Big Sean has risen out of Detroit as a prominent artist in today’s rap community. With the aid of Kanye West, Sean has now released 4 albums. Upon the release of his newest album, I Decided to rank his albums from best to worst.
1. Dark Sky Paradise
Released in February of 2015, Dark Sky Paradise is Sean’s third studio album. Questions were circling on whether Sean could have a future in this industry, and he assuredly put them to rest. Released with three other songs in the September before, “I Don’t Fuck With You,” became an instant hit and set up major hype for the coming project. Not every song is a banger such as IDFWY, but he definitely delivers multiple tracks with enough oomph. We finally see the proof in the pudding where his dedication has paid off. Spitting more ferociously, he gave every song a line fans will remember. The best part of this album is not only his confidence, but that his lyrics portray it:
“Headed to the game for OK seats, now I’m court side at OKC.”
“Crew looked like we robbed a bank, but all we make is deposits.”
Dark Sky Paradise is without doubt Sean’s best project. He developed nearly five hit singles off the album, all receiving certifications and accolades. This is where the rapper truly found his stride, and developed a certain kinetic energy with his flow. Featuring big artists such as: Kanye West, Drake, Ariana Grande, and Chris Brown, it will arguably be his biggest project for years to come.
2. I Decided
His newest released album, has already caught on as a success. “I Decided” is written from the point of view that Sean’s life changed when he decided. The two men displayed on the cover art, are Big Sean from the past and himself again, in the present. On The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Sean told fans that the songs display a chance to go back through your trials and tribulations with the knowledge you hold now. Supported by two singles, “Bounce Back” and “Moves,” I Decided was an instant hit. Released in October, “Bounce Back” is STILL ranked at #9 on Billboard’s top 100. Listening to I Decided, we get more personal with Sean. He opens up about personal struggles, and takes to a religious feel on some songs:
“This feels like my Sunday morning jet pack
Feel like I sent the prayer up and got blessed back.”
In Sunday Morning Jetpack, a song he performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Sean compares the feelings and memories of his childhood as a lift to new heights. Still not contained, this new project is constantly on the rise. Ranked at number 2, I Decided is another piece of art put together by a household name in hip-hop.
3. Finally Famous
Released in June of 2011, Finally Famous, was Big Sean’s debut album. The first album produced by mentor Kanye West, was an instant hit. Sean takes to rapping about the life of the famous, which at the time was very popular (Drake, Kanye). Taking a new direction, Sean’s album switches from soul beats, to heavier tracks, and on down to straight entertainment. Featuring his Mr. Miyagi of the rap game, Marvin and Chardonnay ft. Kanye West, shows Sean running circles on the beat. In his own style, the rapper speeds up his rapping to end with a pileup of lyrics. Featuring a high profile of artists (The Dream, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye, Wiz Khalifa), Big Sean almost looks out of place on his own album. The foundation that started it all, I rank this album third mostly due to Sean’s recent success.
4. Hall Of Fame
The rising star’s sophomore album, Hall of Fame, was released in April of 2013. After his debut album, Finally Famous, fans were expecting Sean to only go up. Reviews didn’t go Sean’s way and fans were disappointed as it appeared he had plateaued upon the first. There is definitely some good tracks on this album. I disagree with the songs Sean chose to endorse, as the ones he didn’t were more musically sound in my opinion. The second track on the album “Fire,” features Sean taking on a soul beat while paying homage to his home town of Detroit:
“Every time I spit a verse, my city like preach! Homies thought I got evicted, how my shit up in the streets!”
This album had potential, but featured too many filler tracks with really no purpose or direction. It definitely has some very strong instrumental choices, and his lyrics are catchy per usual. It just doesn’t flow together as strongly as the rest of his discography. As a fan I would hope Sean purposely didn’t put much effort into this project, in order to make Dark Sky Paradise all the more impressive.