Throughout his Manic Mondays series, K. Sparks has proven himself as a peerless punchline lyricist, a hip-hop philosopher, a verbal gymnast, and a thinking man’s club rapper (to name just a few of his many faces), but in the midst of all this musical shapeshifting he’s shown a willingness to get more personal than many would dare—though we caught a glimpse of the his serious side on Tattoo, an earnest take on the issues of race and prejudice, the Midnight Thoughts he explores in installment #38 are easily his deepest yet. Rejoining forces with ‘K. Francis’ R&B singer Julius Francis over a melancholy instrumental by S.D.F. Floh, the rapper addresses the recent, untimely death of his 28-year-old brother, Sequain, who passed suddenly due to a blood clot in his lung. A tribute this heartfelt is guaranteed to earn condolences and rave reviews in equal measure, but Sparks’ dedication to his craft shines as brightly here as his dedication to the memory of his late brother—simply put, this is good music. Readers will have plenty to say about this one, so I’ll just speak for myself: Sparks, I’m sorry for your loss; much respect for staying strong and moving forward through the pain.