It feels like a lot more than 2 years since Big Sean released his debut album, Finally Famous. The release of the album in 2011 had huge buzz due to his big single “My Last,” featuring Chris Brown. Since then Sean has kept busy by providing some memorable verses on GOOD Music posse cuts like “Mercy” and “Clique.” This time around, I felt “Guap” would be just that but that simply hasn’t been the case. The album was delayed for a while but finally got a release date in June and his “Beware” single featuring Jhené Aiko and Lil Wayne was released just days after the announcement. The single has been doing okay but with the official release of “Fire” and “Control,” the album’s buzz was in better hands.
The album is kicked off with Big Sean telling us the story of when he first met and rapped for Kanye West at a radio station in Detroit. It’s a really crazy story that he has talked about in countless interviews but I think this is the first time he has put it on a song. “Fire” is the single that immediately follows the intro and even though I mentioned it earlier, I feel this is one of the best songs on the album. The video that accompanies the song is not bad at all either (Hi Miley!). Another notable track that comes up early on the album is “Toyota Music.” The dope production and simple hook makes it another early favorite on the new album.
A majority of the production on Hall of Fame is handled by No I.D., who also had a bulk of the production on Sean’s debut. No I.D. isn’t the only Chicago producer featured on the album with Young Chop, Million $ Mano and Da Internz all making appearances on the new album. The song “MILF,” produced by Da Internz, will probably be the most talked-about song from this release. Big Sean raps about, well, Milfs. It’s a pretty hilarious track and Nicki Minaj’s rapping from the perspective of a Milf makes it even funnier. The Million $ Mano-produced “Ashley” should make things pretty awkward between Sean and his current girlfriend. Big Sean raps about wanting to stay with his past girlfriend, with Miguel handling hook duties. This may have some type of potential on the radio.
There are a few more dope collaborations on the album aside from the joints with Jhené, Wayne and Miguel. My favorite of the remaining collaborations is the Nas and Kid Cudi-assisted “First Chain.” Nas provides a dope verse as expected and Cudi adds his unique touch to the hook which makes it that much better. Cudi’s verse sheds some light on his relationship with GOOD Music as well; things seem to be good between him and the crew. Sean’s track with James Fauntleroy towards the end of the album, “World Ablaze,” may not be as big of a collaboration as the others I talked about, but it will definitely be a fan favorite when it’s all said and done. Sean and Fauntleroy kill it on the hook. Big Sean’s collaboration with Ellie Goulding on “You Don’t Know” is the only collab on the album that I felt should be altered. A bit more of Ellie Goulding would have the already-good song a lot better. The hook sounds like it’s just a sample instead of a feature. The closing track on the album feels like more of a motivational speech. On “All Figured Out,” Sean talks about how far he is from actually “figuring it out.” He provides some pretty good advice to those that may be in the position he was before he signed with GOOD or just trying to make it in the world on their own terms:
“…We create this world so we make what exists
It isn’t about the award, it’s about the award of being immortalized
And remembered for all the right reasons
Mistakes are forgotten, no footprints of any missteps
So when it’s so late that it’s early
And you need a drink even though the bar’s closed
Remember why you do what you do
For the coldest drinks, the fastest cars, luxury
The adrenaline rush of creating what you think about
With who thinks about you:
Your family, your team
The joy of looking back and saying that you did it
Winning the game: Hall of Fame.”
Be sure to pick up Big Sean’s Hall of Fame when it hits stores on August 27th here.
Key Tracks: Fire, First Chain, All Figured Out, Beware, Mona Lisa, Ashley