“Verbal sWARdz” marks Iron Braydz return after announcing that he was quitting in the summer of 2012. Taking heavy influence from Wu-Tang Clan and the martial arts films that they introduced to the world of Hip Hop, the EP kicks off with a skit taken from the 1980s Hong Kong film “The Thundering Mantis”. Using Bryan Leung’s outburst to relay his feelings about the way black people are treated in this country, he makes a statement that “Verbal sWARdz” is an “outburst of facts, feelings, perspectives and opinions.”
“Scorpion Sting”, a nod to “The House Of Flying Daggers” on Raekwon’s OB4CL 2, declares the war he is waging with the commercial rap industry. Resisting against white supremacy “Crowbar Head Topper” is a message to the white man that he’s “sick of turning the other cheek” and a retelling of an encounter he had long ago. The most complex and lyrically intricate offering on the project comes in the form of “Millenium”. Making sure that his bars were a match for Prince Po of Organized Confusion, Braydz and Prince Po tell a story of slaughtering demons while providing social commentary to the prison industrial complex, islamophobia and a plethora of demons that exist in the system.
Remaining on the theme of social problems, “Dredd” laments about the conditions of people at the “bottom of the pile”: “crackheads, dealers, scum and skeezers, bottom of the pile and they all want to be us”. The entire EP is a lyrical onslaught and this is only reinforced with “Rambo”. While the repetivity of the vocal sample can tire the ears, the vivid imagery of Iron Braydz, Skriblah and Kyza easily compensates. The next track features the one and only Sean Price. “Fiery Red”, released in 2011 with its eerie piano keys, brings more of the heavy artillery: “choke your throat when you feel the cobra grip/ making me flip/ swing of the fist/ making you flip/ flick of the wrist/ bust in your lip…”.
Experimenting with synths, Iron Braydz and Detroit legend Phat Kat team up to stress their importance in the game with cuts from DJ Shortee Blitz to complement. “Rambo Relapse” uses a different skit from the original track, signalling the ferocity of the verses to come with added verses from Black Cripton and Solar Black. Lastly, the title track “Verbal sWARdz”, summons Triple Darkness General Cyrus Malachi to join him in a verbal assault petrifying “fake guys who try and step here” over a looped angelic vocal. “Verbal sWARdz” is preparing us for what he’ll be releasing in the future and I can’t wait to hear what he has in store.
I’m pleased Iron Braydz is back and excited to see these new tracks performed live. With most of the EP being self-produced and not a weak verse on the entire project I encourage you all to get “Verbal sWARdz” from his bandcamp page on the 14.4.14.
This project is dedicated to Natty and Ricky Bishop who both passed away due to police brutality.
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