#Big Sean is back. The Detroit rapper has constantly been evolving in his rap career. From his mixtape days to present time, no Big Sean #Album has sounded exactly the same as its predecessor. In some ways, that's beneficial for his development as a leader in the industry. In other ways, it makes it hard to continually connect with his music, as is the case with his latest work, "#I Decided."
About the album
"I Decided" is the fourth studio album from Big Sean. GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings released the record on February 3, 2017.
This album follows a collaborative album with Jhene Aiko, as well as 2015's "Dark Sky Paradise," the rapper's first record to peak at the top of the Billboard chart. "I Decided" would follow in its footsteps while having a slightly less dark vibe to it.
In some ways, this seems like the most vulnerable state we've seen Big Sean in. He is revealing a state of depression enveloping the rapper, whether genuine or contrived from a famous persona. Either way, there is a palpable emotional depth to his lyrics and mentality. "Halfway Off the Balcony" is a good example, both in name and theme.
Yet at times, the whole album just loses its direction. It falls into the typical machismo rap trap all artists fall into at times. It comes off as entirely unnecessary bravado on "I Decided." For instance, "Owe Me" has a familiar melody to Big Sean fans, but also includes a gratuitous Harambe reference -- just for show.
The first single is arguably the best song on the album.
"Bounce Back" has both strong flow and strong thematic ideas. "Moves" is fine as a single too, though if you accidentally pull the earbud out for an instant, the song is over.
The features on "I Decided" are all over the place. Jeremih lends a light voice to "Light." Despite the hype around his verse on "No Favors," Eminem's flow is decidedly unremarkable, for once. Other stars include Jhene Aiko, The-Dream, and Migos, who all put in solid if unspectacular contributions.
Big Sean is more intriguing when he is allowing himself to be hurt or be honest in his own music. "Voices in My Head/Stick to the Plan" is an immediate follow-up of "Halfway Off the Balcony," where the pain in the rapper's voice is coming through in a striking way. He turns his emotion into one of the nastiest flows on the whole album with stunning virtuosity.
The religious complex is also a vital aspect of his work.
The Migos-featured "Sacrifices" hits on an obvious attribute of positive karmic delivery. On "Sunday Morning Jetpack," Big Sean appears to reference his own song "Blessings," as well as a Chance the Rapper motto when he talks about blessings coming back to him. The lyrics allow him to take the album to a deeper place.
Gospel to one isn't gospel to another, though. Big Sean mixes his decadent flows and messages with an obtuse need to fit into the rap crowd. "I Decided" proved to be less of a decision and more of a sign of indecision as to where to move forward. The album is both a step forward and a step in place as the Detroit rapper tries to forge a new path.
Best Song: "Bounce Back" -- A single should be one of the stronger songs on an album.
Worst Song: "Inspire Me" -- The Big Sean verses felt circular on this track.