Jesse Dangerously Verba Volant

Just like his last album, Jesse Dangerously collaborates with two Backburner producers, in this case crew coordinator Fresh Kils and Toolshed member Timbuktu, for what is certainly Jesse’s best work to date. Kils and Timbuk create a unified beatscape of up-tempo productions perfect for political party raps and posse cuts, and for Jesse’s rapid-fire delivery. He sounds clearer on Verba Volant but in case his speed and slight lisp interfere with the understanding of his lyrics, he kindly includes them in the CD booklet. They’re certainly worth a look, as Jesse is a very technical writer whether he has something important to say or he’s just reinforcing his status as "your least favourite rapper’s least favourite rapper.” While all three posse cuts — "Verba Volant,” "Butchershop Quartet” and "Safe No More” — mix a different variety of Backburner MCs over banging beats for some of the best songs on the album, it’s opening song "Aw Shucks” that’s the highlight. The fun Fresh Kils beat might be dope but it’s Jesse D’s slow, melodic flow and switching of the rhymes to the beginning of each line that has it standing out from the rest. Also worth checking out: "Celebrity Nudes (Timskin Moon Mix),” a groovy party jam with a superhero call-out chorus; "So! Much! Fun! (Unh!),” a smooth, sun-baked ode to love; and "Naming Names,” a fast-moving, name-dropping concept song. If you’re a fan of lyrical MCs and have yet to discover tongue-twisting rapper Jesse Dangerously, now is definitely a good time to start, and Verba Volant is the perfect place. (Backburner)