featured REVIEW


Verbal Seed Afronauts Black Son Ent • 2006

Already out in Japan since November 2005, Verbal Seed’s sophomore effort 'Afronauts' has finally been released for the rest of the hip-hop masses who fiend for that soulfulness that the Seed stands for. Affiliated with fellow-Texas citizens K-Otix and down with the Strange Fruit Project, this trio of three brothers (Focus, OneSelf Salaam and Tree) elaborate a comparable sound sculpture of soothing, mind-uplifting and creative elements.

With most productions being from S1, Illmind and OneSelf Salaam, this album carries a colourful soundtrack to stories of love, money and music. The first songs of the album deal with earning money and following goals. In 'Persistence', Verbal Seed’s urge to move on and keep building is represented, while the Illmind banger 'Take Advantage' pursue the listener to do the same thing. Likewise is the message in 'Green Devilz (Money)' -featuring Deloach 'Don’t talk about no cars or clothes, but damn I still need dough'- where the soul sample in the chorus claims 'Go get the money'. A definite highlight of the album is the mesmerizing yet uplifting S1-produced ('Ghetto people, everybody stand up, get dough') 'Believe Me' with a lush bass line and a hypnotising soul sample interwoven; 'Got dirty hands from living this life so I return to the mic'!

Love is celebrated from 'All We Need' on, where the love for your art ('All We Need', notice the slammin old-school Phife Dawg freestyle at the end of the track!), the sacrifices ('Changing') and the respect for their mother ('Beatrice') get sung over. Intricate and soulful is 'Life Of The Party' (featuring Fu-Schnickens’ Chip Fu) while the utterly creative 'Blues In The South' – with a Louis Armstrong sample and trombone loop over kickin drums and matching bass line- revives Dixieland music all over. Blood is thicker than water is proven again in 'Me & My Brothers', underlining the click between these brothers who collide well, anticipating and complementing each other excellently on a lyrical/musical level.

'Afronauts' is a collection of feel-good, 'bon vivant' tracks celebrating the love for music (with several old school quotes), family and money. The production is 'soul-id' like a rock, the lyrics hold the middle between underground struggle and mainstream shine and make this a complete yet various music bundle of soul-soothing hip-hop.

POSTED ON 03|12|2006 by cpf

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