Even during a hiatus from the mic following his last project, TO for Toronto, Sep never put down the pen, but rather concentrated his vision and wordsmith talents on articles and creative writing, targeting topics of faith, social media and health. After taking time to focus on his two-year personal journey, Almost NevR is a strong return to the Canadian hip-hop industry that holds the rapper in such high esteem.
The 12-track project showcases a wide range of production from Toronto peers Junia-T, Lancecape and Khan Soulo and verses from Korry Deez, Grimace Love and Brotha J. On "Miracle Man," Sep provides a theme song for the lost, confused and distraught, with a weighty and symbolic representation of a man in a wheelchair struggling with his beliefs. From dark and deep to street politics, the emcee welcomes Xp, Ragin B, Grimace Love and Junia-T for a smorgasbord of local talent on "Ending Beginning," providing an aggressive street psalm buoyed by a grime-inspired beat. On "C.R.E.A.M. 2014," Sep pays homage to the Wu-Tang Clan with some relatable modern day money problems.
To call SepTo a conscious rapper doesn't quite do him justice, as the rhymes dive in further than a third eye or Bible reference. The artist takes the opportunity to preach faith, the importance of family and struggles with substance abuse. Yes, his album is a Sunday afternoon listen as opposed to a Friday night playlist, but he doesn't want you to drink to it — he wants you to listen.
An old soul in the new age, SepTo shows respect for the identity of hip-hop and pushes himself as an artist on Almost NevR. (Independent)