“Backhandler, manhandle, Imam Sean; peace to Mandela and Farrakhan… The best con in flesh, Sean’s here, metal fragments on face, the teflon beard…”
– Sean Price

Songs in the key of life was a milestone in the legendary career of the inspiring Mr. Stevie Wonder. Heralded by many – to this day – as his best album, it was a culmination/climax of his pre-commercial musical career, referred to mainly as his “classic period.” With this in mind, Sean Price’s ode (cover wise) to the classic album, Songs in the Key of Sean Price, seems eerily appropriate.

Announced shortly before his death, the un-intended posthumous release has two versions available to fans: an 8 track digital version available on I-tunes, and a 30 track mixtape/version, cut up by longtime friend, collaborator and DJ, DJ PF Cuttin. [Note that the sales from both versions go to Sean’s wife and kids]. We had a pre-order in, and after anxiously checking the mailbox daily since it shipped on the 21st, it finally arrived yesterday and has been bumping hard ever since.

“Listen to his catalogue – and his jokes, his vulgarities and all his slap the shit out you isms, and enjoy all of it. He epitomized the term not giving a fuck – and being yourself in the truest form.”

– Rock (of Heltah Skeltah)

The release is incredibly solid – and sure to satisfy old and new fans alike. It has all the characteristics of a P project: it’s vicious, no holds barred, gutter, humorous and full of quotable lines. No filler either! Just heat, from the opener, the booming Bobby MC Bars and the 70’s drug-dealer flows on Fei Long, to the ‘in your face’ Planet Apes, and the release closer, Ni**erific – a the flip of the Cool Rob G classic Court In Session. Featured verses come from the likes of Ike Eyes, Ill Ghee, Head Ice, Vic Spencer and Royal flush.

Regardless if Sean has a ton of material stacked up and ready to go, this project will always serve as the last release that he knowingly released – and in my opinion, he went out strong. The project was worth the wait, and more than delivered on expectations. The love, as usual, is in the details. The beats are hard; the bars require multi-listens. Even the album itself are listed (on iTunes and Spotify) as being released on “Ruck Down Records” – a nice “Easter egg” for real heads. Rock said it best during our interview last week, through and through his music is all him. Sean Price was a unique soul, and I’m will be a blueprint for a whole new generation of artists who seem to be shedding the conventions of the commercial shackles and wandering down the “indie-brick-road”. This album is a MUST OWN for any and all P fans – and I implore you: if you haven’t fully taken in his catalog, please do so.

I’ll end this piece the same he ended this project: “P!”

Buy the album here.