Big Sean is a 32-year-old rapper from Detroit, Michigan. This month, he has been one of the most talked-about artists due to the success of his singles “Deep Reverence” and “Harder Than My Demons”. After a three year gap, Sean his back with his brand new album, “Detroit 2”. With an astounding promotional run and features from Eminem, Royce Da 5’9, and Travis Scott, to name a few, will Big Sean finally be able to make his classic album?
From the intro “Why Would I Stop?” to the conclusion, “Still I Rise”, it is clear Big Sean put his blood, sweat, and tears into this record. Putting his raw thoughts on display is not anything new to the Detroit MC but cuts like “Deep Reverence” and “Guard Your Heart” take this to new levels. Seeing Sean reminisce on the tragedy of Nipsey Hussle, Kobe Bryant, and the innocent who have died at the helms of American law enforcement will force the listener into a reflective train of thought. Furthering things, he does a lot of soul searching as he reflects on his past and personal relationships on cuts like “Full Circle” with Diddy and “Everything That’s Missing” with “Dwele”. On the lighter side of things, Sean still has bangers on this album with the Young Thug featured “Respect It” and his Travis Scott collaboration “Lithuania”. A definite standout was “Don Life” with Lil Wayne as the two deliver motivational verses that cover the luxurious lifestyle they worked years to get. Taking things back to the basement is where this record earns the title of being Detroit’s sequel. “The Baddest” and “Feed” are classical lyrical exercises where we see Sean blowing steam off on the microphone. There’s “Friday Night Cypher” at the pinnacle of these cuts, which is a posse cut between Detroit rappers old and new. Sean, Royce Da 5’9, Kash Doll, Boldy James, Tee Grizzley, 42 Dugg, and a few others, including Eminem, all deliver solid verses on this once-in-a-lifetime experience of a song. Overall, the dedication and determination Big Sean brings to “Detroit 2” makes it one of the most captivating performances of his entire career.
Sonically, producers like Hit-Boy, KeY Wane, Teddy Walton, and many others accompany Sean as they create the perfect soundtrack for him to rap over. Songs like “Why Would I Stop?” and “The Baddest” contain hard-hitting raw instrumentals while “Everythings That’s Missing” and “Body Language” has a modern RnB feel. “Don Life” contained one of my favorite instrumentals as it samples the classic Micheal Jackson song “Human Nature” gracefully. The three interludes on the record add knowledge, substance, and power to the LP. With narrations from Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, and the infamous Stevie Wonder, they all share inspirational stories over a soft piano. “Friday Night Cypher” felt like a record within itself as it switched between an instrumental that samples the Clipse hit “Grindin” to a traditional trap beat, and a jazz-inspired instrumental. “Still I Rise” ended things perfectly with its angelic and engulfing sound. As a whole, the diverse and proficient soundscape this record has to offer makes every moment feel unique and distinct.
In summary, “Detroit 2” lived up to the hype as it is arguably Big Sean’s best work to date. Aside from some cringe singing and slight filler, there are not many flaws within the 21 song tracklist. Hip hop fans of all ages and creeds can enjoy this project as it utilizes styles from boom bap to trap. Going forward, I hope Big Sean and his LP get the recognition and respect they deserve!