Battle Axe Warriors. They are about to begin an American summer tour headlining with Kottonmouth Kings. They have released three new songs via Swollen Member's MySpace page, entitled "Bang Bang", "U Not 1", and "Reclaim the Throne".

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".

In addition, the group has been rumored to release "Beautiful Death Machine" in 2010 which should be a best of, containing mostly all old tracks, and maybe some new ones, as a Swollen Members-only project. Mad Child and Prevail both also released solo digital-only EPs in 2009, and plan to continue releasing solo material in addition to the group projects.

Group members

Current members
  • Mad Child – (1996-present)
  • Prevail – (1996-present)
  • Rob the Viking – (2002-present)

Former members


Studio albums

Compilation albums

Solo albums

  • 2009: Baseball Bat and Nails (Prevail solo EP)
  • 2009: The Mad Child EP (Mad Child solo EP)


Music Videos

  • Lady Venom (2001)
  • Take It Back (2002)
  • Bring It Home (2002)
  • Breathe w/ Nelly Furtado (2003)
  • Watch This (2004)
  • Put Me On feat. Everlast (2006)
  • Pressure (2009)
  • Warrior feat. Tre Nyce & Young Kazh (2009)
  • Bollywood Chick feat. Tech N9ne & Tre Nyce (2009)
  • fuel injected (2003)

Awards and Recognition

Juno Awards

MuchMusic Video Awards

  • 2002 - MuchVIBE Best Rap Video ("Fuel Injected" feat. Moka Only and directed by Wendy Morgan)
  • 2002 - MuchMusic Best Director ("Fuel Injected" feat. Moka Only and directed by Wendy Morgan)
  • 2002 - MuchMusic VideoFACT Award ("Fuel Injected" feat. Moka Only and directed by Wendy Morgan)
  • 2002 - MuchMusic Best Independent Video ("Fuel Injected" feat. Moka Only and directed by Wendy Morgan)
  • 2003 - MuchVIBE Best Rap Video ("Breathe" feat. Nelly Furtado and directed by Todd McFarlane)

Additional Awards

  • 2002 - Canadian Radio Music Awards Breakthrough Artist ("Fuel Injected" feat. Moka Only)
  • 2002 - West Coast Music Awards Best Urban Release (Bad Dreams)
  • 2002 - The Georgia Straight Readers Choice Best Urban Act
  • 2003 - COCA Campus Entertainment Awards Entertainer of the Year
  • 2003 - Western Canadian Music Awards Outstanding Rap/Hip Hop Recording ("Monsters In The Closet")
  • 2003 - Western Canadian Music Awards Outstanding Video ("Breathe" feat. Nelly Furtado)
  • 2004 - Western Canadian Music Awards Outstanding Rap/Hip Hop Recording ("Heavy")

See also

External links


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