It hardly needs to be said that Booth staff and readers have a higher tolerance for raw, authentic beats and rhymes than your average listener, but the title of Pro’Verb‘s first feature nonetheless gave me pause; could the DMV native really be Too Hip-Hop for us to handle? Having given the record a listen, I can state with almost complete confidence that its concentrated hip-hop energy won’t result in a face-melting incident a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. Still (if you’ll permit me to mix movie metaphors), the Force is strong with this one. With some soulful Soulful! production as his backdrop, Verb sets out to boil the music he loves, and the culture surrounding it, down to its essence – and he does an admirable job, pulling together the genre’s widely-dispersed strands without casting judgment: “From Gucci rap to Kool G., Rap, my baby’s all of that.” Diamond District emcee yU brings the record to a strong finish, lacing the back with a poetic chronicle of his own artistic development. So, is this cut Too Hip-Hop, or is it just right? Those who choose the latter can find plenty more where this came from on Pro’Verb’s While You’re Waiting mixtape, due out March 22.