Big Sean has finally released his fourth studio album “I Decided”. As a fan, I have been rooting for Sean to throw off the underdog role and claim himself as a champion in the game who deserves some respek on his name.
I was nervous about what to expect from this album. With the success of Dark Sky Paradise and the Twenty88 project, Big Sean has started to get recognition for his skills and I didn’t want it to falter. Big Sean has been working his ass off since day one. He knows how to produce hits while showing versatility: Dance A$$, Supa Dupa Lemonade, Marvin & Chadonnay, Beware, IDFWU, Play No Games, Ashley, I Know, All Your Fault and Paradise, just to name a few. Those aren’t even his best songs. We not even including his chances of doing well on a feature is about 85%-90%: Clique, B-Boy, Work for It, Blessings, Burn and so many more. Debate ya mama. Despite people calling him corny or hating his voice, he still is a threat and I don’t know why it took so long for him to get some love.
After hearing Bounce Back, Moves and Halfway off the Balcony, my expectations for what Sean had in store were up in the air. Don’t get me wrong, I liked what I was hearing but I thought he would decide to spazz out and be vicious this time around. However, the vibes for I Decided is more of a sequel to Dark Sky Paradise as the rapper continues a mature tone of a man getting a second chance at life.
On the album concept:
The concept of the album is this is me & this is an older version of me. It’s parallel right there with each other, but the name of the album is ‘I Decided.’ I realized my whole life changed when I decided. I feel like life is about making right decisions at any point, or the wrong decisions. So the album is basically like having that wisdom of an old man while you’re young and going through life & figuring it out.
“Intro” portrays Big Sean as an old man (voiced by actor J.R. Starr) who is speaking to God about being unhappy about his life decisions right before getting hit by a car. On “Light” featuring Jeremih on the chorus, Big Sean gets a second shot at life to get things right as he raps about being persistent and determined no matter the obstacles. He delivers some lines Hood niggas takin’ chains, slave master take our names.5-0 take the shot, young souls take the blame and Ye found a pro, I guess I’m profound in this bitch was kinda cornyly clever I’m not gonna lie, these types of songs from him are usually a hit or miss for me but I ain’t mad at it The track starts with Sean saying, I spent my whole life trying to improvise. I’m not saying that shit for you to sympathize and from there he continues rapping from the heart. He’s telling his story but somehow it’s yours, too.
Who doesn’t like Bounce Back?
I think everyone can relate to taking an L but learning how to come back ten times harder. The flow switch ups compliment the Young Metro production as Big Sean let’s you know he is unstoppable. He really goes in on this song as catchy as it is, I think that’s overlooked.
“If you fuck with my glory, I’ma drop the L and get gory” I’m shook.
“Niggas change up more than wishin’ wells”
That underdog line got me thinking he read my Big Sean: The Underdog post on him caused he liked it on my Instagram. Coincidence? I think not.
Things get a little political on”No Favors” as the rapper talks about being black in America, the Flint water crisis and calls out copycats Damn, Sean, what happened to the humble attitude? I’m like, ‘Niggas took the flow, but I’m still standin’ too’. Let’s be honest, Eminem is the only thing bad about this song. His white boy trailer trash rap style didn’t age well and completely threw things off. Why do you wanna pee on Fergie? The “Aaron Hernandez” of rap? Sean over there showing love to grandma and Em over here trying to dice bitches up still. His verse just had a lot of “yikes” for me.
“Jump Out the Window” has the Detroit player putting on his cape to save a girl from an abusive relationship. Makes me wonder if this is about his boo Jhene Aiko. I feel like his softer romantic songs are underrated because he really knows how to capture the mood of a situation or feeling when it comes to love and relationship issues. The question isn’t, “Do he love ya?” The question is, “Do ya love yourself?” . Moves gets you out your feelings after the previous track. Big Sean gives us that Bounce Back feel as he let’s the competition know he’s the captain now.
We get back in our feelings with “Same Time Pt 1” with a feature from Jhene. I love this nasty duo. The chemistry between these two is undeniable and I can’t forgive them for making this track short. I will be waiting for the next Twenty88 album if it’s gonna keep providing sultry sexy songs like this.
As sweet as he can be, this nigga reminds you that he can also be petty as he takes shots at his past relationships on “Owe Me”. A lot of people need to cut my man a check. Things get real personal with “Halfway off the Balcony” but then “Voices in My Head/Stick to the Plan snatched its wig! 🔥🔥🔥 The beat and flow formula on that track makes it a stand out because he took it to another level. DAMN. I need more of this. I love when he takes this direction on songs and gets down and dirty flexing why he shouldn’t be doubted.
The last four tracks end the album on a high note as Big Sean shows love to his family on Inspire Me, his childhood on Sunday Morning Jetpack and continuing to grateful for his life journey on Sacrifices (with the Migos) and Bigger Than Me.
I Decided wasn’t how I expected the album to be but it was true to Big Sean’s style. I feel like the concept could have been put together a little better but the message and emotions in the tracks were clear.
I still feel like Big Sean is past this stage and I wanted more hard hitting songs like Voices in My Head, Bounce Back, Moves and No Favors but I also have to understand there are more sides to Big Sean than just those tracks. He has a story to tell. The influence of Kanye has always been prevalent in his sound as you hear the storytelling and honesty about family issues and life which is embodied throughout the project which are not always his strong points for me. Ok, that may just make me a jerk.
I think the only thing that could improve Sean Don is a dash of Ye’s ego. Listening to this album and his past work, his flows have been copied by other rappers for too long without getting his dues and he has been too nice about (Hi Drake). On No Favors he calls out his flow thieves and acknowledges that despite him being the humble guy, he knows he has the Midas Touch. He takes more shots on Moves Motherfuck the whole industry. Half of these niggas my mini-me’s and he tells no lies! His whole rap themes and structuring have been taken. You can’t listen to this album and not hear the similarities especially when you compare it to Drake’s discography. Same tings. They both love talking about their moms, always in their feelings and telling stories in their own ways. I’m not even gonna get into all of that because the jocking goes all the way back to the “pause, stop, flow” on Supa Dupa Lemonade. All I’m saying if Champagne Papi’s corny ass can get love, why can’t Sean Don?
I hope this year he continues to showcase his growth and take no prisoners. The flow, lyrics and confidence on No Favors, Moves, Voices in My Head and Halfway off the Balcony speak volumes. I think it’s safe to call this his best album so far and it’ll be entertaining to see what he does for the rest of 2017.