When it comes to hip-hop, there exists a clear line between rapper and artist. Brooklyn native Sene would undoubtedly fall into the latter category. His first full length release, a collaborative endeavor with west coast emcee/producer/enigma Blu, featured jazzy, doo-wop inspired production coupled with dextrous and earnest lyrics. There was a promise about the young emcee that was tangible yet somehow elusive throughout each of the album’s 14 tracks.
The promise was realized with the recent release of Sene’s latest effort, “brooklyknight.” The dissonant instrumentals and more abstract lyricism create an enthralling sound scape making for one of (if not the) best hip-hop albums of the year. Sene has clearly matured and come into his own as an artist. This was apparent even before a single track from the project was even released. While most album trailers feature a predictable stream of interviews, song clips and “behind-the-scene” sessions, Sene took the concept one step further by creating short films that reveal more about the album and creative process than any sneak-peak ever could.
In these films the audience is introduced to a protagonist at odds with the world, and himself. He contemplates inspiration, artistic expression and what it really means to be from Brooklyn. Confused, but determined to create, the artist is revealed and the motive becomes assured, which makes for a viewing experience that is all-too-rare and that should make like-minded hip-hop heads, head back to the drawing board.