Verb T – I Remain (High Focus)

Verb T has put out more releases than some MCs have had hot dinners, but the London rapper never ceases to hit the mark

Released Oct 23rd, 2013 via High Focus / By Sam Bennett
Verb T – I Remain (High Focus) Verb T is one of the UK’s most consistent hip hop MCs. He’s been active on the scene for a long time, putting out quality projects on a regular basis, and his latest album, I Remain, is no different.

Released on the High Focus label, who are heavyweights in their own right, I Remain is produced entirely by the Verbs himself and features some of the best MCs on the circuit, including Fliptrix & Genesis Elijah. Verb T’s self-deprecating approach has always been one of the reasons why he has such a good reputation, and this album continues along that vein. Tracks like ‘All That Exists’ and ‘Dopey Eyes’ have the classic, chilled-out vibe that makes Verb T’s music so enjoyable, with some incredible sampling work on the production side of things coupled with a smooth flow and intelligent lyricism.

What has always made Verb T so accessible is the good-natured humour contained within his lyrics. This is perfectly showcased in tracks like ‘Toast & Jazz’, an amusing response to those who say hip hop based around old jazz samples is played out and dated. ‘Old & Grumpy’, which boasts an excellent video to boot, has Verb T rapping about his perspective on the UK hip hop youth culture - a breath of fresh air considering the over-the-top bravado so often featured within this genre.

Tracks such as ‘Lost – Guru Tribute’ and ‘Negative Energy’ show that Verbs can still hold his own amongst the new wave of MCs currently coming through. The common perception is that UK hip hop is very much a young man’s game, but these mature and skilful tracks prove that this most definitely is not the case at all. It is also very telling that I Remain features sole production by Verb T himself; the album has a constant, chilled-out vibe that makes for a very cohesive sound, something which often lets modern hip hop albums down. The production compliments Verb T’s monotonous and relaxed delivery in a way that few other producers can manage.

Overall, this is another great release from the High Focus camp, with well-placed guest contributions from some of the best in the UK scene, fantastic story-telling verses, a tight flow and stellar lyricism from Verb T. This is a solid body of work to add to Verb T’s vast collection, and is definitely an album to check out.