Thursday, September 12, 2013

Big Sean – Hall of Fame (2013) – Review

Review: Big Sean is a talented but polarizing MC due to his delivery. For his fans, he is a skilled and funny lyrist, but for others he is nothing more than a punch line rapper whose voice sounds too poppy.

With Hall of Fame, Big Sean’s second studio release, he tries to both give his fans want they want, while still making an album that is relevant in today’s hip hop market. To that end, the album succeeds. It is a stronger release than Finally Famous (but only marginally). More than the body of work here, Sean seems to have grown as an artist and lyrist. He spends a large portion of this album actually telling stories and speaking about who he is and where he comes from in a much more inviting manner. The album feels personal and not just generic punch lines and stunting.

Musically, Big Sean has good chemistry with producers No ID and Key Wane, who handle most of the album’s production. While there are not really any standout tracks that just pop, overall Hall of Fame is good sonically. The beats fit Sean’s style. In terms of featured guests, the album has an okay mix, highlighted by NaS and Kid Cudi, but really most of the guesses add nothing. Sadly, what could have been the album’s best track with wonderful guests – Control featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronic – did not make the cut due to licensing issues.

While Hall of Fame is probably not going to win Big Sean any new fans, it is a good pop hip hop album that is worth checking out for those who like the GOOD Music brand. 3/5

Essential Tracks:
1)      Guap – Produced by Key Wane and Young Chop
2)      10 2 10 – Produced by No ID
3)      First Chain – Produced by No ID and Key Wane, featuring NaS and Kid Cudi

Available on: Digital Download

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