30 June, 2011@3:19 am
After creating a significant buzz for himself on his Finally Famous mixtape series, Detroit emcee, Big Sean, was snatched up by Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint, the first of a new generation of acts to represent the label. With Finally Famous: The Album, all of Sean’s hard work comes to fruition with his official debut LP.
From a production standpoint, Finally Famous delivers on every level. Produced almost entirely by No I.D., the album packs the G.O.O.D. Music signature sound through-and-through, with a level of quality that the label is synonymous with. From the album’s opening cut, “I Do It”, we find Sean hopping around No I.D.’s pianos and bouncy synth with his unique, goofy flow. As a matter of fact, the more dumbed down the beat, the more fun Sean is, as songs like the MC Hammer sampling “Dance (A$$)” and the Travis Porter helmed, Kanye West-assisted (and brilliantly titled) “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay” are delightful exercises in blissful ignorance.
However when the production is stepped up a notch, Sean’s subject matter unfortunately is not, limiting himself to cheesy punchlines, endless dick-rhymes, and just plain ignorance. One might expect when sharing the spotlight with John Legend on “Memories Pt. 2″ or Lupe Fiasco on “Don’t Wait For Me” that Sean might attempt to step it up a bit, but no.
That being said, the G.O.O.D. Music sound eclipses any chance for Big Sean to carve out his own identity, as the aforementioned “Don’t Wait For Me” sounds like a College Dropout dropout, while “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” sounds scarily like a bonus track from Drake’s Thank Me Later. Even his closing track, “So Much More”, finds him waxing poetically about his career over extended soul samples for a couple of minutes after his verses are done. Sound familiar?
All in all, Finally Famous is an entertaining, well-produced LP, and a much better release than expected from Big Sean. However the thought that lingers throughout the LP is that of “what if these beats were given to Common”? Or Consequence, for that matter? While Sean is light on substance and heavy on style, it may take some strengthening of his song structure before he’s really, truly, actually, finally famous.
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