Big Sean is a rapper who has hit it big in the rap game with hits like, “Dance (A$$)”, “Clique”, “Blessings”, “I Don’t F*** With You” and many others. After the release of his last studio album, Dark Sky Paradise, which charted at number one on the U.S. charts, hopes were high for Sean’s new album. After much anticipation, the G.O.O.D. music rapper released his fourth album, I Decided, on February 3, 2017. As usual, he did not disappoint.
Upon first listen through, the first songs that really jumped out at me were, “Bounce Back”, “No Favors” and “Sacrifices”. Each of these songs, like many others on the album, have very fluid, hard hitting beats.
Sean, who is often accused of writing cheesy rap lyrics, brought great lyricism to these tracks. A line from the chorus of, “Bounce Back” that immediately jumped out at me was one that had very good wordplay. “I been broke as hell, cashed a check and bounced back”, Sean says. This is such a good line, as it fits with the theme of the song, while also having a second meaning to it. He’s talking about “bouncing back” from a bad night or taking an “L”, and he also implies that he has no money, so the check he cashed bounced on him.
When an album has star-studded guest verses, it can draw listeners that otherwise wouldn’t give the tape a spin. “No Favors” and “Sacrifices” likely jumped out also because of the big-name collaborations Sean was able to pull off. Eminem, arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time, appears on the song, “No Favors”. Eminem hasn’t been doing much since his last album release, so seeing his name was somewhat of a surprise. Eminem, also known as “Slim Shady”, absolutely goes off on this track. He exhibits incredible wordplay that would put many other rappers to shame. This verse has been a big attraction to the album, and for good reason.
Appearing on “Sacrifices” is arguably the hottest rap group right now, Migos. Migos gained popularity through their mega-hit, “Bad and Boujee”. The rap style that Migos exhibits fits perfectly with the beat of this song. It’s a fast, upbeat, party type of instrumental and that is the style Migos has gotten popular with. Jeremih, another prominent artist, appears on the song, “Light” and is very impressive as well. These incredible guest verses really support this album, and complement Big Sean very well.
Another track that really impressed me was, “Halfway off the Balcony”. In this song, Sean shows up that he can sing as well as rap. Although we already knew this, he really shows off his talented voice in this song. This song is unique to the album because rather than having a hyped, party type feel to it, it’s slower, and a little more sentimental. On an album full of songs that go fast and are very upbeat, this song as well as, “Sunday Morning Jetpack” and “Same Time Pt. 1” stand out as the opposite.
Compared to albums Sean has released in the past, this album arguably tops them all. Sean has a very good mix of trendy, trap type songs, while also maintaining a good balance of variety showing off his sentimental side. Sean gained lots of criticism with how “immature” his hits were, and rightfully so. The songs were aimed at teenagers, and whether it’s right or not, that gains lots of criticism from the rap community. Luckily for Sean, I think he is going to be taken very seriously after this album, and has cemented his spot in the rap game.