Swollen Members

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Swollen Members
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Alternative Hip-Hop
Years active 1992 (1992)–present
Labels Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize
Associated acts Rock Steady Crew
Moka Only
Dilated Peoples
La Coka Nostra
Website swollenmembers.com
Members Madchild (1996-present)
Prevail (1992-present)
Rob The Viking (2002-present)
Past members Moka Only (1992–1996, 2002–2005)
Easy Roc (1996–1998)
Zodak (1996–1999)

Swollen Members is a Canadian hip hop group from Vancouver, British Columbia, consisting mainly of the duo Madchild and Prevail. Frequent collaborators include vocalist Moka Only (who was actually a member of the group for a short period of time in the mid-1990s when the group was formed, and then again from 2002 to 2005) along with the other former members Easy Roc & Zodak who were only in the group for a few years and producer Rob the Viking, an official group member since 2002. Swollen Members has released nine studio albums, one greatest hits album and 2 compilations, as well as numerous other singles.


Swollen Members was founded in 1992 by Vancouverites Madchild (Shane Bunting), Prevail (Kiley Hendriks), and Moka Only (Daniel Denton). Having begun a solo career while living in San Francisco, California, Madchild returned to Vancouver to work. There he met Prevail and Moka Only, who had been working together. They joined together. The group had to decide on a name so Madchild suggested Swollen Members as a joke and it stuck.

In 1996, Madchild and Prevail went to the B-Boy Summit in San Diego, California, where Madchild won several rap battles and was initiated into the Rock Steady Crew. Swollen Members is one of only three rap groups affiliated with Rock Steady, Others include Dilated Peoples and The Arsonists.

Their first releases were three 12-inch singles on Madchild's record label Battleaxe Records, between the years of 1996 and 1998, then came the debut album Balance in 1999. Balance received wide critical acclaim and has since sold over 41,000 copies in Canada. Featuring collaborations with artists such as Everlast, Divine Styler, and Dilated Peoples, the re-issued 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, reaching platinum status in Canada. The album earned Swollen Members their second Juno Award and four MuchMusic Video Awards including best rap video, best director and best independent video.[1]

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

In 2003, the band released Heavy. 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 Madchild 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. Later that year, Nettwerk Management dropped the group due to Madchild's affiliation with the Hell's Angels.[2]

Armed to the Teeth was released October 27, 2009 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". This release was followed by a North American tour with Australian Hip-Hop group Bliss 'n' Eso.

Swollen Members scheduled the release of a studio album, Dagger Mouth, for April 2011, under Suburban Noize. Its first single is "Mr. Impossible".[3] The second single released off Dagger Mouth is "Bring Me Down" which features rapper Saigon. A compilation album titled Monsters 2 was released August 2, 2011.

On December 6, Swollen released a compilation of previously unreleased tracks from 1997, titled 1997 the rap group Dilated Peoples was featured on the track Canada 3000.

The song "High Road" was featured in the movie "One Big Trip". The song includes many audio clips from the movie. Madchild's first verse mentions the movie directly "Just like this movie Big Trip, where five drive across the country as they journey through new realms, the helm of an adventure as they capture it on film."

On August 5 and 6, 2011, Madchild participated in World Domination 2, an MC battle event thrown by King Of The Dot, a battle league from Canada which featured MCs from all over the world. Madchild battled Dirt Bag Dan for 3 rounds a top MC from grind time west coast division. Madchild won by a split decision.

Swollen Members recorded the song "Lost In The Music" with the Insane Clown Posse on the album, Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium released August 14, 2012.

On March 19, 2013, their tenth studio album, Beautiful Death Machine was released, and had debuted at number 3 on the Canadian Albums Chart, making it the group's highest charting album in Canada to date.

June 17th, 2014 brought their 11th studio album "Brand New Day" to store shelves across the world.

Group members[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions
CAN U.S. U.S. Heat U.S. Independent
  • Released: May 31, 1999
  • Label: Battle Axe Records
Bad Dreams
  • Released: November 13, 2001
  • Label: Battle Axe Records
Monsters In the Closet
  • Released: November 12, 2002
  • Label: Battle Axe Records
  • Released: November 18, 2003
  • Label: Battle Axe Records
Black Magic
  • Released: September 12, 2006
  • Label: Battle Axe Records
22 19 21
Armed to the Teeth
  • Released: October 27, 2009
  • Label: Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize
19 146 5 23
Dagger Mouth
  • Released: April 12, 2011
  • Label: Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize
15 3 41
Beautiful Death Machine
  • Released: March 19, 2013
  • Label: Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize
3 167 3 26
Brand New Day
  • Released: June 17, 2014
  • Label: Battle Axe Records
8 7


List of compilation albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions
CAN U.S. U.S. Heat U.S. Independent
Greatest Hits: Ten Years of Turmoil
  • Released: March 16, 2010
  • Label: Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize
Monsters II
  • Released: August 2, 2011
  • Label: Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize
  • Released: December 6, 2011
  • Label: Battle Axe Records, Suburban Noize

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"S and M On the Rocks" 1999 N/A Blazing the Crop
"Artillery" 2007 Infected Mushroom Vicious Delicious
"Lost In the Music" 2012 Insane Clown Posse Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium
"Falling Down" 2013 Twiztid A New Nightmare

Music Videos[edit]

Year Song Director(s)
2000 "Lady Venom" Trevor Cornish
2001 "Take It Back" Wendy Morgan
"Deep End" Jason Goldwatch
2002 "Bring It Home" Wendy Morgan
"Fuel Injected" Wendy Morgan
"Steppin Thru" Wendy Morgan
"Breath" (feat. Nelly Furtado) Todd McFarlane
2003 "Watch This"
2006 "Too Hot"
"Put Me On" (feat. Everlast) Margaret Malandruccolo
2009 "Warrior" (feat. Young Kazh) Chad Archibald & Philip Carrer
"Bollywood Chick" (feat. Tech N9ne)
2010 "Pornstar" Chad Archibald & Philip Carrer
2011 "Mr. Impossible" Mr. Invisible
"Bring Me Down (Swollen Mix)" (feat. Saigon) Mr. Invisible
"Night Vision"
"Do Or Die"
2013 "King of Diamonds" D-Shot
"Mercenary" D-Shot
"Inception" D-Shot
"Almost Famous" D-Shot
"BAX WAR" D-Shot
"Death Warrant" D-Shot
"Fear" (feat. Snak The Ripper) D-Shot
2014 "Power"
"Brand New Day" Dale Resteghini

Awards and recognition[edit]

Juno Awards[edit]

  • 2001 - Best Rap Recording (Balance)
  • 2002 - Best Rap Recording (Bad Dreams)
  • 2003 - Rap Recording of the Year (Monsters In The Closet)
  • 2007 - Rap Recording of the Year (Black Magic)

MuchMusic Video Awards[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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")
  • 2011 - Western Canadian Music Awards Outstanding Rap/Hip Hop Recording ("Dagger Mouth")

See also[edit]


External links[edit]