TheDeeepEnd: Verano


[UTG; Sep. 2019]

North Carolina’s extended summer from mid-September to mid-October is a fun time of year when people want to milk out a couple of extra summer activities. Malcolm Brown, also known as TheDeeepEnd, did his part by dropping his new EP, Verano, almost out of nowhere, following up on 2017’s masterful Think Good Thoughts. The Raleigh emcee described the EP as “something fun to close the summer out,” and with a short-and-sweet runtime of only seventeen minutes, the six-track record does a great job of capturing that fleeting bonus-summer vibe.

One of the Triangle hip-hop scene’s best-kept secrets, Deeep is one of the best independent artists in the state, right up there with the Jooselords and Pat Juniors. He writes and produces all of his own projects, and Verano shows that he has no intention of letting up in either department.

A lot of rappers and producers stick to an effective formula and can be a bit redundant with their beats and flows, but Deeep avoids that here. Each track has its own timbre, and a flow to go with it.

Brown writes lyrics that plunge into the soul as he examines day-to-day personal struggles. In “Back to the Basics,” he raps, “Back to the basics, now I’m adjacent to everything I can do. The more that you know, the harder to grow, now you’re afraid to move.” It’s an astute analysis of self-doubt. But as the song goes on, he explains why he’s above it, having paid his dues in “blood, sweat, and broken relationships” already.

Brown’s positivity is infectious but not saccharine, and he raps on a level playing field with his audience rather than from a preachy position of authority. Verano is a solid, laidback project, even if its brevity feels a bit abrupt. This seems to be intentional, though, as Deeep implied on social media that it’s just the start of a wave of new material he’s going to be releasing throughout the year. We’re ready.

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