10 British Rap Releases of 2017: Verbz & Mr Slipz – Lessons of Adolesence

“Verbz spills out on this debut EP like Nas if he grew up on a Croydon high street at the age of Instagram, Snapchat and a Tory government.”

Croydon rapper Verbz and Brighton producer Mr Slipz created a perfect harmony on this one, coming out of nowhere to create what was undoubtedly one of the British rap records of the year.

Released on the German label, Radio Juicy, whose love for British hip-hop is evidence of the potential this English accented rap has to travel overseas, Lessons of Adolescence does exactly what it says on the tin tape. At 21-years-old, Verbz reflects on his teenage years growing up in the most south of South London, doing so with ridiculous eloquence when it comes to not only his verses but his hooks, too.

Few releases this year have sounded more like an album than this. Similar themes come through time and time again as this young don manages to pen his reflections onto each track, mixing up his flow and rhyme schemes as Slipz mixes up the instrumentals. Yet the Yogocop producer is consistent throughout, clearly putting in some serious work when it comes to digging for samples as he pulls out all sorts of classic-sounding masterpieces and turns them into the beats that head-bopping, nostalgia-loving hip-hop lost souls will crave.

That double bass on Back On Tracks will do things to you. As will the flutey sounds of DTK and the potent, atmospheric beats on Kemptown Blues. That song, surely relatable to anyone who’s made the journey from London down to Brighton, is one of many highlights on a record that has all the makings of a perfect debut release. Verbz sounds as if he’s been waiting for instrumentals of this standard to arrive for some time, bursting onto them with lyrics that must have been brewing throughout the adolescence in question. Verbz spills out on this debut EP like Nas if he grew up on a Croydon high street at the age of Instagram, Snapchat and a Tory government. His lyrics have come out of experiences both good and bad and are clearly the results of the lessons that the young lyricist has learned in a misspent youth that will sound so familiar to so many listeners.

This wisdom beyond his years, combined with one of the best production performances of 2017, too, makes this an album that will survive well past this closing year.

Listen on Spotify

Physicals sold out, but by the digital here


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