Detroit – Big Sean – The STiXXclusive Review

“I give her that D, cuz that’s where I was born & raised in” – Big Sean (Mercy)

Technically he was born in California, but it doesn’t matter at this point. Tupac was born in New York, but claimed California, so like I said, it means nothing really about where you’re from – sometimes. Big Sean has been on such a surge of fame in the last couple of years, and just watching it really develop in front of your eyes is pretty crazy when the kid is only 24 (and here I am at 23 not even remotely close to his success, but we  all can’t have it the same way).

For many people who don’t really know his story, it’s pretty much an inspiring one. If you listen to his older mixtapes, he talks about it, but if you’re not familiar, Big Sean found out that Kanye West was in Detroit at a radio station (2005) and he wanted to go down there and rap for him. Kanye was leaving the station, Big Sean pleaded for only a couple of minutes to drop a freestyle, and well…you know what happened after that. He signed with G.O.O.D Music & the wave of success carried with that.

Although his album wasn’t as good as many expected it to be, he’s been having killer verses in 2012 (Burn – with Meek Mill – is probably his best verse this year), and with the release of this mixtape, there was much anticipation from him.

The people said that this mixtape “…is what Finally Famous (album) should’ve sounded like..” and through hearing that (because I couldn’t listen to it at the time), I was more excited to hear it from before when I was just curious and a little anxious. Especially since the mixtape previews were so dope, and Big Sean appeared to be back in his old form, but of course their were many things to consider because he had his ‘Bubble gum flow’ that many people were still attached to, so it was all about a matter of listening and figuring out what to expect.

From the first song, I could already tell that it was going to be something special. ‘Higher’ showed us a side of Big Sean that was really talking about where he had come from to where he’s at right now. It’s like a coming of age story that he’d be telling throughout the mixtape, of course flaunting about success, but when you’ve been broke for so long and you get rich off of what you love to do, why not talk about it? Some go about it ways that are annoying, but this was pretty good. Staying humble is what many expect people to do, but not many do. Big Sean did in the opening track.
24K of Gold was a great collaboration between Big Sean & J.Cole, because for 1, J.Cole has been on hiatus for the longest time, but has recently put out new music for the people to anticipate his 2nd album (and his 1st album did do well, and it wasn’t even all that great). Secondly, the stories of both of them essentially living in a dream was wrapped up in a way that was enchanting to the ear because production already has been solid (it’s the 2nd song, by the way).
How It Feel is Big Sean’s golden highlight of his career, because the flow was insane, and the song itself fuelled with a Barry White sample (it helps to be from Motown sometimes) was bouncy and it was overall enjoyable. I heard this song in one of his mixtape preview videos and I fell in love with it. Although he isn’t saying anything new in his lyrics, it’s a great song overall. That’s just how I feel (You see what I did there)
Who knew that Young Chop would go from producing one of Rap’s largest summer anthems (Chief Keef’s ‘I Don’t Like) to doing mixtape production for Big Sean? That’s a giant leap if you ask me. He produced 2 songs on this mixtape (Woke Up Mula) and he really went to work. Big Sean brought a diverse range of beats to this mixtape and it was already evident that he’d improved himself, which is a breath of fresh air, because I don’t think the people want to hear “Ass ass ass ass ass ass ass ass ass” anymore. He’s way better than that. Woke Up is a wicked song in itself, although I didn’t know who any of the artists featured on the track were, it was still dope.
In the beginning of Experimental, I thought it was Kid CuDi (who I’m still mad at for giving us that terrible ‘WZRD’ project), but ironically it was his protegé, Chip the Ripper (or now know as King Chip…whatever). Juicy J (MM-HM) is the Trippy King and for the subject of this song being about ‘experimenting’ with drugs, everyone knows that “you say no to drugs, Juicy J can’t”, so it fit and again, production has been DRIVING this mixtape, and it’s been really enjoyable at this point.
When the beat for Mula dropped, I was like…Jesus, Lord, have mercy please. Trap beats have become the new norm in hip hop (well, mainstream hip hop) but this is a wicked beat. It’s a song about money and that there’s nothing more important (debatable, but true). Here’s some bullshit – I don’t even like French Montana, but when he said “Diamond chains, hunnit rings, slick rick da rula (HAAAAA)” then the beat drops? OH GOD! *Big Sean voice* Listen, there are certain rappers that are just meant for hype, not understanding and intellectual stimulation. French is one of those rappers, and he BODIED this track.
I had no idea that one of my favourite rappers, Kendrick Lamar, was on this mixtape until I saw the song title for 100 in my iTunes. This was a crazy collaboration that also featured the likes of Detroit’s own ‘Royce Da 5’9, who’s one-quarter of Slaughterhouse and they just released their album. This song is deep because it gives you a perspective that you can (somewhat) relate to. If you think of 100 things to do before you die, what would you do? Life can end at any moment, so why not just go after what you want to make your life better? Simple enough, yet many don’t exactly share the same viewpoints, because people are trying to make it to tomorrow or even next week with no idea how to get there. Don Cannon producing this beat was impressive, because no one really looks at him as a producer, but more of that loud voice over mixtapes. Everyone on this track had a solid verse because they just kept it real and I could pretty much relate to because when you’re in a position that you have to go outside of the box to make something happen, this song gives you a lot of enlightenment. To quote Nathaniel

Let me be the first to say that ‘My Last’ was highly annoying. I hated that song, so I was like “another Chris Brown feature? Lord” BUT…much like the rest of this album, Sellin’ Dreams surprised the hell out of me. A better produced song, a better hook, and more enjoyable and it was just blended perfectly. Honestly, at this point, I didn’t have any issues with this mixtape. I was happy that Big Sean was going this direction and it gives me (some) hope for his 2nd album. Dope line in this song “I wish we could fast forward time and reverse feelings”.
Jhene Aiko is my crush (well, one of them) and that’s not a surprise if you know me well enough (still waiting on her ‘Souled Out’ project). I can’t believe that she was on this mixtape, and it just further made me enjoy it more. Big Sean is a positive rapper when you think about it. Gives you ambition to do better for yourself, unless that’s just me. I’m Gonna Be is uplifting, and it’s the mental approach that many should take. Be who you want and stick to it until you get to where you want to be.
Lex Luger beats are repetitive, annoying, but painfully catchy. FFOE was evident of that, so I didn’t enjoy it that much, but it had a good hook (Big Sean is good at those), but aside from that, he’s just emphasizing his status right now as “finally famous”, so that’s about that. Nothing major. On to the next one.
Do What I Gotta Do aka A$$ Part 2, because this is clearly twerk music. The song features Tyga too, so you know it’s going to be a stripper song. You know the Twerk Team is going to be doing a video to this song pretty damn soon if it already hasn’t been made. Tyga is GARBAGE! This is his forte, so we’ll let him have that, but that doesn’t mean that it makes him any better. A very bouncy song, for the ladies. Nothing more than that.
There were 3 ‘Story’ interludes featuring Common, Young Jeezy, and Snoop Dogg (I’m not calling him Snoop Lion, get the hell out of here). The stories describe the 3 rappers’ experience in ‘The D’ either working there, doing shows, or making songs with the locals (like J.Dilla who Common name dropped). A nice touch to the mixtape (seriously, where was this on his album?).
RWT means ‘Roll Weed Time’. Sounds like something Meek Mill would rap over. The beat & the flow was very Meek inspired, but Big Sean did his thing on this. Again, not in love with the beat, but it’s hype and that’s about it. Generic, but I know if listened to at the right place or time, it’s a hype song. That’s pretty much it.
Hit Boy has been the man for a while when it comes to making beats. Since he exploded on the scene for making the smash hit ‘Niggas in Paris’, and other anthems like ‘Goldie’ for A$AP Rocky, he’s been on a roll (oh, and he raps too, but nothing great). Once Bitten, Twice Shy– initially I didn’t like it that much, but I got a feel for the beat and the song itself talking about making mistakes and not turning back to go back to the old life, and that it’s all about moving forward is what I liked. Big Sean has good content, but when it comes to how he delivered, sometimes it’s not the best, but that’s how he got up to where he is now, so there’s no turning back or need to change it. It’s a great song, and a fantastic finish for a great mixtape.
Life Should Go On All I Know are bonus songs, but they were both good, especially ‘Life’ that had a strong showing for Wale. Big Sean’s storytelling is what is making him better and you could hear a great improvement when it comes to his overall songs, not just his verses.

This mixtape is one of the golden nuggets this year, and it’s surprising that it came from Big Sean, I just wish that it didn’t take so long for him to come out with some quality music for his listeners. He had a lot of potential before, kind of lost it in the progress, but here he is now new and improved. It’s great to see, so definitely check out this mixtape and thank you for reading the review. This is just me & my opinion, but at the end of it all

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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