Philadelphia-based MC/Producer/DJ MH the Verb has released Owl, a followup to 2014’s The Balloon Guide. For Owl, MH collaborated with members of ArtHouse95, a new indie-based art collective he created with musician GR Stone and engineer Cylon.
MH and GR met in 2011 at the University of Pittsburgh when MH was in a band called Beats N Verbz, which GR joined as a keyboardist. A year later, while working in banking, MH met Cylon. The two discovered an artistic kinship, and since then the trio has formed a “bond of trust and values based on family, art, and community.“
It’s on that basis that they crafted Owl, a three-track Jazz fusion project. The first two tracks of the EP are comprised of sharp drum programming and keyboard melodies that evoke visions of a B-Boy rhyming in a smoky jazz hall. On the third track, “World Tribe”, the vibe is maintained but the soundscape invites a plucky synthesizer into the proceedings.
On all three tracks, MH exhibits avid penmanship and an empatic delivery, which adds weight to his musings. “She Prefers Jazz” is a sharp stream-of-consciousness in which MH proclaims, “if you don’t hear me, maybe that’s because you ain’t listening.”
It may be understandable for the listeners to miss a couple bars after MH says, “have you ever heard a racial slur, from you girlfriend’s dad? Wonder why you keep chasing her” on “World Tribe”
“Better Way” sees MH penning an letter to his little brother, keeping him up to date with world events and imploring him to keep his head up.
MH notes that the references to “She Prefers Jazz” represent a “declaration of what’s to come” for the collective, including a full studio project this Fall.
Owl can be streamed below: