Big Sean is poised to be music’s next superstar, if not already – at least in the hip-hop genre. The Detroit-native has always carried himself in a down-to-earth manner all while rapidly rising through the ranks of music’s elite. Only six years removed from his debut record, Finally Famous, Big Sean has grown exponentially and continuously impresses with each listen, performance and album.
After weaving through numerous emotions on Dark Sky Paradise, his third installment, I Decided. follows suit, but features a characteristic that’s reached its peak: confidence.
After a self-reflective 64-second intro, I Decided. opens with “Lights,” aided by R&B artist Jerimih. Big Sean immediately offers a peek into his soul, admitting:
Spent my whole life tryna find the light that’s at the end of the tunnel, I should have realized it was inside / So lately I been trying to get what’s inside outside, so many people wanna see my insides outsides
The artist introduces the audience the reflective nature of the album, which Big Sean illustrated in weeks leading up to the album’s release. On tracks such as “Jump Out The Window” and “Halfway Off The Balcony,” the artist breaks down his emotions and reveals that metaphorically he nearly gave in to his haters wishes. However instead of the suicide notion, Big Sean offers his realization that the superficial lifestyle that many of his peers admire actually has little value: “‘Cause actually, I realized time’s the most valuable, actually”
Unlike other rappers that struggle to share their innermost thoughts and instead ramble on about meaningless topics, Big Sean isn’t scared to unveil his true self to the world. Big Sean is all heart on “Inspire Me,” a dedication to his mother who’s sacrificed so much to ensure that her son had the opportunity to fulfill his dreams. While Big Sean has always offered praise for his mother throughout his career, few previous tracks compare to the sentiments offered on “Inspire Me.”
One of Big Sean’s greatest gifts is his ability to mix sincere and expressive lyrics with club-banging beats. While I Decided. doesn’t feature as many bangers as in albums past, notable tracks such as lead single “Bounce Back” and “No Favors” suffice. Wary of flirting with the trap music trend – which accentuate’s Big Sean’s respective image – he taps into the identity with “Moves” reminiscent of the 2011 crowd pleaser “Dance (A$$).”
I Decided. isn’t the first personal offering from Big Sean, but it is the most polished to date. After seven years in the game, he’s seen and experienced it all. At 28 years old, he’s undeniably an adult in the most literal definition one that knows just who he wants to be and where he wants to go.