4535 (J-Bird Records)
By: Omega XL
As I sit and write this, listening to 4535 for at least the hundredth time, I shake my head. Actually I shake and bob my head. I bob my head because the infectious sound of Sesh makes that an unconditioned response and I can't stop it. I shake my head because I wonder how so many upper-crust corporate industry types can thumb their noses at Sesh, never offering them a major label recording contract. I don't think a greater injustice has been done than the one suffered by Sesh--without due reason they have been slept on by many.
Although not much is known of Sesh, their story is authentic and rooted in the love of the music they make. To begin, Sesh stands for "Strength Enforcing Serious Harm." There are 12 members of the group but only three MCs rap--Sigga, Sgt. Ore and Lamp. Through their own efforts, they distributed a single titled "Definition: SESH" on their own label, SESH Records. With that single gaining them global recognition--through their appearance at venues such as the B-Boy Summit in San Diego, Hoodstock in Miami and the annual Rock Steady Anniversary in NYC; as well as pushing the single via radio and listening booth exposure and even traveling to Europe to gain fans overseas--SESH was able to complete 4535, their debut LP. Hailing from Capitol Gun Hill (Bronx, NY) these talented wordsmiths reflect the influences of some historic greats of rap music including Kool G Rap, 3rd Bass, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, EPMD, NWA, the Beastie Boys and Boogie Down Productions.
With deep-probing, thought-provoking lyrics and street-style production, Sesh is the perfect blend of hip-hop intellect with a hardcore mentality. This is readily apparent on the first track, "Seshen," a track that lets all heads know what Sesh is about, where they're from and where they're going. Member Lamp raps, "Life's like a burning pistol, the Sesh crystal, reflected on the issue, got the cold words to dis you. Flippin tales, an apparatus click, heads up status, vocalitical fascists, tappin all agreements." Boasting incredible vocabulary and well planned wordplay, as well as dope styles for delivery, Sesh incorporates an old school flavor in their music by adding scratches and some of the most hypnotic breaks. "Champion Soundz" boasts a dope beat, 2 excellent verses, some old-school scratches and a rugged reggae feel. "4535" sees Sesh in cipher mode, with lyrics attacking the eardrums from all sides. "Hall Of Mirrorz," my personal favorite, features an ill guitar adapted to fit the beat perfectly without detracting from bass hits and other sounds. The lyrics are tight and crisp; so too is the chorus, "Inside the Hall Of Mirrorz so let's see what you've become, the shady gettin' shifty, characteristics of the blessed, the special funkiness, yes, I knew I smelled Sesh." After, member Lamp says "Hittin Brinks, movin' like Spinks, connect the links, eyes chink, Sesh gotta shine like diamond rings. Quick clicks hittin like scabbards, air force bombers, mad kilometers will get the followers. Swallow up all the dividends and givin' fingers to the non-believers, teasin us talkin treason." Gems like that seemingly flow from Sesh like the mighty Nile.
After all that praise, are there any downsides concerning Sesh? Although none are readily apparent, the most major qualm is that member Lamp seems to be featured more than Sgt. Ore or Sigga. While Lamp is dope and he never comes wack, I am most pleased when all members of a certain group trade verbal artillery instead of just one member being spotlighted. Nevertheless, I believe that all will agree that as long as the production is crisp and the lyrics are tight, there will be no dissatisfied listeners.
To conclude, Sesh is what this reviewer needed. There are no mentions of drug dealing, killing people, disrespecting women and there is very little profanity. The hip-hop underground is a strange place-- sometimes there are hopefuls that lack talent but hold onto the dream of making it big no matter who or what tries to dissuade them, while other times, there are simply fantastic individuals who are blessed with more than their fair share of talent and get slept on unneededly. The latter best describes Sesh. I sincerely hope that Sesh will get a larger fan base and more exposure than they already have because anything this dope needs to be shared with everybody.