G.O.O.D Music recording artist Big Sean has returned with his highly anticipated sophomore album, Hall of Fame. Sean is a lightning rod in rap circles, you either really love or him or really hate him. A little guy who calls himself “big” and raps about big things can be a little grating. Regardless, the Detroit rapper has the support of music institutions like Kanye West and Def Jam Records behind him and that’s enough to boost anyone’s ego.
Hall of Fame begins with the Key Wane produced, ‘Nothing Is Stopping You’. The song finds Sean recounting his chance meeting with Kanye West and later giving a hopeful rapper the same opportunity. “I mean I can’t lie he was alright and at his age, sh*t, so was I/So I give him my e-mail on the fly, and if his song’s good I’ll reply,” Sean raps.
The album’s current single ‘Fire’ is equally inspirational. Sean litters the infectious beat with his trademark punch lines and parables. “I woke up this morning, rolled a joint and got to it/Can do anything in this world except not do it,” Sean rapped.
The mood of Hall of Fame changes on the ultra-offensive, tune ‘10 2 10’. Political correctness and Hip-Hop have never really gone hand-in-hand but this song takes the cake. Big Sean obnoxiously yells on the chorus, “I woke up working like a Mexican/That mean I work from ten to ten.”
‘Beware’ is a catchy pop tune that features Lil’ Wayne and Jhene Aiko. The radio–friendly track finds Sean crooning alongside Aiko to positive results. Sean sings, “When you said it was over you shot right through my heart/Why you let these hoes tear what we had right apart/Oooh I was so mad, I could have seen this coming right from the start/You should beware, beware, beware of a woman with a broken heart.”
Sean invites Nicki Minaj and Juicy J to the party on the comical ‘MILF’. Sean celebrates cougars on Da Internz produced track that’s certain to conjure up laughter. “You n*ggas stick to yo’ young hoes/I got a freak that wash, dry, and fold clothes,” Sean quips.
Hall of Fame concludes with the No I.D. produced, ‘All Figured Out’. Sean goes the introspective route once again over one of Dion’s more forgettable tracks. Soft drums and seldom-used synths accompany Sean’s lyrics that mean well but flat out go too far. “They taught me that I had a dream, black history month/I wake up and treat the day like stack history month/I’m talking Malcolm Flex, Jesse Rackson, front of the plane I’m Rosé Parks/SUV, swerving like it’s O.J.'s car,” Sean raps.
Hall of Fame features appearances by Lil’ Wayne, Common, Nicki Minaj, Juicy J, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Kid Cudi, Young Jeezy, Nas, Payroll, Early Mac, Jhene Aiko, James Fauntleroy, and Miguel.
A slew of A-list features aside, Hall of Fame has one too many sonic and lyrical inconsistencies. Throughout the album Big Sean takes giant leaps forward in his rhymes and follows them up with equivalent steps backwards. Musically, Sean can’t decide if he wants to be trap or boom bap. These bipolar episodes prevent Hall of Fame from being Hall of Fame worthy.
Purchase: Big Sean - Hall of Fame