Verb T – I Remain [Review] [@RealVerbT @HighFocusUK]
Verb T manages to stick to his initial plan of demonstrating his ability to remain over the past the fifteen years, using creative flows with on point lyrics.
There isn't really much to list here, Verb T could maybe have included one or two more features to allow for a bit more diversity through the tracks.
In case you’re unaware, Verb T, is somewhat a veteran in the UK hip hop scene. Having spent a whopping fifteen years in the industry, Verbs has managed to gain acclaim from peers all across the spectrum including, legends such as Jehst and Sway, to name a couple.
Verb T started to hone his abilities in the late nineties by, attending open mic nights across the city of London while, also recording his first ever demo with producer and friend, Harry Love.
This saw a young Verbs continue to make music and go from strength to strength, collaborating with Kiss FM DJ’s and the legendary Braintax of Low Life Records, among others.
Since the days of the early two thousands and the critically acclaimed Backhand Slap Talk album, Verb T has been finding his name pop up everywhere from, the main stage at the popular Outlook Festival to, the roster of prolific UK hip hop collective, The Four Owls.
Verbs’ most recent release, I Remain, is his seventh studio album and comes hot off the back from his previous successful release Morning Process (Wake Up) LP which, was his debut release on the highly revered High Focus Records label.
The self described fighting album aims to stand as a testament to the trials and tribulations encountered by Verb T in both his music career and, his everyday sphere of life. It promises to provide the listener with an intimate and personal documentation of Verb T’s outlook on the world while, relating to and, entertaining them.
The title, I Remain, refers to the underlying theme that is concurrent throughout the album which, does a good job of breaking down how Verbs has managed to stay relevant in the music industry over such a long time frame and, keep on top of his personal life.
Straight off the shelf, Verb T’s I Remain album looks promising, boasting a substantial fifteen original tracks with, full production from the man himself and, collaborations with UK hip hop heavyweights Genesis Elijah and Fliptrix.
When listening to the brand new album by Verb T the first thing I was hit by was the laid back and mellow tone that seems to be consistent throughout the release. From start to finish there isn’t a track that seems out of place, each song earning its spot on a well planned tracklist.
With I Remain I feel that Verb T blatantly displays the fact that he is an artist who knows his own style and how to use it, he has created an album that has its own identity and isn’t just a load of tracks, by one artist, with a cover and tracklist.
Personally, my favourite tracks from the I Remain album are; Old and Grumpy, Lost, Negative Energy and Look Now, all four tracks stood out for their own unique reasons and found themselves embedded in my brain.
On Old and Grumpy, I find that Verbs has made a song with a concept that is spot on. Everything from, the slightly off key instrumental to, Verbs’ lethargic yet clear and concise flow match the mood of the track which, is one that I personally find scarily relatable.
Lost is another track that I find I can relate to very easily, bars like “Re-read the same chapter again, rinse and repeat until i’m racking my brain, for something different” encapsulate the overall point and tone of the song while, the droning instrumental allows for the focus to be on the prominent vocals.
With Negative Energy, I feel that both Verb T and Genesis Elijah have absolutely destroyed the majestic instrumental, creating a song that is conceptually and topically spot on. Both emcee’s add their own spin to the taboo subject of trolls, providing two differing but supporting verses.
Look Now is simply a track that I have stuck in my head, I love the vibe from the up lifting instrumental and, the contrast between the vocals styles of Verb T and Fliptrix. Verb T’s calm, easy listening flow provides the perfect contrast to the relentlessly rapid style of the talented Fliptrix, both artists combine to make a somewhat ying and yang scenario in music form.
As a whole, I would definitely say that, with his latest album, Verb T has achieved his goal of displaying just how he has remained over the past fifteen years – By sticking to his guns (not literally) and not caring about the general consensus.
Throughout the entire playtime of I Remain it is easy to tell that Verbs, like so many of us, has been heavily influenced by the somewhat golden era of hip hop. The fact that he opted for full self production has allowed him to achieve an overall resounding sound for the release, something that many A list artist’s don’t actually manage to do.
To conclude, Verb T’s latest release, I Remain, is definitely an album for all the real Hip Hop heads, the combination of his tradition hip hop production style and calming vocal presence make for an easy listening album that I expect will help to further establish an already respected artist.