SeKwence’s last project FULGORE cemented my impressions of him as an extremely hard working individual, a ludicrously talented MC, and above all someone who could piece together an extremely cohesive, consistent project. THIS SHIT IS FUCKED is the vehement, more viscous older brother of that album’s moody soundscapes, commencing with the fantastic posse cut ‘AITE THEN’ that recruits Cam Banks, ThugYeezy & Lärs for a savage intro. Lärs buries this shit, jumping from weird: ‘N***** want respect, we ain’t fearing you, Puerto Rican breast milk in my cereal’ to sombre: ‘My auntie died and I might have dropped a tear or two, dolo at all times, your boy unstable like the San Andreas fault line’ in the same note. This is another classic Souless joint where everyone’s verse is amazingly quotable. Being one of Sek’s longest tracks to date, it’s great to hear manwithXface’s taught, tense beat stretched out in this way. The obvious Big L homage alludes to Sek and associates’ love of classic hip-hop, and the same grit found on L’s ‘MVP’ seeps into the bloodstained floors of TSIF.
After this dramatic opening, we get a barrage of classically short, effective Sek songs. Klsr’s synthy work on the title track is amazing, and Sek lends his rasp to it as you’d expect. Previously released ‘2XPILLSBLUEPILLS’ follows, and it’s one of Sek’s more harrowing joints. ‘I need like two pills to get me back to normal, I’m treading this water looking for rope as a problem solver, I’m drowning in self-loathing’. ‘This sin is stuck to my body’ he groans on the same track. No doubt, SeKwence’s portrayals of his struggles are amongst the most vivid you’ll find. The tape’s title applies here more than ever, the tales of mental anguish an incredible image for anyone unaccustomed to the rapper’s music. ‘69 Summer Time’ is a change of pace, using pleasant, lightweight production to put emphasis on Sek’s soul-searching. Tina’s hook is as marvellous as any placement by a female singer on his projects have been, although it would have been dope to hear him rap a second verse given the space at the end of the song.
Sek’s mastery of production cannot be overstated. ‘RAMBL’N’ is a startlingly good slice of boom bap where the rapper, unlike what is implied by the title, spits two eloquent verses, the second the clear highlight: ‘You better know I’m reppin’ Souless, bunch of addicts and producers with some poets’. Sek always reps his crew to the fullest, more rappers should be doing this in 2018. However, it was also good to see a number of rappers and producers outside of the collective contributing work to this project. nopulp, Dweeb & 366s contributed some amazing beats to this tape, all three should be looked out for in the future as pushers of the organic, lucid sonics found here. Though TSIF is less group-oriented than many solo projects from the members, a few familiar faces remain, like the iconic Killer Kane/Barry Marrow duo dropping in on ‘STARTER JACKET’ to deliver frenetic, jazzy goodness alongside whirlwind lyricism. Verse wise however, UGLYFRANK easily steals the show, gifting Grimm Doza’s shuffling Frankenstein’s monster of a beat on ‘BLOCKA’ a flawless verse that blends seamlessly into a slick hook. Sek risks being outrapped placing this catalyst of a verse first, but his grisly raps: ‘I keep the body parts in different places, disfigure faces. I’m the type to ask your favourite than I merk him, leave him brainless’ give his verse a distinctively nasty flavour. This song essentially acts as the tape’s climax, an ideal conclusion to this grim ride through the rapper’s pysche.
And of course, it would be amiss of me to finish this review without mentioning the incredible ‘KNOW CHALLENGE OUTRO’, produced by the one and only UNCLEBITXHES and consisting of a simple final warning from Sek: ‘Don’t ever challenge me’. Despite the melodic looped sample taking precedence on the track, its threat rings true: very few people can claim to have outrapped SeKwence and any who are attempting it should maybe reconsider.
Listen to TSIF on Soundcloud. Follow SeKwence on Twitter at @Sekwence.