The lifespan of a rapper making music in the UK is limited. This is undoubtedly due to the hip hop circuit being overly saturated with new faces constantly bursting in and out of the scene, attempting to formulate a career for themselves. In any entertainment business it’s unusual that an artist can withstand the test of time and keep making music long after his or her competitors have faded into obscurity. Which is why many hip hop fans regard Verb T’s time in the industry as a testament to his prowess as both a rapper and a performer.
After six studio albums its only natural to feel daunted by the task of steadily producing music that consistently outshines each respective release, however I Remain serves as Verb’s best work yet. Another impressive factor to consider is that the album has been crafted independently without the assistance from outside producers. Without saying too much, the beats accompany the lyricism perfectly, which is one of the main reasons of why I Remain is such a success.
Some could argue that the opening track of any piece of music sets the tone for what the rest of the work is like. If this is true then it’s an exciting start for the entire body of work. All That Exists is among one of my favourite tracks on I Remain, mainly because it’s a track that shatters the illusion of what you might think the album is going to sound like. It’s a fun, jump up effort twinned with a boisterous, in your face attitude. This is yet another side to Verb T which is delivered with a distinct finesse and flair. Dawn is a slight throwback to the Morning Process days, featuring classic melodic production with intricate wordplay throughout. What is most enjoyable is the underlying theme of exploring a deeper subconscious which melds seamlessly together with bars such as “…hold the mask, breath the oxygen, I’m tripping off my head, distorted visions of opulence”. The eponymous track I Remain is both complex and impressive. Coupled with incredible cinematography from the accompanying video, the title track manages to secure its position as not only a front runner for best track on the album but also one of the stand out hip hop tracks of the year.
Verb T hasn’t progressed this far into his career without a certain uniqueness to his music. His refreshing honesty and unflinching outlook on revealing personal aspects of his life in his art does not go unnoticed. Dear Life is an intimate separation from the artist you see live and the man creating the music. In it’s most stripped back form; it’s a poetic look on the private goings on in his own mind.
The album plays host to a somewhat serious, thoughtful tone, which is cleverly contrasted with smacks of humour and satire throughout. Showing listeners that there is many dimensions to Verb’s hugely creative personality. Alongside a flurry of tightly polished tracks there is also heavy guest features from UK veterans such as Genesis Elijah Fliptirx and Kashmere, all of which adds extra depth and panache to what is easily the best Verb T album yet.
Review by @louisebrisbane