Sese goes viral in a big way [Article]
St. Catherines, ON – There’s viral and then there’s Sese. He’s spent the second half of 2010 on an internet led, viral video campaign that’s seen him release 11 videos, garner hundreds of thousands of views and release a Halloween themed mixtape YFRWN (Your Favorite Rapper’s Worst Nightmare). Sese’s literally taken nothing (run-on dub plate verses) and turned them into something (his last video #BasedBodyBag is at over 59,000 views in only a week).
Armed with his go-to director “G-Dot,” a fresh outfit and maybe a few grams of kush, his videos are created on the fly in various locations across the GTA. And it’s this uncomplicated approach and dedication to consistency that’s growing his fan base and building his buzz.
“I’m not doing like 50 outfit changes and having models and fire burning midgets and shit,” Sese says. “You know the joke though bro? My shit is bubbling more than certain people who are spending $10,000 and more on their videos. So it’s not even about how much the video costs. Obviously its dope to have an ill video, but if that’s not in your budget, just to stand in front of a camera and rap, it works dog. I proved it. It works. I’m sure if my music was ultimately trash it wouldn’t matter if I kept putting out videos. But if people like the music and you’re in their face, then they get excited.”
Backed by a strong network of artists and promoters called Team Offense, every Sese release is instantly spread throughout social media outlets and blogs, especially Twitter where they’re out to make #YFRWN a trending topic.
Consistency seems to be the determining factor in Sese’s quest for more eyes and ears. His buzz is now noteworthy, with more and more blogs featuring his songs and videos with every release. Case in point: eight months ago Sese released “Exhibit Sese” on YouTube. To this day, it holds just over a mere 6,000 views. Since starting his weekly video series, the lowest view count is near 10,000 in two months. Yet the rest of his videos clock in no lower than 20,000 views. With every video he’s released, his exposure and his fan’s interest have increased.
“The attention span of the average person right now is so fucking low because there are so many options,” says Sese. “There’s so many options for entertainment, for someone to really take it in and pay attention to what you’re doing, you have to ‘wow’ them in some aspect. You can’t just come with the same shit that ‘Joe Rapper’ and whoever else is coming with, because you’ll just blend in, even if your music’s ill. I know from time, it’s not like I just learned how to rap when I started doing these videos, I been putting shit out. It’s just people never paid it no mind.”
A witty, pointed personality, Sese’s slowly become a fixture in the Toronto scene due to his alliance with Team Offense and a growing online attraction due to his weekly video releases. Bishop Brigante, a self proclaimed Sese fan, says his music was actually the last thing he took in when it came to Sese.
“Once I started seeing the structure, the quality and the wittiness of his music,” Bishop reveals. “I decided this kid’s coming up and he really wants it as much as anybody else that’s ever gotten it. I feel like he deserves it because every time I talk to him he’s working. He’s shooting a video, in the studio. And I think once he makes the transition from making mixtapes, which I don’t actually consider YFRWN to be a mixtape because it’s mostly original content, but once he makes a transition to having a home, with a label that will back him, he’ll be really successful because he wants it. And if he continues he’ll definitely be one person to watch for and compete with.”
YFRWN was released online at YFRWN.com on October 23rd. The tape features heavy production credits from Vokab and 2oolman and a predominately murderous, lyric-heavy, mood with hints of personality and soul. While the 11 videos he released all feature raps over other people’s beats, YFRWN serves as the next chapter, showing his audience he can create his own hard-hitting content. Even with notable features like JDRN, Luu Breeze, Magnum 357 and Mayhem Morearty, Sese demands attention with every bar and is never overshadowed.
A few years ago, Sese joined Team Offense as an unknown rapper from St. Catherines. Working closely with his in-house producer 2oolman, he released Hit & Run in February 2008. In October of that year he’d follow up with Death or Glory. It was August 2009 before fans would get Hit & Run 2. The following spring he’d partner with Ceaza Leon (also from Team Offense) to release The Write Brothers to audiences who were beginning to notice him. YFRWN is his biggest effort to date and his 5th full length project in three years.
“My main goal is to just do whatever the fuck I wanna do,” Sese says brashly. “Shit is like this (he draws a box with his fingers) when it should be like this (he makes zig zag lines) as an artist. But everyone’s like “Where’s your bitch song dog?” “Where’s your club song dog?” “Where’s your radio song?” DJs will pick up what’s hot, regardless if you’re catering it to them or whether you’re just making it. You think Kanye caters to anybody? You think he’s like “Oh I need to make a girl song right now.” The man just makes what he makes and people love it because he’s an artist. At some point you have to define the curve. And surprisingly, it’s working because I’m just doing what I wanna do.”
Interesting note: Sese started his weekly video release in mid-July 2010. Kanye West started G.O.O.D. Fridays near the end of August.
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
Photography by Duxx of Concrete Guerilla