VERBicide by Jeff De Verb is a lyrical offering from the many perspectives of a maturing Spoken Word poet. The energy throughout the project keeps things fresh, while the slick wordplay brings one back again and again.
Poet Jeff De Verb opens the project like a love letter from one mind to another. He takes his time in speaking to his lady, empowering her and showering her with his affections. However, after the heartfelt poem ‘The Valley‘, everything about the project shifts drastically.
VERBicide takes a sharp turn away from recounting memories of muses and dives headlong into furious socio-political commentary. Verb manages to inject his own spin on familiar topics by providing an element that hasn’t been touched on in my time as a writer for Re/Verb; Rage. From the build of ‘Power Lines‘, the brooding of ‘Ambivalence‘, to the explosiveness of ‘Many Men‘, Jeff’s fury is more so felt than heard. The impact of these poems is heightened by his desperate boiling delivery, which reaches a peak on ‘Arrested Development’.
…But we never knew if God and Satan teamed up to make a polarity for morality they thought we should keep up./ So at times I do get inclined to tell dogmatism to ease up.
The project closes on a calmer note with ‘The Message’, which is accompanied by a fantastic feature verse from DC Da Cause. This track might be my favorite, as DC’s gravelly voice comes out of nowhere and brings an impeccable flow that washes over the introspective instrumental. It’s a nice way to wrap up a very emotionally charged project.
Aside from the very sudden switch in subject matter and tone, my only gripe is the quality of the vocals. They’re not as clean as they can be. Despite, VERBicide remains a solid project with lines that listeners can chew on for a long while. A favorite of mine came on “Asylum” when Jeff De Verb growls “…but we never knew if God and Satan teamed up to make a polarity for morality they thought we should keep up. So at times I do get inclined to tell dogmatism to ease up.” So many layers to that line. Take time and take a listen.
Jeff de Verb represents a rising tide of millennial consciousness within Atlanta’s poetic sphere. VERBicide, Jeff’s first EP, is the inevitable result of this movement. VERBicide, itself, is a collection of verses that thread through the heart of Spoken Word and hip-hop, but stops short of surpassing the confines of Spoken Word media. This album is as insightful as it is charming, but unfortunately lacks the polish of a classic.
Tracks like ‘The Valley’ and ‘The Message’ are smart, well-produced, and fun listening. The production levels, however, lack consistent quality. For instance, ‘Asylum’ has a provocative beat, but the vocals on the track make actually listening to Jeff difficult. Awkward song times and transitions makes me pine for more purposeful track coordination.
Despite, as Jeff de Verb’s debut EP, VERBicide is a treat for fans of the Spoken scene. The music is original and the bars are hard-hitting while retaining a Spoken Word cadence. The subject matter, however, proves to be a strong point. It is conscious and thought-provoking while remaining accessible. This album is for the millennial who loves lyrics, vibes to hip-hop, and is looking for something that is pure Atlanta spoken word. Though there is room for refinement, VERBicide may prove to be the start of something big.
Find VERBicide: http://jeffdeverb.wix.com/verbicide www.tinyurl.com/VerbicideAmazon
Find Jeff de Verb: https://www.facebook.com/JeffdeVERB?fref=ts