A conscious Big Sean delivers big on new album

Album Review: Big Sean I Decided

Kahlil Dukes

Detroit’s very own Big Sean dropped his fourth rap album I Decided this month. Well known for his creative, rugged and hardcore flow, Sean took a different approach on his new project. This album is full of personal, self-conscious lyricism, intriguing interludes, bouncy instrumentals like hit singles “Bounce Back” and “Moves”, and political views. And quite frankly, he did not take any L’s with this one, as each track shows that the 28-year-old MC is a “real one”. If one were to say that Sean’s last album Dark Sky Paradise (2015) was not his best performance, he definitely “bounced backed” this time. 

“Look, all I ever did was beat the odds,” Sean says on “No Favors.” “Cause when you try to get even it just don’t even out.” Sean’s confidence in his craft is seen throughout the album. 

 “Everything lined up for the taken,” he raps in the hook of “No Favors.” “And what I need from ’em? / No favors.” 

With this album, Sean has us all ready to “Jump Out The Window.” He takes a Drake-like flow on the hook, saying:

“I think I’m ready to jump out the window / and turn that n***a that you with right back into your friend though.” Sean even gives listeners a reflection of themselves. 

“The question isn’t ‘Do he love ya?’ The question is, ‘Do ya love yourself?’, he raps in “Jump Out The Window.” “You give the best advice to your friends and not take it for yourself.” 

But this is not the only track that Sean flows on like a different artist. The seemingly gospel-rap-like track”Bigger Than Me” sounds much like the craft of Chance The Rapper. This mix of different flows keeps listeners anxious for the next song to play, excited to see what Sean is going to say next and how it’s going to be said. 

Sean taps into his consciousness in “Halfway Off The Balcony”, and how he’s “overthinkin’ ’cause [his] job is way more than a salary / Everything around [him] gold like [he] just practiced alchemy / [He] realized when it comes to girls that chemistry means way more than anatomy / She mad at [him], she been mad at [him].”

Despite his hardships and the “Voices In [His] Head” mentioned, Big Sean has continued to “Stick To The Plan.”

“Thanking God for all my set backs,” he says in “Sunday Morning Jetpack.” “Cause he the reason I’m able to get back.”

One might wonder how many phone calls Sean ignores a day, because of the amount of interludes on the project where Sean’s phone rings and he does not pick up. Even if it’s his mother. But these are “Sacrifices” Sean has had to make to make himself a better man, progress as an artist, and deliver such a masterful album. 

However, the distance between him and his mother does bother him. Sean reflects on his relationship and love for his mother on “Inspire Me.”

“Momma you know you inspire me,” he says. “If I ever made you not feel like it then this is my apology – So sorry.” 

Sean delivered like his first name with this album – Big. This may be his best work yet, and he still has so much left to create, live, experience and give us. As music fans anticipate his next album, it is only right that they enjoy I Decided until then. This is not an album to get tired of. 

Guess it’s safe to say that Sean “sent the prayers up and got blessed back.”


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