This album was released on July 8th this year. SeKwence is an artist whom I know pretty much nothing about. I’ve seen his name floating around on Twitter here and there, but this was my first time listening to any of his music. He’s on a label called Souless Records, which is managed by the one and only D. Lanham, who recommended this project for me. D. Lanham is also the one who introduced me to Iceberg Theory, so shoutout to him for that. Anyway, I didn’t really have any expectations for this project, but I was definitely intrigued, especially when I saw the features from Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon & Sleep Sinatra.
1. Bag $$ featuring Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon produced by Bart Buurman
The first thing that immediately stood out to me was SeKwence’s incredibly unique and weird voice. It almost sounds like a cross between Mac Miller & Jadakiss, which probably doesn’t make sense if you haven’t heard him. It’s like, really fucked up and smoky and raspy sounding, but also super smooth at the same time somehow. I guess it’s actually kinda like Tree’s voice. That’s probably the closest thing I’ve heard to it. It sounds super bizarre, like he got his throat slit, but somehow survived. I like it a lot. The production on this track is incredibly smooth and relaxing. It sounds like a field of flowers in the form of music. SeKwence’s opening verse is dope, and the hook is pretty cool too. Jah-Monte’s verse was also really nice.
She want a Brazilian tan, deep like the million man march and shit
.30 on me, lord, don’t start no shit
For better or worse
I’d do anything for her except put bread in her purse
The song is really dope overall. I really love how ridiculously chill the production is, and both of the MCs had nice performances over it.
2. Adjustments produced by Ivy
This song also has a really chill atmosphere, but in a slightly different way. It sounds really warm and cuddly, but not exactly in a soft, off-putting way. It just sounds like pure bliss in the form of music. I like it even more than the preceding instrumental. SeKwence’s performance on this track was even better to me than it was on the opening song too.
Was 21 with 30 pills inside the windbreaker
I paid my bro to keep the business straight
Filet was bleedin’ up on that dinner plate
I want at least a brick, I know they paperweight
A different breed, no correlation
‘Cause we ain’t close to the same
Know some people really lost when it comes to the fame
Spark a stogie, use a torch for the flame
The song is pretty short, and it does feel a little skeletal as a whole, but there isn’t anything in particular that I don’t like. I love the production, and the rapping is great. It’s a dope song.
3. Flawless featuring Sleep Sinatra produced by Bart Buurman
This song has yet another amazing beat. It’s not quite as chill as the preceding couple of instrumentals, but it’s incredibly soulful. I love it. The opening verse from SeKwence is pretty nice, and the hook is cool too. Sleep Sinatra murdered that second verse too.
Gotta stand up, and I ain’t got no time for them jokes
Grateful for creatin’, so I’m not confined to the dope
Know brothers whose wholes lives is just supplyin’ the smoke
And it goes both ways, you could lose your mind with your hope
The science is known, applyin’ it when I’m in the zone
Got the type of spirit you can find that hides in your home
Yo, when I’m gone just keep these rhymes in your dome
And pay homage to the real while defining your own
This is my favorite track up to this point on the record; I love the production, and both of the MCs did a great job. This shit is dope as hell.
4. Highs&Lows produced by FLLS
This song has another smooth beat, but this one feels a bit bouncier and more upbeat than the preceding material. I think SeKwence’s performance on this song is more impressive than that of the first three songs as well. This track definitely has one of my favorite hooks on the project.
I done seen the highs, I done felt the lows
They’ll never take the spirit, scrape the flesh and broke the bones
I’m tryna break the chains, I’m tryna break the locks
So when it’s all said and done I can end up at the top
So save a spot for me
I think a second verse would’ve done a lot to push this song to the next level, but I still enjoy it a lot as it is. This shit is dope.
5. Foundation featuring Allen Thomas produced by Promise
This song has a super smooth, dreamy instrumental. It sounds like I’m floating on a cloud. This track also has another one of SeKwence’s best performances on the whole project.
They sellin’ dreams, but I can see below the surface
This life is like a circus, tryna juggle what I’m dealt
The struggle make it worth it when you get it by yourself
Complete the puzzle, never second guess it
I heard the question never answered
A lot of wisdom when I ramble, couldn’t trace me with a stencil
I’ve noticed that SeKwence’s approach to rhyming is pretty unorthodox. He rarely incorporates traditional end rhymes with an AABB scheme. He often ends a bar with one word and then immediately rhymes it with one of the first words of the next line. If you just read the last word from each bar it’ll look like he doesn’t rhyme much at all, but he tends to focus more on internals. I wasn’t familiar with this Allen Thomas guy before hearing this song, but I enjoyed his performance here to some extent. He definitely wasn’t as great as SeKwence to me, but he was cool. Some of the lines were a bit generic or uninteresting—that “my presence is a present” thing has been banal for a while now—but overall he did his thing. Overall, I wouldn’t exactly call this a highlight, but I enjoyed it a lot. I think it’s dope.
6. Sail Boats produced by Ruci
Once again, the production here is super smooth and chill, like something Curren$y would rap over. SeKwence’s writing on this track is actually very encouraging, which I appreciated.
You gotta keep the faith and never backpedal
And I’m down to catch a case for what I stand on, I’ll never stress the situations
Circumstances got my back against the wall, I’ll still prevail though
I’m planning private islands with them sailboats
The song feels pretty short, so a second verse probably could’ve done it a lot of favors. Nothing about the song itself really stood out in a negative way to me though. The production here is definitely good, although I wouldn’t say it stands out from the rest of the instrumentals. Honestly, the song just doesn’t really stand out in general, although I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. I think it’s pretty good.
7. Sun Gods featuring $uff produced by FLLS
This beat has the same atmosphere as pretty much every other instrumental on the record. The percussion is completely panned to the right, which is kind of strange. It may or may not annoy the shit outta you depending on your perspective; I was thankfully able to get used to it pretty quickly. SeKwence’s verse at the beginning of the song isn’t bad at all, but I can’t say that I found it particularly interesting or unique. The guest verse from $uff isn’t amazing or anything, but I will say that it stood out to me more than that of SeKwence. My opinion of this song is pretty much identical to that of the preceding track, although I will say that I enjoyed this one a bit more personally. I think it’s pretty good.
8. Real Shit featuring Norfside Shae produced by Keem the Cypher
The production on this track is still kinda chill and very soulful, but it seems a bit more Boom Bap-ish than most of the other beats in my opinion. I think SeKwence spits one of his better verses at the beginning of this track too.
What’s the purpose of this life? Shit, divide the winnings
Provide the sinners with some insight
This pain can really write a novel
I got more depth than the ocean, but they still count me out
That’s what I thrive on, I’m pushing forwards never backwards
Tryna master the skill, spending time
10,000 hours tryna capture the feel I had
The hook is kind of simple, but I think it works pretty well. That Norfside Shae dude murdered that second verse too.
I really was my only helping hand when it came to this shit
Fuck the exposure or who know you, they ain’t makin’ me ends
And my purpose and my aim for this here is way past the top
Past the block, homie pass the glock if we pass a opp
Overall this is definitely a major highlight for me on the project. I love the more soulful, heavy production, and both of the MCs did a great job here. This shit is dope as hell.
9. Empty Stomachs featuring Teller Banks & NorfSide Shae produced by killer kane
This is my favorite song on the album. Once again, the production here is more soulful and Boom Bap oriented. SeKwence’s vocal performance here is far more energetic and attention commanding than it was on the preceding material. He sounded super high and relaxed before, but this is relatively aggressive.
They said I’m crazy
Refused to follow what they said ‘cause I don’t take directions
Got it by myself, they’ll never take it from me
Respect is earned, my word is bond, they’ll never take it from me
‘Cause empty pockets means an empty stomach
I’ll let ‘em starve if we ain’t broke bread
I been addicted for years and I ain’t broke yet
Deposits for a quick fix
Most of the years I suffered, so I don’t miss shit
The verse is great, and the melodic background vocals that come in during the hook actually sound amazing to be honest. They’re provided by Teller Banks whose voice is shockingly even more bizarre sounding than that of SeKwence. The closest thing I can really compare it to is Kendrick Lamar’s vocal performance on i or the hook of Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe. It’s super nasally and kind of alien-sounding. It’s awesome though; I fucking love it. He fucking slaughtered that second verse too. I seriously need to check out more of that dude’s work because he really blew me away here. He’s definitely the standout feature for this project. Norfside Shae really killed that final verse too though. I seriously don’t think this song could’ve come together any more perfectly. All three of these guys sound perfect together, and they fit the aesthetic of the production like a glove. I think this shit is dope af. If you listen to one song from this album, make sure it’s this.
10. Clips&Ammo (FreeSmoke4) produced by Krow
The sample on this song sounds kind of familiar, but I’m not sure if or where I’ve heard it. It’s a really pretty, chill instrumental. The song as a whole has a very straightforward structure. It’s pretty much just two verses with a short break in between. The first one was good, but the second one stood out more to me personally.
I’m smoking dope to kill my lungs and all the habits kill my funds
But I never lost sight of the goal; was down bad, but I still got up outta that hole
Just like I’m Bruce Wayne, copped the cigarettes with loose change
I feel like ’07 Wayne, I’m feelin’ God level, and ain’t nobody touchin’ me
I’m not head over heels in love with this song like I am with the preceding track, but it’s definitely very good. The production is great, and SeKwence killed this shit. It’s a dope track.
11. Lords & Sinners featuring Lord Juco produced by killer kane
Much like the first beat killer kane provided, this beat is super soulful and more Boom Bap-ish. This is actually my favorite beat on the album to be honest. I think that sample is amazing, and I love the percussion here. Once again, SeKwence’s vocal performance is a bit more energetic here. His voice doesn’t sound as raspy here as it does on a lot of the other songs.
I been the native son of the South, I’ll say a prayer; I don’t give a fuck about a crown
I’ll take a pill and break it down, I take a pill and down this Crown Royal
She down for me, keep a stash for me, shit, this bitch gon’ even blast for me?
When the time come I’ll be posted with the 100 proof, 100 soldiers, 100 killers down to fuckin’ shoot
I like the hook on this song a lot too. That Lord Juco guy also killed that second verse.
Y’all comin’ up short, Napoleon
The booth the only place I’m holy in
That’s my confession, my pen is my obsession
Got too much to say, just peep the message
I like how smooth his voice and flow are too. The song as a whole is definitely one of my favorites on the whole project. This track is dope as hell.
12. Still the Same produced by Grubby Pawz
This track has the jazziest beat on the whole album, and it’s glorious. I also think this song has some of the most interesting writing from SeKwence.
This empty bottle on the nightstand keep me grounded
The family keep me grounded; the face around me, but I still got some shit to fix
And all the problems gone by the second spliff, I’m gone in sixty seconds
I think this is a pretty great outro to be honest. I know I didn’t really say much about it, but I think the content is a bit more personal here, and I love how smooth the production on is. It’s a very dope song.