Big Sean is back after two years with the 14-track LP, I Decided, his fourth studio album. The Detroit-based rapper began teasing his next project in late 2016 with the single “Bounce Back”, which has since gone gold. He followed with the release of singles “Moves” and “Halfway Off the Balcony”. On February 3rd, he dropped the album.
The intro consists of what sounds like an elderly man talking to God while crossing the street. The clip ends with what can be assumed to be the man being hit a car. This goes into track two, “Lights” featuring Jeremih, which acts as a sort of rebirth of the man. This already gives a much more uplifting tone than the album’s much darker predecessor Dark Sky Paradise (2015). This theme of rebirth is constant throughout the rest of the tracks.
“Bounce Back”, the third track on the record is one of the standouts of the album. Kanye West played a large role in producing and writing on the track, and it is also the inspiration for the name of the album. In an extended version of the song, Sean raps about how he is changing his lifestyle, saying “I decided that counting money never feels as good as counting blessings.”
The LP also includes strong features from Eminem and Migos. Jhene Aiko makes an appearance too. He has worked with Sean many times before as the hip-hop duo Twenty88. Eminem’s verse in “No Favors”, lasts just over two minutes, and speaks of his journey as a self-made success. He also gets political, bashing President Donald J Trump as well as conservative political commentator Ann Coulter. Eminem anger shines through, bringing back the Slim Shady persona that brought him his success.
The album becomes a little darker on the track, “Voices In My Head”. The voices are allegedly telling Sean that he could do better. This is paired with a slow tempo and heavy bass to give a very somber feeling. But the track turns around in part two of the track “Stick to the Plan”, where Sean raps about staying focused on his work.
“Sacrifices” is one of Sean’s more personal tracks on the album; he talks about everything that he has given up to get where he is. The track also has a fitting feature from Migos. The LP’s final track, “Bigger Than Me”, ends the album on a very positive note. The choir featured does a good job of adding a lot of power to the track. The last minute in the song is a recording of a phone call between Sean and his mother.
Fans had very high expectations for Big Sean after waiting nearly two years for his next album, but I Decided lived up to the hype. Early projections of sales show it as being one of Sean’s most successful albums.
- Cameron Rivera