Eyes and ears up front people. The latest instalment of High Focus’ campaign for global domination is upon us, this time courtesy of one Mr T. Conning of London, England. Unless you’ve been in a coma for the past decade, you should be fully aware of Verb T’s lyrical prowess and almost legendary status amongst UK heads. If you do unfortunately fall into the aforementioned long-term unconscious category, it’s most definitely time to check the back catalogue…
“From the man who brought you the Backhand Slap/ to the Basics gotta Bring It Back/ looking through the Broken Window don’t crack/ Verbs With A Vengeance, I’m about to snap/ playing Serious Games on the track/ Greatest Mystery all over the map/ we gain more when we progress, wake up it’s the Morning Process…”
With production limited to Pete Cannon, JJ Malone, Chemo, Leaf Dog and the man himself, “Morning Process” finds Verb at his finest; blessing each and every one of the 14 instrumentations with his trademark smooth tones and creative, intricate wordplay.
After a brief history lesson, Leafy’s soulful, horn-laced creation “Said & Done” provides a mellow pre-cursor to Chemo’s drum-driven “Listen To Me”, finding T on a throwback tip, reminiscing about his early years; growing up, the joys (?!) of watching Crystal Palace before inviting the audience to indulge in a little extra-curricular activity. “On The Edge”, a personal favourite, sees Verb use JJ Malone’s choppy piano rolls as a canvas for his vivid imagery before turning a little melancholic over his own production, “Sing The Blues”.
Yet another self-produced beat (borrowing the title from a John Carpenter character), on “Snake Plissken”, T teams up with Skriblah and Cappo on a quest for escaping reality; with the trio taking turns on spawning visions of higher plains and release from their surroundings. The lead single and definite highlight, “The Morning Process” sees half of the Owl quartet combine to create an infectious head-nodder. Leaf’s woozy, vocal sampling production offers the perfect backdrop to Verb’s tales of zoning out and all too regular battles with his eyelids.
The BVA assisted “Sittin’ Here” continues the mellow, reflective vibe as the duo drop deep stanzas fuelled by over –thinking and contemplation before the ode to self-respect “Don’t Damage Yourself” leads the LP closer to its conclusion. After returning to the edge once more, accompanied this time by his HF fam and Karizma, Verb offers an insight into his emotions with the floating synths and soft percussion of “Love Me, Leave Me”. Rounding off proceedings, the JJ Malone produced “Red Ink” boasts a cracking guest spot from Eat Good affiliate Kosyne; as the two MCs trade thoughts of love and passion for the scene; with the underlying optimism offering an air of positivity as the album fades to black.
It seems physically impossible for High Focus to put out weak material, and with “Morning Process” Verb T somehow manages to play his trump card by dropping one of his best releases to date. A laid-back listen from start to finish, Verb’s dulcet tones make you want to kick back, draw for whatever your poison may be and let your thoughts just drift off with the beats. He may have been around since back in the day but Verb T remains as quick-witted and lyrically gifted as ever and has maintained the HF mantra of being the output for some of the finest Hip Hop from our shores. No questions here folks; go cop this ish…
Review by Mike Pattemore @beats_n_pieces