Frank Moka, “Nation Time” (self-released)
Frank Moka is a Dallas-based percussionist who, as a member of The Funky Knuckles, has played with artists like Erykah Badu and Stanley Clarke. His new track, “Nation Time”, is a tight blending of hook with message; groove with theory. Starting off like the feel good hit of the summer, its glistening, sunny piano chords and straight, snappy rhythm making you wish you had that cabriolet, the lyrics kick in and demand your attention – “now you got your shit together/what are you gonna do?” the opening question/salvo. While the song continues to feel airy and light, weighty topics abound: race, (comm)unity, police brutality, misogyny – the message is woven, and it’s impossible to ignore the pattern. With a title that seems to reference Amiri Baraka and/or Joe McPhee (I don’t know if it is intentional), this should maybe not be surprising.
On his SoundCloud page, Moka describes the song as “a Hip Hop/Pop track with a very powerful message”, and he is being understated. Along with other new artists like Jamila Woods, Frank Moka shows that songs with undeniable hooks need not also be vapid. Points can be made while the groove moves you – open the windows, drop the top, and spread the word. In addition to SoundCloud, you can follow Frank Moka on fbook and the twitt. Here’s hoping for more from him soon.