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Verdict Album Review “Keep Livin” By Brandon Scarber “Real Name No Gimmiks”

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KEEP Livin for tomorrow is not promised!!

By Brandon K. Scarber (Real Name, No Gimmicks)

 

In 1991, Geto Boys released “My Mind Playin Tricks On Me” via their magnum opus We Can’t Be Stopped on Rap-a-Lot/ Priority Records, who doesn’t know the timeless lyrics:

At night I can’t sleep, I toss and turn…four walls just staring at a nigga. I’m paranoid, sleeping with my finger on the trigger…But I ain’t goin’ out without a fight…” – Scarface [of Geto Boys, raps]

This song with these specific lines, is the first time in hip-hop/rap we experience an artist describing issues with mental health and dealing with it in real time.  But, it definitely wasn’t the last time we would hear it on wax, or deal with it either.

From Mac Miller’s death to XXXtenacion, Capital Steez [Pro Era], Juice WRLD and documented accounts from Eminem, Joe Budden, and recently Big Sean and Charlamagne the God, hip-Hop/rap awareness on mental health has grown over the years. Verdict’s coming of age shall be no different!!

VERDICT, a Detroit bred emcee and lyricist, is the new artist to watch. Verdict dropped his first project Eastside High back in 2014; and now he’s back with KEEP Livin.  A project filled with vivid storytelling and visceral bars, delivered in an entertaining way.

He’s unafraid to address the taboo of mental health and its relationship with social media.  Unapologetically, he tackles musical withdrawal, stagnated successes, public acceptance and validation.

All of these things drive artists and creatives, at times to fall into depressive mind states and situations.  The feeling of maintaining one’s own perceived “hype” and/or success, or the keeping up of appearances to maintain a status, which can become ultimately a liability to the artist and/or creative.

Not to mention, the elusive RESPECT from fellow artists and creatives, who could be considered peers? But let’s be honest, Hip-Hop/Rap is a blood sport!!  Verdict gives us the realness from a black man’s perspective who is taking control of his life and career.

Most artists are spewing clickbait, and/or more concerned with the superficial “comments,” “hearts,” “likes,” “shares,” and/or “views.”  Verdict, on this project is openly talking about not being immune to these divisive things as well.  At the same time, he is doing the handy work of dispelling what it means to be an emcee and lyricist in Detroit and beyond.  He is an artist, creating music aka stereo therapy!!

KEEP Livin, is not just his manifesto but a war cry to all the refugees of the culture who’ve dealt with similar issues and circumstances.  KEEP Livin is only 8 cuts!  There are some bangers, conscious tracks, introspection, and pretty much something to satisfy any type of listener.  This isn’t your regular degular!!!

I do not believe he did this in vain. Maturity is woven into the lyrics and songwriting.  It is heartfelt throughout the project and it is refreshing!!!   Keep Livin should surpass Verdict’s past records “Feelings” and “Scenario” Feat. Neisha Neshae, as they both gained some radio successes and premiered on MTV. KEEP Livin is another strong entry into his musical catalogue behind local favorite – College Ain’t for Everybody.

With KEEP Livin the title trackVerdict raps about short term retirement and re-igniting his creativity for music. You feel the hunger pains and growth throughout the track, the same can be said for the “come up story” you hear on the Eminem sampled Don’t Lose Yourself. Verdict is beaming with vigor.

Applause to the Production team. They took creative risks and it’s paying big dividends throughout this project.  Quarter Pound Music did most of the heavy lifting on this project with 6 of the 8 tracks to his credit.  The Snap! song “The Power” sampled on Verdict’s Hectic will definitely catch you off guard.  On JODY, the way Quarter Pound Music flipped 2 Pac’s “Hail Mary” was solid too!!

Verdict refuses to dumb down his content to the mumble rap.  What You Know has single potential. It’s a summer time vibe that’s sure to be heard cranking out plenty of whips cruising down Jefferson Ave to Belle Isle this summer.   On July 19, which closes the project combining Mary J. Blige and Roy Ayers’ brings everything back home for the listener.

With all of this content, Verdict has the talent, but I don’t think he has fully found his voice or place within the music community of Detroit and beyond. Maybe, his music is bigger than the city? But, at any rate, with KEEP Livin, he is definitely headed in the right direction.

Rise up, Gunston and E. McNichols!!!

Rise Up!!

Benofficial Music Certified!!

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Nametag “The Limit” Ep Produced By Black Bethoven

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Detroit MC/Podcaster, Nametag Alexander returns for second quarter of 2021 with his latest release, “The Limit EP”. This time around, he collaborates with his older Brother, and consistent go-to Producer, Black Bethoven. The title, “The Limit” is defined by being able to play to one’s strengths, and putting in the maximum effort without burning out.

Twitter: @nametagalxndr x @blackbethoven
Instagram: @nametagalexander x @blackbethoven
Facebook: Nametag Alexander x Black Bethoven

 

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Bang Belushi “Rudy” Album

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Detroit Veteran Bang Belushi is back with Rudy, his 2nd installment on the Middle Finger Music imprint. We once again see Bang teaming up with MFM’s man behind the music, super producer Foul mouth. The album begins with Bang reminding himself of his legend status and deciding that it’s time to show people what transformed Rudy into Bang Belushi. The title track starts off with a quick verse previewing the menu of what to be expected from this 16-course meal. Rudy is littered with Bang detailing his extracurricular activities growing up on the brazen streets of Detroit ranging from high grade cannabis, promiscuous women, running from police, and of course excessive amounts of Popov. Bang teams up
with fellow MFM comrades as well as other notable emcees each equally pushing their own unique vision providing natural progression between tracks. Rudy highlights Bang and Foul mouth’s undeniable chemistry. The texture and soundscape of the record almost makes it sound as if Bang and Foul mouth
are speaking back and forth at times. Effortless. On “Feeling like Biggie”, Bang skates over a smooth piano sample sketching up stories about lessons learned in his earlier days in Detroit leading up to the transformation of Bang Belushi…“When I was comin’ up Big was my idol / Ready to Die everyday struggle my bible.” On the album’s outro, we hear a side of Bang we are not as accustomed to. He
speaks from the heart about his children and lost loved ones. “For my youngest little Ryan, Daddy love you / you my twin I feel the love when I hug you…….Through my kids I finally see a better me / left the
hoes alone…” Allow yourself to view Bang Belushi’s life through his musical point of view. Rudy is artistic. Rudy is colorful. Rudy is raw. Rudy is Bang Belushi, and Bang Belushi is a legend.

 

Click Here to Stream & Purchase “Rudy” Album

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Bruiser Brigade’s Fat Ray Drops “Santa Barbara” Album

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Detroit’s Bruiser Brigade Is Back Once Again Dropping More Heat! This Time Around It’s The new album “Santa Barbara” From Detroit Legend Fat Ray! The Album Features Bruiser Wolf And Danny Brown, Also Features Production From Raphy, Crisfantom & Black Milk. Go Purchase The New Album & Support Dope Music!

 

Click Here To Purchase “Santa Barbara” By Fat Ray

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