Exclusives / Hip-Hop/Rap / Interview / News

[PREMIERE] FunkFiles.029 :: MH The Verb – “Old Spoons” | Plus Artist Interview

by Kyle Taylor |

Crisp and vivid, this week’s Funk Files release is a step out of our typical comfort zone. Philadelphia emcee and producer MH The Verb proudly unveils his latest creation: “Old Spoons”, also the final single to his ongoing ArtHouse95, Vol. 1 EP release (listen to the rest of the release HERE).

Produced by Ogi Feel the Beat out of Poland, the new track opens with an ensemble of swooning brass- yet, it is not long before before MH The Verb swoops in with a playful cadence of gruff, authentic lyricism. A bouncy vocal pattern is akin to the resonating bass plucks and loose percussion making up the single’s instrumental layer.


You can catch MH The Verb beating up the mic right here in Philadelphia on May 20th at the Trenton Avenue Derby & Arts Festival – details HERE.

Be sure to further keep an eye out for MH The Verb this fall as he looks forward to the release of a new, self-produced beat tape, along with a slew of other unreleased material, and of course, more still to be announced performances right here in The City of Brotherly Love.

For more, check out our full, exclusive interview with MH The Verb below.

MH The Verb Website • Soundcloud • BandcampFacebookTwitterInstagram

[PREMIERE] FunkFiles.029 :: MH The Verb – “Old Spoons— Listen to the Full EP


Funkadelphia: “Are you originally born and raised in Philadelphia? If not, when did you come into the Philadelphia scene?”

MH The Verb: “‘People always think I’m from Philly, but I’m actually born and raised in New York. I’ve lived all over the U.S., though. I spent time on the West Coast, down south… I went to an art high school in South Florida; then I went to college in Pittsburgh. I even spent time in Montana and lived in Flint, Michigan for a minute as a kid. My dad worked in community development, so we moved around alot.

Funkadelphia: “It seems at times that the hip hop scene is somewhat stale in Philadelphia – what are your thoughts on this statement?”

MH The Verb: “I think Philly hip hop is alive and beautiful. There’s a lot of positive vibes in the city; it just so happens that at times it can seem a little out of touch because the artists leave. But that’s what happens when you have a lot talent, and unfortunately the Philly scene hasn’t always been supported by a strong business/industry network. At least not the way other cities have been.
If you ask anyone around the world they know names like Jedi Mind Tricks, Freeway, or Schooly D. And there’s tons of new heads putting out great work. If they don’t see it, they ain’t looking.”

Funkadelphia: “Do you identify particularly with any certain style or subgenre of hip hop- or do you try to let all styles shine through in your project?

MH The Verb: “I think genres are something that most people have a hard time defining these days. There’s so many things to pull influences from that walls are constantly being pushed down.  I definitely would say I have a strong respect and have taken a lot of influence from the native tongue’s movement. Defi our ArtHouse95 project and recent releases have a sort of throwback, classic 90s jazz fusion sound- reaching from Artists like De La Soul, [A Tribe Called Quest], The Roots, newer producers artists like Flying Lotus or Kaytranada too. However, I’m constantly looking for new things and sounds, music from all over the world, and just whatever makes me groove.”

Funkadelphia: “So you’re also a producer- about how much of your studio time do you spend on producing versus working on your vocals?

MH The Verb: ” My goal over the last year was really to get back in the studio more. I just wanted to produce as much as possible, whether I was making beats, arranging, singing, rapping or DJing. I got to spend a ton of time working with my band and other musicians, and that was really fun.
I really love to work with live instruments and use those sounds to craft songs. Our process really starts with small ideas that I can bring to my team and we develop them organically from the bottom up- vocals are really just icing on the cake. We have tons of instrumental productions that will probably never see the light of day just sitting in our catalog- it’s just how it goes. Every time I release a project that’s ten songs, there’s probably another thirty to forty that never get released.”

Funkadelphia: “Does your creative process differ between writing vocals and producing; how so?”

MH The Verb: “There’s definitely a difference in stages of the creative process the really has more to do with where I am in my life and what activities I’m doing. Sometimes I hear sounds and sometimes I think of words. I think the more social I’m being in my life, going out and interacting with people, I tend to think more about concepts and lyrics. At different points of my emotional stages I reflect musically- normally because of the fact that I can’t express myself with words in those moments.”

Funkadelphia: “If you could collaborate with any emcee- alive or deceased- who would it be?”

MH The Verb: “That’s pretty easy… the Notorious B.I.G. would be my ultimate dream collaboration. He’s my favorite all-time rapper, I think because I’m a person who loves unique sounds, musicality and stories. I tend to respect the qualities of his voice as an instrument and his vivid rhymes. I also think it was such a shame and travesty that he was taken so early in his career. We never got to see the full expansion of his talent.
My honorable mentions are Gil Scott-Heron and Lauryn Hill.”

Funkadelphia: “Same question as the last, but this time what producer rather than emcee?”

MH The Verb: “There’s so many producers that I love for so many different reasons… this is a much harder question for sure. Picking one I would have to say either J Dilla or Kanye West- mostly because they are both so versatile and have a catalog with so many different artists. That experience and knowledge is unteachable. Honorable mention for Dr. Dre for his mixing ability. My favorite producer right now though: Mndsgn.

Funkadelphia: “Are you more often listening to hip hop or other genres of music altogether?”

MH The Verb: “I always come back to hip hop because it’s my first love, but I really listen to everything. I really love jazz and World sounds, especially different traditional music from other countries and cultures.
I recently found a record label called Soundway that does re-releases of 70’s afro-funk. I’m too into it!
Not ashamed to admit, I’m a sucker for pop music too- from all decades. It changes so much that it’s like a sociological study of people to experience the trends of music. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Bay Area and listening to a lot of hyphy music.”

Funkadelphia: “Do you try to incorporate those other sounds into your music?”

MH The Verb: “I love sampling sounds from everywhere, but recently I’ve tried to stop just because it’s harder to clear samples for releases and licensing. Sampling just hasn’t been a priority the way it was before. We definitely still pull inspirations from rhythms and melodies as well as instrumentation. Creativity comes from all over, so no matter what you’re listening to, you’re going to get ideas, and it’s going to find its way into your art.”

Funkadelphia: “Do you have any formal musical training or education?”

MH The Verb: “Musical training… only some piano lessons and theory courses as a kid. Very little training playing instruments, but I’ve been studying sound and audio production since I was a kid. I really don’t even consider myself a musician- more of an artist who develops concepts and ideas.
My background really comes from all of my experiences and visual arts, theatre, acting, dance and my love and interest in people. I’ve always been really interested in history and psychology, and music is just as much part of those disciplines and virtues.
In college at the University of Pittsburgh I really began to explore the cultural aspects of music. I’ve always been a scholar in terms of how art and culture shape people’s experiences.”

Funkadelphia: “Thanks for talking with us! Anything else you would like to add?”

MH The Verb: “I’m really excited about the new projects we have coming out this year, centered around our Afronauts theme. Can’t wait to share the music and art we’ve been creating over the last year. The project is really cohesive and timely. I’m extremely proud of the voice we found and the way it addresses the thoughts of young people and the emerging frustrations of my generational peers.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s