Hip Hop | Rap
For me, Big Sean was that kind of hip-hop artist that I would only catch (and usually enjoy) on a select few other tracks in which he is a featured artist, despite my very vague knowledge of how long the Detroit rapper has been in the game now, so to speak.
And with his newest album release, Detroit 2, follows quite closely ahead of his feature for alongside Don Toliver on what is currently my new favourite track on Nas’ latest record, Kings Disease, with the song itself being titled “Replace Me”, it was one of the few factors that enticed me to think it only fair if I gave this brand new record a proper listen.
I say “one of the few factors” due to the fact that Detroit 2 also has what is arguably one of the most impressive lists of featured artists that I have seen on an album this year. With artists such as Anderson .Paak, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and dozens more all having their part to play in Detroit 2, the album becomes equivalent to some kind of hip-hop festival fantasy, with the city of Detroit at the very heart of it.
Those two factors, along with the more-than-generous total of 21 tracks, and the incredibly eye-catching album cover, allowed this album to reek with a sense of importance and memorability before I even set my attention on the music within. But with that said, I was certainly excited to dive in.
And my excitement was certainly made valid by the earliest segment of the album. In fact, I haver near to no negativity to pick out from tracks 1 through 5. This chunk of the album did a marvellous job at showing just how well Big Sean can work with all the different styles of beats. Furthermore, said beats really allow this part of the album to be an enjoyably versatile experience.
And while the enjoyable tracks certainly didn’t stop at that, I did unfortunately find that they became a bit more scarce for me as the record progressed, with more and more tracks either coming across as very plain and flavourless, or very soundcloud-like and rough-around-the-edges, which I honestly feel doesn’t suit Big Sean’s more serious demeanour on the majority of Detroit 2.
However, while the enjoyable tracks appear less frequently in the later part of the album, I would also counter that by saying that those that were enjoyable, were arguably even more memorable than what we were treated to in the earlier chunk of Detroit 2. In other words, this has somehow been a long enough record, that it has successfully switched from being consistently good, to inconsistently amazing; from a quantity type situation, to a quality one.
And how can I talk about the gems that appear in the album’s later half, without mentioning the closing finale that is “Still I Rise”, which is arguably one of the most nostalgic and soulful hip-hop tunes I have heard in a very long time. The soaring melody, the triumphant trumpets, and the gorgeous vocal melody all come together to make a flawless end to this project, and had me leave the album both satisfied, and appreciative of what had went into this album from a narrative standpoint.
In short, while still having a hefty amount of duds (mostly at fault of the vast length), the tracks I did enjoy and the more-than-apparent amount of love and Detroit soul put into the record, still allows to be an exceptionally memorable experience.
Favourite Tracks: Guard Your Heart | Don Life | Still I Rise
Least Favourite Track: The Baddest
Getting Out Our Dreams | Def Jam Recordings | UMG Recordings