by Alex P80 Parks
SeKwence is quite a character. He may look like a Grateful Dead groupie at times, but he has the soul of Kurt Cobain and rhyme skills all his own. He’s immediately likeable from his social media antics and self-deprecating sense of humor. This down-to-earth dude from Alabama likes to drink cheap beer, smoke butts, chill in his hammock and, oh yeah, spit some really dope rhymes over consistently solid beats. And SeKwence’s ear for quality beats has been evident in all his work thus far.
SeKwence is dropping his latest EP This Shit is Fucked this week. The Alabama Emcee chose a varied selection of beats to showcase his unique semi-sedate, but quick-tongued conversational style of rap. SeK rhymes with a quiet, raspy flow which seems almost unassuming at first… until you really hear those bars.
Despite what appears to be a chill-and-party lifestyle, SeK’s rhymes display a man with more to say than just some cliched boastful raps. He’s got those aplenty and he could battle against some of the best. But SeKwence is also clearly battling some inner demons and needs to get some shit off his chest. He often casually mentions the trials and tribulations in his life sprinkled throughout his lyrics. Never looking for pity, each track is more of a confessional or a therapy session for him. It’s never as if he’s trying to convince you of something. He’s explaining it all to you, just in very vivid and specific detail. SeK has a unique rhyme style that hold meaning and then can also be superficial in just the next breath.
“AightThen ft. Cam Bank$, ThugYeezy, and Lars” This is the posse cut to open the album. The track features production from manwithxface. The beat has an almost southern swing and tempo to it, but remains uncluttered with subtle sounds to allow room for all the emcees to flow off and each talk their shit.
SeK goes in first with:
“This shit a fact I’m prepared for all dramatics
in abundance, stacking commas,
large amounts inside the duffel,
the contraband get shoveled for the faces.”
“This Shit is Fucked” Klsr produces this perfect summer track for SeKwence to shine on. It evokes ATCQ’s middle period with a positive vibe, and an uptempo feel.
“If you my fam hold me down cuz I ain’t felt the love lately.
I feel the tension, most of em hate me
For valid reasons
I’m killing off all these creatures
And killing off all these features too”
The element of dealing with his own personal struggles is evident on “2xpillsbluepills“, producer Nopulp lays an appropriately somber piano loop for SeK to spit about his chemical dependency and psychological and emotional health. He really allows listeners to see into his vulnerabilities, without seeming fragile.
“I need like two pills to get me back to normal,
I’m treadin’ this water looking for rope as a problem-solver
I’m drowning in self-loathing.
The sin is stuck to my body-I can’t rinse it.”
“69 Summer Time ft. Tina” is the chill track. Producer Dweeb lays a melodic, smoky, jazzy vibe with a r&b hook and some backup vocals provided by Tina.
SeKwence ends the first verse with:
“Pour some liquor for my brothers who have passed away
I need an island, talking castaway
I need a great escape for sumthin better yo”
The whole track is a melodic vibe, where you escape with SeK into a euphoric place, far from the bullshit.
“Ramblin” Producer e66s lays a wobbly guitar sample on this thumping boom bap beat for SeK to go off. He does ramble, but remains focused, rhyming:
“Facts, look: They can’t ignore me now,
They talkin’ talking versatile?
I’ll merk em with a hundred sounds.
Couple bags of the power pack
You super lackin, losin balance.
Life a game, I ain’t afraid to battle.
For real, I’m drawin blood off the reserve notes,
Kush smoke inside my chest, I’m off the good dope.”
The whole while, gunshots capping off in the background parallel SeKwence firing his verbal shots off. A perfect track for him to unload his clip on.
“Starter Jacket ft Big Breakfast and Barry Marrow. ” produced by Killer Kane, the beat is quirky and frenetic with chopped strings and pianos below some scaled digi-sounds. Here SeKwence spits rapid-fire bouncing with the beat. All 3 emcees here provide enough variation in vocal tone and flow style to keep the track humming along.
“PWC Interlude” Sirisaac produces an eerie and slightly sinister beat. He lays a faint siren-like background loop to accompany the punchy drums. SeKwence warns to Proceed With Caution here, spitting:
“You see the proof homie,
This Billy Hoyle, chop and screw homie.
I put the moves on em,
Just like them and1 mixtapes,
I crush a percocet and down the shit with a mixed drink.
No fishscale for me,
I smoke a pound of the sour.”
Not always profound or complicated with rhymes like this, but SeK has a unique delivery and the consistent ability to sustain the vibe throughout a track. The one verse tracks like this, at or under 2 mins, show us a SeKwence in his prime.
“Blocka ft Ugly Frank“: producer GRiMM DOZA takes a crackling vinyl sample with some popping snares and creates a dark and gloomy track. Ugly Frank dances on the track first, showing a flow with a strong vocal presence. Foggy and subtly creepy tracks like this are the perfect beats for SeKwence. Not too busy or overproduced. Just simple, effective and emotive, allowing space to focus on the content within the vibe.
Check it out here:
The cover art displays SeKwence’s affinity for horror/ slasher movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. His strong hip hop foundation and sensibilities really don’t match his taste in visuals and his personal sense of aesthetics and style. Perhaps that’s what makes his unique flow and voice that much more refreshing. It’s quite different that what you expect outta a character like SeKwence.
This album is more of an exposition where SeKwence shows you his range through some types of beats that he’s already comfortable with, but also beats that display an adaptability in his flows. It’s not a reach for SeK on any of these songs. He handles them well and stays within his zone, just sharper than before and more comfortable than many of his contemporaries. The tracks are never too long and SeK provides just enough on each track to provide a full sensory experience. The excellent production on these tracks creates the perfect vibe for SeKwence to really showcase his talents on the mic.
SeK is a different emcee, even by today’s standards of widely assorted rapping characters. Unlike many mainstream artists who proudly promote their depression and insecurities while prancing like clowns with face tats, this emcee doesn’t need to masquerade with nonsense in order for him to therapeutically unload his burdens. SeK doesn’t need to rely on any gimmicks or remaining stuck on one topic in his raps. Listen closely, because SeKwence has some shit to say.
Check out his BandCamp page for his releases: