When you ask people about Big Sean you get one of two answers, it either corny or slept on. There’s no two ways around it, when it comes to Big Sean people are either either hot or cold and there’s usually no in between. So for his 4th album attempt I wasn’t sure what Sean Don I was gonna get this time around.
If you listen to Big Sean’s features put on in 2016 most notably on DJ Khaled’s “Holy Key”, where he was able to standout on a track with verbal counter part King Kendrick and on the GOOD Music posse cut “Champions”. On another note “Champions” was one of the best tracks of 2016, if you haven’t listened to is it’s a must so check it out and you’ll see how good Big Sean can be. So the led up to this album along with the release of the lead single “Bounce Back” you begin to get a sense that we might be dealing with a man ready to take his game to the next level.
As the album starts off we are greeted with a voice that you will hear through out the album and he goes through the regret of how he’s dealt with his family and situations with woman. You get the sense that the voice speaking is either a ghost from Sean’s past or his conscience that is getting him ready to make a change in his life, but you feel that from the intro you are going to a more seasoned and mature Sean on this album.
You start of with the Jeremih assisted track “Lights” where Sean gives us some insight into his life and the reasons why he works so hard, even though people continually throw shade towards him he knows that no matter what they say he gonna continue to do him. Which is something I feel was missing from his work, because I feel when he goes into braggadocio raps he doesn’t feel as comfortable and genuine as he does when he does tracks about himself. With that being said the next track is “Bounce Back” and its the prime example of the statement I just mentioned. Don’t get me wrong his flow on the track is great and you are able to see his lyrical skills, but it doesn’t give you much as far as a radio airplay or playback value.
Up next is the track that set social media on fire, because Big Sean was able to get top 5 alive and fellow Detroit native Eminem on the track “No Favors” and his verse was seen as the best thing of a very young 2017. It’s time for blunt honesty not every Eminem verse is the greatest thing out sometimes it’s just an Eminem verse. The way that everyone went crazy for that verse really took a way from showcase of lyrical skill that was Big Sean’s verse. When examining Eminem’s verse that see the impressive rhyme scheme that’s apparent, but had no substance and by the way I can’t be the only person who cringes when hearing the word rape, it’s 2017 that word should be phased out of all rap at this point. I stopped listening to Eminem’s verse as soon as the hyped died down, but Big Sean has a verse worth listening to.
The next two tracks on the album are “Jump Out the Window” and “Moves” which are two tracks that are interchangeable with each other not much of songs that boost the album or hurt the album. Just two songs about Sean’s relationship with women one about loving one and the next about just fucking one. Which leads into his duet with his boo Jhene Aiko and with this pairing of these 3 songs you get what he’s going for as far as him showing of mistakes, living his life, and then finally finding someone who he feels he can love. I feel like we’ve been here with Big Sean though so I hope this time around it works out for him.
Once you get to “Owe Me” you are visited by the voice whole is leading us through the album as Sean leaves a place and is met with paparazzi in his face. And then we move on”Halfway Off the Balcony” and I feel this song and the one before ruined the 3 song set up that he just built where if you group them together they set up a story and then the next two songs are just different versions of the same songs and you start to see that some of Sean’s biggest issues are women that he gets burned by and to hear that 5 of the first 9 songs start to make them feel repetitive.
At this point you are starting to feel like we are being met with a new version of old Sean and then we get to “Voices In My Head / Stick To The Plan” and we finally get the Sean that that is showing us that he is hungrier than ever and ready to be mentioned in the same sentence with Kendrick and Drake as hip-hop’s elite. The way that the song is set up the mixture of flow and lyrics you get to see Sean spaz out. He has about 3 flow changes that lead us to a flow where Sean does his best Tech N9ne impression which is very surprising from him.
Track 11 is “Sunday Morning Jetpack” and this is where Sean chooses to get in depth with his life and is one of the most heart warming songs that I don’t come to expect from Sean. The way his story telling is set up by telling stories of people that have died and how he is still trying to find his faith and motivation just makes you feel that there’s a side of Sean that we’ve rarely seen that sounds genuine. Upon hearing this song I will be the first to admit it pulled at my heart strings and almost made me shed a tear for the fact that it’s so personal and makes you reflect on your past. Towards the end of the song we hear the guiding voice come back and urges him to answer a phone call from his mother that he’s been avoiding because he out having fun and that takes us into “Inspire Me”. This track is dedicated to his mother and coupled with the track before is another good mix of emotion and continues to show a more genuine side of Sean.
The album finishes up with the song “Sacrifices” where Sean gets guest verses from Migo #1 and #3 riding high off the hype of their album Culture, each rapper gives an A+ effort. And finally the album ends with “Bigger Than Me” assisted by the Flint Chozen Choir which gives the album a fitting send off and wraps up the overall tone of the album in a concise and thoughtful conclusion.
Overall I Decided. is a great overall performance by Sean Don that showcase how hungry he is to finally be seen in the same light and mentioned with elite MCs. Although I don’t feel that he is quite ready to ascend to the top of the rap game, this showing is a positive step in the right direction. Hopefully gone are the day of Big Sean being seen as a corny rapper and people sleeping on him and he can now be thrust into the conversation of top MCs.
“Oh God” Counter: 0
GOOD Music Rankings: 1. Pusha T, 2. Big Sean, 3. Kanye, 4. Cyhi the Prynce, 5. Desiigner… 203. Tyga