Of the rappers that I follow on Twitter, SeKwence is by far my favourite. As well as being an excellent lyricist, he has a gruff, husky voice that serves him well as an MC of the purest variety. Sek’s powerful voice has made his past projects (the I Feel Like Billy Hoyle series, the Perfect World EP) feel remarkably complete despite their short runtimes. With an impressive list of producers and some neat guest spots, his debut album FULGORE2018 achieves the same effect.

With a mere six tracks to play with, Sek makes ample use of each and every beat he’s presented with here. Thelonius Martin’s eerie sci-fi opener ‘LifeShit’ features some raw bars: ‘Shallow grave take your posse with me without discussion, without a substance I’m braindead, a walking zombie’. Just as Sek has in the past used his voice to steal the show on various guest features, his presence here is all-encompassing, giving the already malevolent-sounding beat a uniquely menacing vibe. Sek’s skill as a rapper should never be understated: I’m confident this man could go bar for bar with any MC you could name. He proves this again on ‘Dxngeon / Heathen’, where his first verse: ‘Crafting classics in the dungeon with the drugs, that rum fifth. Broken knuckles when I throw the drunk fist. Roll a zip up, proceed to handle business, keep my vision to myself I’m reaping benefits and hella respect’. This man’s pen game is cold, making each and every song a quotable masterpiece. ‘Dxngeon’ is also dope because its hook (sang by Gabbi) has a ghostly, almost trip-hop feel to it, matching manwithXface’s boom-bap beat perfectly. The production here actually feels like a more bluesy version of his eccentric ‘Huffy Bike’ from last month. Lärs of course bodies his guest verse: ‘never give a inch because they take a mile, she filed my name with the dirtbags. Double text and never heard back, my heart stomped where the curb at’. This is rainy day, down on your luck music.

VILES hookup ‘Quikmurk Interlude’ is equally effective, despite its short runtime. Super vivid rhymes: ‘Biggie flannel with the shotty and I’m mobbin for the team. Them quarter pieces at the border got em for the cheap, I’m in the jeep swervin’ match another gorgeous, piano-laden beat. The beat selection here is very important, Sek chose to bookend the project with two Thelonius production, the latter ‘Supreme Victory’ a sparse, metallic creation that ends the project on a note just as icy as Adonis’ stupidly good guest verse beginning with ‘Peering through the window with the indo lit. My corner cold,the ghetto left me emotionless. Had to pray for better days couldn’t just hope for it, and if he had bread I need a loaf of it’. The entire verse is fantastic, so good that for once Sek comes second. He even drops a dope hook that suits the celebratory title of the track as well as the attitude that the project in general presents.

The focus has to remain on Sek’s own very powerful bars, however. He dominates on the Devin Malek-featuring ‘6 to da 6’, somehow topping ‘I tried to keep my hands clean but it don’t exist, the homie had the red beam aiming at you quick’ with ‘I ain’t happy less the music living, I ain’t happy less my brother see a couple milli, I ain’t happy less my moms got a couple billi, but for now I’m losing sleep and still stuck inside this fucking building’, before murmuring ‘I’m losing sanity’ over the warped, vibrating Jordy instrumental. The peak of his creativity is not fully reached however until the title track, a savage song with a thumping LSXXXX beat and a hoarse, deranged delivery. ‘Vodka with the sprite I got that weapon drawn, the stepping stone to life is make it through them ups and downs, it’s frowned upon but I’m still self-medicated. Reserve a spot in hell for the Souless family.’ he sneers over the brooding beat.

An exceptional lyricist, SeKwence unquestionably thrives best when the moody soundscapes he utilises for his raps peel back in intensity, allowing the full reveal of his lyrical arsenal. On this all too short project, he displays his talent as a songwriter to full effect, fusing the bleak, atonal sounds of his producers with the lyrical powerhousing of boom bap. Easily his strongest project to date, and one that will doubtless be one of many quality projects by the rapper this year.

Check out FULGORE2018 on Soundcloud. Follow Sek on Twitter at @Sekwence.

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