On Lions and Prides: a Senegalese Bob Marley version and the recurring roar of hip hop’s Golden Era.
It was right around the time Vvs Verbal told us about “The Makings of You” video that boobuddha‘s take on subjects like village and creativity turned into this here blog. That lushly filmed spot features a posse cut of poppas, emblematic of the project’s release date – Father’s Day 2011. What’s inspiring about Verby’s place in all this isn’t contained to parental positivity. He, Smif-n-Wessun’s General Steele and the Bucktown team work as well together as a Jamaican Sound System, rock-steadily affirming that our Golden Era of rap music did not end in the early ’90s.
We won’t mince words extolling the skills Vvs Verbal displays and how they so clearly resonate with the best attributes of Brooklyn hip-hop. You’ll hear the excellence immediately. Even reading his handwritten lyric pad, you’d see it in the meter: The Drum. Though assembled by a totally different artist, the rapid-fire Mbalax percussions in Moïse Bangoura’s “Iron Lion Zion” interpretation make good counterpoint to our discussion of Vvs Verbal, really. This west African reggae version accomplishes rhythmically what Verby’s flow does lyrically. Both are crisply executed and endlessly inventive.
Granted, we may be stretching the djembe skin to draw such a strong line from the young lion to the one who was iron in Zion. It’s easier to see more than coincidence when one discovers that Vvs Verbal’s son turns 3 today – an anniversary shared with Robert Nesta Marley. Some roads simply cross whereas others really come together. One legend‘s legacy leads listeners in the direction of someone hard at work writing his own legend, another artist and father – and big brother and little brother within a mighty tradition of emcees who inherit an appreciation for the craft behind mic skills, poetry.
Strategy gets passed down, too. Today being on one’s grind includes making sure your well-constructed joints are ready for download or stream, criss-crossing digital media, international borders and a stage near you. Right now Verby’s focused on the stack of beats just handed to him, has pages to say and by end of today will have written another fresh handful. Attempt to keep up with the latest via BucktownUSA.
Oh and happy born day, Aquarians!
(Vvs Verbal photograph with General Steele via BucktownUSA)