Words by Ian Charles
Alabama may not be known for its underground hip hop. And on an even smaller scale, the city of Centre may not immediately come to mind when thinking of music. But SeKwence aims to make it known when his name is mentioned that Alabama can grow some talent just the same.
I discovered SeKwence‘s music in 2018 through his affiliate, ThugYeezy, on the infectious up-tempo posse track “HUFFY BIKE” produced by manwithnoface. Shortly thereafter I discovered his own track “Supreme Victory” featuring Adonis and produced by Thelonious Martin. I further plunged into the distinctively-voiced emcee’s discography to find Fulgore2018 and This Shit Is Fucked. SeKwence’s stream of music continued to grow consistently as 2018 and 2019 progressed via his features and through new projects like his Da HIGHED UP Tape, Budget Cuts 2, and Wonder if Hell has a Buffet, amongst others.
SeK enters 2020 with his new LP, Lake Water, displaying all that was heard previously in his music with those elements kicked up a couple notches. SeKwence proudly declares his name, hometown and life loud and clear on the new album. The intro track “Real Life/Oblivion” wastes no time letting you into his mindset of living in northeast Alabama. The soundbyte speaking on growing up in a small town is aptly placed, while KillerKane and No.Pulp’s production develops a melodic moody soundscape containing a smooth vocal sample during the chorus.
Gary, Indiana producer, Ed Glorious’ dusty static-driven vinyl drum looped track “I’m So” details SeKwence’s upbringing and pushing on for the greater good. Toronto Emcee, Lord Juco comes through with the same mantra that it just “doesn’t have to be explained.”
A sincere dedication to hip hop is evident on “Where I Go” with Jay Bel over ntvrme’s knocking tracking.
Thelonious Martin links up again with SeKwence on “Clarity.” The song title is all the insight needed here. Veteran Richmond, VA emcee/producer, Nickelus F comes through on what begins as a slow track then gains momentum as SeKwence begins his verse on the smooth guitar laden “K.Y.H.L” provided by Zepeda.
The sultry voice of Tina immediately sets the smokey atmospheric mood courtesy of No.pulp on “Duals/Simulations”. “4 What It’s Worth (FREE SMOKE)” changes the pace and the vibes straight out the gate. SPVCED creates a head-nodding, fast-paced track with a well-placed chopped vocal sample as SeKwence blitzes the track with lines like:
“I take it back to the basics, basing stories of my past, present, future,
up ahead it’s fuck a red light its not stop.”
New Jersey producer, KillerKane’s cymbal and drums combo dominate in a Jazz-like setting on “JOPLIN” with SeKwence repeating, “Maybe I can fly after all…” evoking a journey into the afterlife. The horns come in, followed by a drumroll with the music quickly stopping and reintroducing as the horns continue. Sekwence transitions smoothly from his thoughts on “JOPLIN” to “Cloud Walker”.
Long Beach, CA emcee, Adonis, alongside Louisville, KY emcee, BIGLARRY and SeKwence rhyme of their “Cloud Walker” highs as the horn-looped production of gorgeonstars switches up as the hook comes in. SeKwence brings in guests Haze, from Massachusetts and Cherry Hill, N.J.’s own Barry Marrow vividly depict “Another Day.” KillerKane‘s “Sink Or Swim Interlude” has a lo-fi feel with warped vocals samples perfectly sequenced. The last few tracks emit mellow emotions of what we leave behind in life beginning with “Gone/Carry On” assisted by Lincoln, Nebraska’s Sleep Sinatra. Producer Promise ends the album on a smooth note as SeKwence wants everyone to know of his awakening, while leaving most of the negative parts of life to a minimum in “Beam Me Up.”
There is no denying that SeKwence’s voice and lyrics candidly portray his life and memories over an array of quality production throughout Lake Water. These elements all show that Centre, AL and SeKwence are synonymous. The sequence (SeKwence) of tracks is well-thought out as it plays through. Its clear that there was an intention on creating a cohesive project, full of personal narratives and insight into his life and emotions. SeKwence shares his ups and downs in life over an album captured like the chapters of a book. However, this book has not yet reached its final chapter, with still more to come.
Listen to Lake Water here: