Erick Sermon – “Vernia”

Hip-hop legend Erick Sermon returns with his eight solo album, Vernia. With three decades of hip-hop history under his belt, The Green Eyed Bandit’s latest release brings the true hip-hop heads back to the golden era with a 2019 revamp. Never one to fake the funk, the latest from Sermon is a record that places emphasis on the key elements of hip-hop: lyricism, heavy beats and charisma. With that being said, Vernia is not a nostalgic hip-hop purist record made in vein, but rather a project that showcases one of the genres all-time greats doing what he does best, and that is making timeless music.

One of my earliest hip-hop memories is coming across my father’s copy of the EPMD single “Crossover” with the B-Side “Brothers from Brentwood.” As soon as I put the cassette in the tape deck, it was a wrap. I was entranced by the innovative production on the beats and the nonchalant, cool demeanor Erick embodied on the mic. I’ve been a fan ever since and when news broke that this latest project was released, I jumped at the opportunity to write about it. 

When you think about the elite emcees / producers in hip-hop history, there is no denying that Erick Sermon needs to be included in the conversation. Through the years, Erick Sermon has created some of the most iconic hip-hop records to date, and has collaborated with the highest renowned hip-hop acts of our generation. The latest release Vernia shows that even after all these years, the emcee still has not missed a beat as a producer or rhyme slinger.

From a production standpoint, Sermon handled the majority of the project’s beats alongside contributions from Apathy, DJ Battlecat, Rockwilder and Ty Fyffe. Each record flows seamlessly into the next throughout  the duration of the 13 track project, as grimy hard hitting New York beats transition into chopped up soul samples and funk inspired riffs, giving us the full Erick Sermon experience. The intricate word play and silk smooth flow on Vernia is on point as always, furthering the argument that Erick Sermon still holds his God Emcee status. The project also features a star-studded line up of guest appearances including the likes of AZ, Big K.R.I.T., David Banner, Devin the Dude, Kaelyn Kastle, Keith Murray, Nature, No Malice, N.O.R.E., Raekwon, Ricco Barrino, RJ Payne, Styles P, Shaquille O’Neal, Too $hort, Try Bishop, Xzibit and Yummy. Be sure to check out the latest from Erick Sermon, and share your thoughts with us below. Vernia is available on all streaming platforms.