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Knowdaverbs Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Knowdaverbs lyrics)
I try to make sure I live out what I'm talking about in my songs. I challenge myself to write lyrics that hold me accountable," says Gotee Records' hip-hop sensation, Knowdaverbs (pronounced: know-da-verbs). "In my opinion, even with creative freedom, an emcee's lyrics should be an honest reflection of his lifestyle." It's with this belief that Knowdaverbs executes his creative philosophy on his sophomore album, The Action Figure.
The goal of The Action Figure is not to merely entertain but to incite a positive change in people's lives. "With my name being Knowdaverbs, and verbs being words of action, it fit together with me being an action figure, going out and being proactive - making things happen." Knowdaverbs says. "It's like the whole secret agent, Mission Impossible' type of vibe."
Often compared to the captivating style of hip hop lyricists, Mos Def and Common, Knowdaverbs has created an album sure to please even the most cynical hip-hop fan. Skillfully weaving together thought-provoking rhymes with subtle references to Scriptural content, Knowdaverbs pricks the conscience without passing judgement. For example, Knowdaverbs addresses his fellow rappers on the track, "If I Were Mayor," challenging them to take responsibility for their suggestive violence and negative language in their songs: "God is in no way mocked and He proves it - we're alarmed. How can He honor some music that you done shot some people on? If you think you'll whiz by and recognize but ignore Him, When you face Him at the Seat, take your CD and play it for Him."
The album's first single, "God Is Big," creates a dramatic feel, proclaiming God's power as limitless. Even though many hip-hop artists would cower at the thought of including a serious declaration of their allegiance to God in one of their songs, Knowdaverbs embraces the opportunity. "It's an undeniable truth that God exists," Knowdaverbs reasons. "He created the earth and everything in it. He holds the power to speak things into existence from nothingness, making God bigger than anything."
The Action Figure's title track definitely lives up to the "Mission Impossible"-like feel with a menagerie of jumbled computer sounds and a strong chorus. For the lyrics, Knowdaverbs transformed a trip to Russia last year into a suspenseful tale of intrigue. He explains, "At first, when the opportunity came, I wasn't too hyped about going over there, but I realized I would have the opportunity to spread the Good News through my type of ministry, so I had to take advantage."
In 1994, Knowdaverbs moved to Nashville to link with Gotee Records' hip-hop group, GRITS, as their dancer and hype man. He soon began guest appearances on several of GRITS' songs and videos including "Hopes and Dreams" and "Plagiarism" the latter of which charted to #8 on BET's Rap City's Top 10. His talent caught the eye of Gotee Records CEO, Toby McKeehan, who soon approached Knowdaverbs to record an album.
The Phoenix native's debut release, The Syllabus, contains positive messages and well-crafted lyrics. The video for the title track received a great response with rotation on Fish TV, BET's Lift Every Voice, Jam Zone and Rap City. "With your first record you've pretty much got the first album jitters," he says. "After listening to ?he Syllabus' for so long I felt I needed to become a little more confident, a little more bold." There's no denying that The Action Figure is a more assertive, challenging effort.
One of the most fulfilling things a person can do is take action toward accomplishing something they believe in. The Action Figure represents a striking piece of work that reflects Verbs' outlook and his mission.