BURR 30: Verb T

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Welcome to BURR. Brickcellphone’s Underground Rap Radar.

In this series, Brighton hip-hop DJ, Matt ‘Brickcellphone’ Leppier, is chatting to some of the underground rap talent on his radar. It’s as simple as that.

Follow him @brickcellphone and listen to him spin some of these artists on Offie Mag Radio.

Brickcellphone

We’ve got ourselves a special edition here as BURR hits the dirty thirty. Fittingly, we’ve got somewhat of an OG of British hip-hop to grill, too, as Verb T tells us about his latest album, mint Aeros and more.

You might know him from Four Owls. You might know him from back in the day with Kashmere the Iguana Man. Either way, we hope you will get to know Verb T a little better here.


Considering your body of work in British hip-hop you don’t really need an introduction. But at risk of breaking tradition, we always start with the artist introducing themselves in their own words…

 

Hello, I’m Thomas, I am 1 quarter of the Four Owls and  1 whole of Verb T.


You’re making music, running a label and being a family man right now. How easy is it to juggle all of that? 

 

Not easy at all, but I love being an artist, working on the label and being a family man so it’s all good.


We’re here to talk about your latest LP, yet another release with Pitch 92. What is that you like about working with Mr. 92?

I think it’s just a good combination musically, I had ideas about how I wanted to write this album and the beats he sent were exactly what I needed. We’ve also been working on music for the new Romesh Ranganathan series ‘Reluctant Landlord’ on Sky One which was a cool experience too. I think me and Pitch are both workaholics when it comes to making music as well.



How was this album recorded? Is it a case of one or two solid studio sessions or is it more complicated than that?

 

I did maybe 5-6 session or maybe even more. I wrote the album over two years, there were other tracks and alternate versions that didn’t make the cut. I took my time writing each verse and when I had built up a few tracks I went and recorded them, also I purposefully kept the album a bit shorter as I felt it gave these songs more impact.


In terms of subject matter on this album, there’s a lot of shared wisdom. Do you ever feel a responsibility to rap in such a way thanks to your status as a veteran of this UK hip-hop business?

 

I do try and give advance when asked but musically I just write whatever is on my mind, I guess as an older MC I naturally want to share certain lessons I’ve learnt or experiences but I’m not consciously trying to teach or preach. But yeah when I was younger I was lucky enough to be given a lot of advice and words of wisdom from MCs, DJs, record dealers etc. So when artists hit me up for advice I like to share it when I can.



The latest visual (Tragedy & Comedy) to drop from this album is both captivating and slightly terrifying. What was making that video like and can we expect more videos to emerge?

 

The video was a lot of fun, it was filmed in Edinburgh and we had limited time to get it done but all the extras and the team working on the video smashed it. The guy who filmed the video is a long-time friend of mine, he produced music under the name Ghost, he mentioned the ideas for the video but until we were there it didn’t really register to me that I’d be getting chased by zombies, so when we were out there filming it was surreal. They’ll be more videos dropping soon from the album soon.


Despite your classic hip-hop sound, we know you’ve got an ear to the more genreless rap coming out of the UK right now. What young British rappers are you into atm?

Truemendous, Lord Apex,  Jugga-naught – dunno how old or young they are but all very good MCs I’ve discovered in the last couple of years.


Whilst we’ve got you, can we do what is probably an accurate impression of your social media following and ask… ‘When is the new Four Owls album out?’

 

I don’t know but it’s real close, and we’ve worked really hard on it, I’d estimate they’ll be singles dropping in the next couple of months and the album will be out not too long after that.


And finally… we’re popping to the off-licence, what shall we get you?

 

Please can I have a mint Aero and a small bottle of vodka and maybe some crisps?

Verb T loves Mint Aero

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