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Album Review: Big Sean – Hall of Fame

September 19, 2013 by
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Hall of Fame

Die-hard fans of the familiar bravado themed rap and effervescent beats are due to swap twerk anthems with a dose of pulling heart strings.

The Detroit native’s sophmore release – Hall of Fame tributes lyrical growth and staying humble, as a celebratory collective that solidifies his up and coming, and the fine sculpting of craft.

Blind faith paved way for Sean Anderson to a radio station in Detroit, chancing a close to flat zero shot at phasing Kanye West. Wordplay prowess later saw the signing to G.O.O.D Music in 2007, ensuing in formidable collaborations and Top 40 worthy singles.

Adopting a style in insolence, breakout single Dance (A$$) off his debut album Finally Famous, sampling MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This, rapid-fired it’s way to mainstream response and a strip club near you. It quickly took residency in the know, being the only instance bringing you ‘ass’ 150 million times in three and a half minutes.

The crunk-ready, synth-heavy single featuring Nicki Minaj charted Billboard’s Hot 100.

Cavalier demeanor and chattering bass lines left the game field for forthcoming album Detroit. Encompassing a sombre, slurring bass line coupled with nonchalant hooks, 24 Karats of Gold featuring J.Cole steers away from vocal e-beef and employs lyrical sentiment ‘why don’t schools teach more mathematics, less trigonometry and more about taxes.’

Hall of Fame comes in at No.3 on Billboards, selling 72,000 copies. With a prolific ensemble of accredited names in the scaffolding, Sean holds his own with tight lyrical game, toning it down on verbal gymnastics and rolling with instrumental punches.

Writer Alexander Izquierdo, having exchanged studio time with the likes of Rihanna and Soulja Boy lends his production competence on Nothing is Stopping You, Fire, and Beware. 

Kanye’s tour DJ Million $ Mano jumps on the wagon for the production of Ashley.

Opening track Nothing is Stopping You sampling Pharell Williams’ Rocket Theme, a cheering victory anthem, pays homage to relentless grind and unwavering work ethic – Sean’s showbiz motto. A motivational piece featuring Kanye on the interlude and his mom. Sean describes the unfolding of his dreams ‘What you know about feeling something, that you can’t even touch, what you know about smelling something, that you can’t even breathe.’

Beware re-incorporates echoing vocals of Jhene Aiko, sampleing 70’s Ain’t No Woman.’ A Kleenex-ready, lamenting sound that touches on caution with relationship drama. Slight offbeats and standout vocal pauses lightly tread between a steady bass line. Opening with a nostalgic heart-heavy verse ‘When you said it was over, you shot right through my heart,’ the track leaves for reminiscing over the crippling feel, smell, and taste of first heartbreak.

Commercially friendly track You don’t Know featuring electro indie pop singer Ellie Goulding, carries a searing slow burning instrumental ornamented with sledgehammer bass. Spit as hard hitting as Ellie’s cigarette ridden, husky hook, coupled with white noise and Saharan desert croons, the song takes you to a nether-land bordering an acid trip and the green room.

In this release, Sean didn’t adhere to the well worn lyrical formula of whipping Maybach and sipping Rozay. Hall of Famers Mike Dean, Travi$ Scott, No I.D on the production, but not without Lil Wayne’s ludicrous wordplay make for an album that will hold tight on the commercial ladder.


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