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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!!

ALBUM

“King Father” New album from Fatt Father

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Fueled By Life/ Middle Finger Music  presents ‘King Father’, the highly anticipated
fourth studio album by Detroit veteran emcee, Fatt Father. ‘King
Father’ takes listeners on a personal journey through life. Fatt
Father searched as far as Windhoek, Namibia to make sure that the
production on this album was undeniable. There, he found the
soulful sounds of Namibian based producer, Becoming Phill. Marv
Won, Blizzard, Trox, Foul Mouth, Jeremy Ford, and Scud One, also
contributed powerful production to ‘King Father’ as well.
The 12-track album showcases Fatt Father’s growth as a
lyricist, conversationalist and as a father. With features that include
Melanie Rutherford, Finale, Quelle Chris, Fatt Father’s 11 year old
son, DJ Oreeyo, and more. ‘King Father’ is well balanced on every
level. Whether in the car, gym, or living room, this album is the
perfect soundtrack. After many projects and years as an emcee, Fatt
Father continues his dominant reign as King Father.

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ALBUM

Bully Hendrix: “It’s Not You It’s Me”

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Straight out of Inkster Michigan, the Detroit metropolitan area is full of talent. After taking some time from music, “Its not for you its for me” is the follow up from his last release in 2017. Bully said this project is a little more personal. “I’ve had a lot of changes throughout the years, I lost every file to this project and luckily I was able to retrieve them. And after ALL of that I was still in love with the material as if I had heard it that day. I know this means nothing because we should love our art, but the connection for me to this body of work was different”.

Check it out and see what popping out of Ink Town

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/0PxT4zMqKS1TO9PvQsHkhw?si=3P55hUynTQybphjaxgHh3A

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ALBUM

Check out Spanglish Emcee “Yung Profhet” from Southwest Detroit

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Spanglish emcee Yung Profhet started rapping in 2011 and founded his record label Da Basement Records later changed to DBR Entertainment LLC. He released an EP called “Music is My Life” in 2012 and in 2013 released a mixtape called “Pa Mi Raza” with King Quota. In 2019 he released his first official album “Vida Rapero”. He has opened for MC Magic, lil Rob, Conejo, Capone, Jae-p, Kinto Sol, Ms Krazie, Doll-e Girl, Juan Gotti, Akwid, Amanda Perez, Someone SM1, & Lil Wyte.

This album was recorded in 2019 at Sound smith studios. It was mixed and mastered by Tony Rizzo (Won a co-Grammy for Producing the clark sisters). The Album was produced by mostly Detroit producers and a Mexican producer by the name of Elder El Futuristico. His album consist of Spanglish rhymes and heavy bass beats. Some of the highlights of the album were having worked with Conejo, Capone, Jae-p in the same studio. The features choosen for the album Yung Profhet says were not for clout, he chose these artist that influenced his rap career and that he loved listening too growing up.
– Features: Conejo, Capone, Jae-p, Rasheed (Dope House Records), Duende, Doll-e Girl, Leazzy, DJ Los (Toured with Royce the 5’9 & Eminem), King Quota.

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