Big Sean might arguably be one of the most consistently solid rappers out there today. He might not jump to mind as much as the others or have as big of a cultural impact, and he may at times be corny AF, but he still puts out consistently good/great music every year. I don’t know what it is about him but I’m never all that excited whenever he announces a new album, but I generally appreciate that it’s there when it does drop. Not to mention that each successive album seems to be better than the last, and there’s something to be said about that level of continuous progression for an artist. He’s basically a consummate professional at this point and I expected him to improve his craft even more on I Decided.
“Got the whole city on fire
Boy, this the flow that got Steph Curry inspired
This the flow that got Lebron James finna rewire
This the flow that got my whole family finna retire
Flows on flows, I might drown in this bitch
Ye found a pro, I guess I’m profound in this bitch”
Without a doubt for me, Dark Sky Paradise was his best, most complete album to date. It really found that sweet spot between simple fun and serious artistry; something he had been struggling to find on his previous albums. It was by far his darkest production to date and it helped lay the foundation to show he was more than pop singles. It’s a sound and formula that he essentially recreates on I Decided., albeit with a lighter touch and tone. I can’t fault him for wanting to retread that similar road; if it worked so well before, why not double up? Thankfully the production is so well executed that many of the songs are capable of evoking those same vibes from Dark Sky without feeling like full on rehashes. “Bounce Back”, “Moves”, and “Halfway Off the Balcony” would feel right at home on his last album with their dark, brooding beats but are still fresh enough to stand out on their own. “Inspire Me” is a dope feel good song highlighted by it’s use of soulful voice samples in the background and “Voices In My Head: Stick to the Plan” really shows how far he’s come as it’s a layered two part-er that I don’t think he could’ve pulled off in his previous albums.
“Damn, Sean, what happened to the humble attitude?
I’m like, “Niggas took the flow, but I’m still standin’ too.”
Thought I had the Midas touch, and then I went platinum too
Motherfuck all your comparisons (Fuck ’em!)
I’ve been talkin’ to God like that’s my therapist
I’m African-American in America; I ain’t inherit shit”
He also continues to progress as a lyricist. Big Sean’s always been an above average rapper with some dope wordplay that was constantly plagued by some corny, cringe worthy lines that always kept him from being in the conversations with the best out. He doesn’t completely buck that trend on I Decided., but it’s much less of a distraction and he at times lays down some seriously fire verses. One thing I will say is that although I may appreciate his willingness to go toe to toe with the best lyricists out there, it doesn’t really help his cause to be the best out. He was completely outclassed once again on “No Favors” by Eminem, but then again it is Eminem so I can’t hold it against him too much. Either way, after yet another impressive album, I think it’s time people really start talking about Big Sean when talking about hip-hop’s elite.
Have you heard I Decided.? What’d you think about it? Do you think it’s time to mention Big Sean amongst hip-hop’s elite? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.
Big Sean may not get the full respect he deserves from people, myself included, but he has proved yet again that he's one of hip-hop's most solid, consistent artists out there today. While I Decided. is more of a half-step forward for Sean than a giant leap ahead, it shows why it's time he gets mentioned among hip-hop's elite.