Hear at Last

After three years of setbacks, Yirim Seck drops his debut.

Frustration at having taken the wrong course often turns out to be the best motivation for success. Yirim Seck knows a lot about that. For years, the 28-year-old Central District native was supposed to be one of the next rappers in the city to go large. He made guest appearances on several projects, such as the Physics’ Future Talk and the Think Tank Project, which initially made people take notice. His time in the relatively short-lived Pyrate Radio (which included the trio of Seck, Rajini Eddins, and Pearl Dragon) also exhibited Seck’s talent as an MC.

He actually had the artwork for his debut album, Hear Me Out, finished two years ago, thinking the project was finished. But when he learned that all his purchased beats were improperly programmed and sequenced as two-tracks instead of WAV files, he had to find the time and money to re-record everything for sound-quality purposes.

At the Fresh Chopped Beats studio in Rainier Valley, Seck expresses his frustration at the events that delayed his debut album for so long. “Man, the main issue I had is that I didn’t understand the studio process and what was required to make quality music,” he says. His learning curve in the studio was steep, but there were other setbacks as well.

“From basically late 2002 through 2004 I was homeless,” he continues. “Most of the time I was in the park, sleeping on park benches. Sometimes I couch-surfed with the homies, but it was rough. A lot of people back then didn’t even know I was homeless. I was still rapping and doing shows, but sleeping in the park.”

Adverse as those conditions sound, he’s seen worse. At the age of 15, Seck was sent to live in Dakar, Senegal, with relatives for 24 months. “I woke up one morning and my bags were already packed,” he says. “My mom said I was getting in too much trouble and needed to go to Senegal for two weeks. Two weeks turned into two months, and two months turned into two years.”

While there, he encountered various Senegalese and French rapping influences, but also learned a lot about his own culture. Although you won’t hear any West African sounds on Hear Me Out, you will notice plenty of hunger. He’s not rapping about cars and clothes, but the realities of being a musician and the full-time father of a 2-year-old. The music is sharp, crisp, and shows the promise that fans knew existed all along.