Album Review: Big Sean’s “I Decided”

Grade: B-

This week we checked out Big Sean’s newest album release, “I Decided.” Big Sean’s newest offering represents the artist’s experience with the idea of rebirth. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly he described it as, “I [told my friend], ‘Sometimes I feel like I was an old man and didn’t succeed in life and asked for a second chance, and this is my second chance.”

Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, who goes by his stage name Big Sean, is a popular rapper originally from Detroit. In 2007, after a freestyle rap try-out for Kanye West, he was signed onto West’s GOOD Music Inc.. His debut album “Finally Famous” was released four years later in 2011. The single “Dance (A$$),” featured on his debut album, served as his first hit.

Big Sean’s album “I Decided” is now available on Spotify and in stores as of this past Friday, Feb. 3. He features artists such as Eminem, Jeremih, Twenty88, Migos, the Flint Chosen Choir from Flint, Michigan, Starrah and The-Dream. The album draws from an inspiration of old-school R&B and soul artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations. It has 14 songs, the first of which is more of an introduction to his underlying theme that a single. His 50-minute tale features both highlights and lowlights, edging towards the former.

Sean’s “Intro” serves to put you in the proper mindset for the album. You hear an older man talking about how he has failed and about how he wants to change — while hearing the background noise of people and train stations. It works very well to set you up for the rest of the album — and the way it transitions straight into the next song “Light” is very smooth.

“Bigger Than Me” is his finale song. This was probably the best track on the album. The message, the same as the title, is repeated throughout the song. With The Flint Choir behind him, the song does give the listener a bit of a church vibe (especially considering Sean references God throughout the majority of his album). This is one of the stronger singles, holding up his theme; he raps about how he wants this song to inspire others and even provides an overlay of his mother and him on a phone call which makes it all very deep.

“Jump Out The Window” and “Moves” are more distilled rapping and the audience is definitely feeling the old R&B with these two. Sean strays away from the popular, which is nice to hear, but there is an unpleasant and heavy use of synthesizers. The quarrel with these songs is that there is no connection to his theme. It’s a lot about women and going out.

Though rap is deeply subjective, over, Sean’s offering was an OK album. His lyricism in comparison with other big artists is sub-par, but the message he is trying to represent is very well presented. He definitely has a plan for this album and it will be interesting to see how other people will react to it.

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