When Kanye West first announced the signing of Big Sean, a lot of people were skeptical. Was he just part another phase that Kanye was going through during his “808 days” – or was he someone he truly had faith in as a rapper. Well almost 4 years after signing to GOOD Music and many pushbacks, Big Sean finally gets his time to shine but does he live up to the expectations that are placed upon him, being under the GOOD Music umbrella.
The album starts off with Big Sean kicking a quick 16 bars on the Intro. For first time listeners of Big Sean, this is a good display of what he is about. His punchlines are on point and there are some real good quotable lines already from the song.
“I’m still dreaming bigger than I’m living, and just sleeping long enough to dream”
Following the Intro are the first two singles from the album. The first of the two songs, I Do It, which has officially been released as the second single, is one of my least favourite songs on the album. It’s lazy, it’s generic and it sounds very forced. Whilst the My Last, although equally as generic, sounds a lot more natural. Chris Brown has been on his A-game recently, and this hook is another example of what he can do. Big Sean sounds really comfortable on this beat. This is a great choice for the first single, and with the right promotion, this could have rocketed Big Sean into the mainstream.
The next song Don’t Tell Me You Love Me is one of my favourites on the album. It’s a breakup/makeup anthem that I’m sure many people can relate to. Sean delves into details about the complications of breakups when the other half tells you that s/he loves you, and you mind starts to change and your forget it ever happens.
“What’s the perfect girl, if it’s not the perfect time? And if you want to stay it’s fine, just don’t tell me you love me”
Up next is the eagerly anticipated collaboration with Lupe Fiasco, Wait For Me. The song boasts great production from No I.D. and Exile. Big Sean questions whether it’s too late to enjoy all of the luxuries in life. A decent enough guest verse from Lupe too. The next song, Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay, is set to be released as the next single from the album. It features Kanye West‘s only contribution to the album – which is quite surprising since he is one of two executive producers. Anyway, this song is pretty good. Roscoe Dash delivers a good chorus, Sean kills both of his verses, Kanye smashes his. On to the next one, Dance (A$$) is one of the first really forgettable song on the album. Everything for the title, to the repetitive hook, to the Can’t Touch This sample is just.. no. ►►
Get It (Donald Trump) is the obligatory, Pharrell-assisted cash anthem. With a classic Neptunes beat, Pharrell sings about getting to “Donald Trump level” on the hook, whilst Big Sean drops some ‘swagnificent’ bars about, well… money.
“Got a million on line one, got another mil dialing in. Momma on line four telling me how much not to spend, Ye on line three telling me how we ’bout to win”
The next is one of the best cuts off the album. Memories (Part II) features an incredible chorus from none other than GOOD Music label mate, John Legend. Big Sean shows people that he’s doesn’t just rap about swagger and money. He discusses topics such as how a coffin is one of the only places he hasn’t been in yet; how one of his friends is addicted to pills; and losing a friend in a car accident. The seriousness from the last song is quickly forgotten with the Xaphoon Jones (Chiddy Bang) produced smokers anthem, High. The features none other than Hip Hop favourite weed-smoker, Wiz Khalifa. Wiz comes in singing his rendition of the hook, then goes in on what I believe to be one of his best verses since before the album. Chiddy does his thing on the last verse.
The penultimate song (of the standard version atleast) is the The-Dream assisted track, Live This Life. Terius’ vocal style provides the ultimate chorus for Sean’s victory song. Seans takes on a journey through the high life that he’s currently living. “Penthouse on top of the world, that Detroit player’s on top of the world”. Finally, the album closes with another money-fuelled song. Sean raps about the good things about being where he’s at now; and how he did what people were telling him not to do – which got him to where he’s at now.
All in all, the album is a real good effort. The production is great, although I’d like to have seen atleast one Kanye beat on here. Handling most of the production, No I.D. lays out a perfect platform of beats that allowed Big Sean to shine through, and didn’t overpower him at any point (unlike other albums in the same stream such as Rolling Papers). Since signing with GOOD Music, Big Sean has kept it consistent and hasn’t changed or “dumbed it down”. To the standards that have been set by Big Sean in the past, this is definitely a good debut and I think the length of the album was just right – as I thought his lack of depth in his content was starting growing quite repetitive and tiresome.
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