I Decided - Big Sean
Detroit rapper Big Sean released his highly anticipated fourth studio album, I Decided, on Feb. 3. It has been met with widespread praise as it debuted at number three on Billboard charts.
John: What really makes this album special is that we finally see some progression in Big Sean’s discography. I Decided shows that Big Sean has learned how to project his creativity and musical prowess in a way that hasn’t been shown before by the Detroit rapper.
Omari: Big Sean comes into himself with this album. His lyricism, production and themes are on a whole new level. For example, in "Sacrifices" he talks about how he’s done with the club life with bottles and models and essentially wants something more. His delivery even inspires the featured Migos to imitate in a way and admit their own faulty desires - to a lesser extent though.
"Light (feat. Jeremih)"
Omari: Big Sean opens up with a wonderfully melodic organ and choir symbolizing his newfound sight of truth and hope, the "light". This is definitely a stretch, as he is very humble on this album, but it seems as if he’s found religion based on the themes in this album.
"Jump Out The Window"
Omari: "Jump Out the Window" is a true banger. It has an unorthodox opening sample, but the piano meshes it together very nicely. This is one of the best songs on the album, if not best production. However, his lyrics are weak and basic here, for this album at least. In contrast with someone like Rich Homie Quan, his lyrics shine--but there’s something missing. Don’t get me wrong, this track is a nice listen, equipped with nice flows, amazing beat and great vocal backing, but it could’ve been so much more. Kudos to whoever made the beat though, you my good friend, have talent.
John: "Jump Out the Window" stood out to me immediately as an example of the progression that Big Sean has made as an artist. Although this is certainly not the most lyrically in-depth song he has ever made, "JOTW" blends together a fantastic beat and melodic vocals with a lot of emphasis on the ends of words. Definitely one of my favorite tracks.
Omari: This is a very basic track and pretty boring if we are being honest. I don’t know why he made this. The best parts are the last 20 secs where he is direct and emotional. “I’m a don I’m a don…..” That’s it. Last 20 secs and skip.
John: I agree with Omari about "Moves" being basic, but it definitely will get plays in the clubs.
Omari: "Owe Me" represents the darker half of the themes on this album. The opening piano sequence evokes imagery of an aftermath and that’s exactly what this song is about: the aftermath of betrayal and the pain that accompanies it.
“All that shit you told me I believed, the smile on your face the only thing I can’t read”
“You so, fucking, out of, line”
“All you ever did was take from me”
Just in time for Valentine's Day, this track delivers a petty anthem. It’s difficult to understand exactly what happened to him, but it seems as if he and his past partner grew together, and she may have cheated on him and left, or just left him. It's hard to tell. His lyrics are direct but vague, craftily done in such a way so that whoever he’s talking about knows but we just have to sit here and guess. Or maybe we all do know and he did it for plausible deniability . . .
"Sunday Morning Jetpack (feat. The-Dream)"
John: This track touches on the importance of religion in Sean’s life. It's an uplifting track that walks us through his childhood, highlighting his prom and homecooked meals. This continues the narrative that Big Sean has moved on from clubs and bottle life and is longing for a home life.
"Sacrifices (feat. Migos)"
John: Big Sean’s verse in this song borders on legendary, with bars like:
“My girls is a mix of Aaliyah and Sade, I came along way from that Marvin and Chardonnay”
This is where we see Big Sean at his best. Throw in a great feature from Migos and this song has every quality of a Song of the Year candidate.
"Bigger Than Me (feat. The Flint Chozen Choir & Starrah)"
Omari: I Decided ends on the best track of the album. He realizes his current situation and returns to his roots. He has become a symbol of hope for other people, and has the God-given ability to inspire others. He’s reached success--and instead of the party life, he's decided there's more fulfilling things he can be doing. The closing dialogue highlights this newfound humbleness and the self-realization through a conversation with his mother, where he reflects on his success and thanks her.