ALBUM REVIEW: Big Sean’s Hall of Fame
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 17:09
Big Sean is back at it with his sophomore album, “Hall of Fame,” which was released on Aug. 27. His first album, “Finally Famous,” had radio hits like “My Last,” “Marvin and Chardonnay” and “Dance (A$$)” that garnered a loyal fan following.
“Hall of Fame” differs from Big Sean’s debut studio album in the sense that no tracks stand out as definite hits, aside from this summer’s “Beware.” Yet, this produces a consistent message throughout the album that hard work is a vital component of life, and this is something the rapper thanks for his successes.
The lyrics in many of these songs share the thought that despite adversity, Big Sean was able to gain the fame he sought after for many years before becoming famous. Tracks like “Nothing is Stopping You,” “All Figured Out” and “Fire” make the album seem overwhelmingly personal and reflects on Big Sean as a rapper. “Nothing is Stopping You” even features his mom sharing her words of wisdom at the end of the song.
In addition to the theme of “Hall of Fame,” the album features an all-star cast of artists on numerous tracks. From Lil Wayne to Miguel to Ellie Goulding, the album is immeasurably better with the addition of these collaborations as Sean incorporates the talents of singers and rappers different from his own style, making the album more versatile.
Big Sean falters in a few songs, which seem thrown together and rely too much on repetitive verses and needless sexual lyrics. “MILF,” which features Nicki Minaj, is actually more humorous than something anyone would want to admit listening to. It seems as if the rapper modeled the song after his last collaboration with Minaj, “Dance A$$” from his first album, but “MILF” comes off as creepy instead of playful. A few other songs evoke this reaction, such as “Toyota Music.” While Big Sean’s previous tracks that tried to use racy lyrics to grab listener’s attention seemed to be worthwhile, this album is not able to do this in a desirable way..
Despite a few minor setbacks, Big Sean’s personal touches to the album still outshine the seemingly forced tracks. “Ashley” is an impeccable example of Big Sean’s ability to stray from his typical tracks and make them a success. The track was written for Sean’s ex-girlfriend, and it is emotionally authentic with the combination of honest verses from Sean and smooth vocals from Miguel. The track might differ from the rest of the album, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best.
Big Sean may still be a rookie in the world of rap with “Hall of Fame” only being his second studio album, but the songs presented on this album highlight his talent as a rapper and his journey to gaining fame.