Verbatum Jones returns with meditative, uplifting project Sonflower - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

“Waited too long for a new verse from Verb / I been fighting demons, had to kick ’em to the curb.”

So begins “Samson,” the first song on Philly rapper Verbatum Jones‘ new project Sonflower. Dropped in a low-key fashion late last month, the collection — seven songs and five poetry interludes set to beautiful strings — focuses on mindfulness, healing, spirituality, and does it over beats that range from the contemplative to the party-rocking.

“Samson,” with its killer Small Professor beat infused with the voices of a gospel choir, finds Verb looking at the things that create true value in life — not material things that make us look good on social media, and definitely not the comparison trap they make us fall into. “Presidente” was released back in March, and outlines a vision for a better world free of systemic racism and political corruption, presented in a funky style reminiscent of Yasiin Bey as much as Wyclef.

Appropriately for a project dropped in the middle of a global pandemic, the subject of trying times comes up again and again — notably on the Stevie Wonder-esque groove of “Hold On” — and Verb offers, not solutions exactly, but ideas on how to stay centered and maintain. “Joy” focuses on faith, on realizing which battles in life are worth fighting and relying on divine power to guide you through more pressurized times (this song, with a bar eschewing mega-churches, also stresses the importance of finding a way into spirituality that works for you personally). “Whisper” returns to the theme of mindfulness and release — “my screen cracked, but I’m clear in my mind” — while “Meditation,” another pre-release single, offers sage, Chance-esque advice: “Trust in God. Listen to your heart. Let the blessings flow.”

Check out Verbatum Jones’ Sonflower below, and for more on him as an artist — and in particular the uplifting energy he exchanges with audiences when he performs — check out a video mini-doc shot at La Colombe by T.C. Bryan.

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