There’s no denying Big Sean is one of the most successful rappers in the game. He’s had hit after hit ever since he broke onto the scene and his previous full-length album “Dark Sky Paradise” gave him his first number one charting project.
Despite this many consider Sean a single’s rapper. That’s a stigma that clearly bothers him as he desperately tries to make every album “a classic.” On “Hall of Fame” he incorporated skits that didn’t work with the music and on “Dark Sky Paradise” he adopted a dark sound without the substance to support it.
“I Decided” is Sean Don’s fourth attempt of removing that chip off his shoulder.
“The album is basically a chance, of having that wisdom of an old man when you’re young, and going through life and figuring it out,” Sean said on Jimmy Fallon. This concept is present in the album but it merely floats on the surface.
The concept is loosely present on the album’s breakout song “Bounce Back,” which is about having the knowledge to bounce back when one takes a dreaded “L.” It’s a bouncy club banger produced by Metroboomin’ that would sound like everything else on the radio right now if it wasn’t for Sean’s impeccable flow.
Metroboomin’ is also present on “Stick to the Plan” which is up to par with “Bounce Back.” Again Sean’s flow and energy make the record stand out. It may seem like Sean is spitting nonsense over a hot beat as he tends to, but he is actually dropping some gems on this one.
“Voices in my head attacking what I’m thinking. Bullet to the head might be the way to free it. If I leave my body I can free the spirits. Swear to God my death of fear just keep on shrinking.”
However, there are indeed instances where Sean resorts to his usual nonsense over an up-tempo beat. On “Moves” Sean raps at one hundred miles per hour about stereotypical rapper topics: money and women. Things which Sean often claims he is not about.
At times it seems like Sean is rapping so fast that he runs out of topics to talk about. On the “Light” featuring Jeremih he even raps about the come up; a topic that has no place on a fourth album.
Sean does the same thing on “Sacrifices” featuring Migos. Once again he sticks to his comfort zone with a Metroboomin’ beat and spits sporadic lyrics about growing up in Detroit. Both Offset and Quavo from the Migos do the same thing on their verses, however, they have no problem being labeled as pop-rappers; rather they embrace it.
Whether Sean likes it or not, pop-rap is where he sounds the best. The best record on the album “Jump out the Window” relies on a catchy hook and a hypnotizing beat “I think I’m ready to jump out the window. And turn that nigga that you with right back into your friend though.”
While “I Decided” is not the classic concept album Big Sean was going for, it is definitely his best project to date. The album is full of great singles and Sean once again proves he has one of the most creative flows in the rap game today. Given that Big Sean has been on a constant progression since his first album perhaps the next one will be the one he’s aiming for.