(08/23/13) - Surviving the streets of Detroit is no small task. So Big Sean had every right to celebrate with the world when his mix tapes brought him a following, then his debut album "Finally Famous" blew the roof off the game.
But for his second release, "Hall of Fame," Detroit's Sean Anderson takes a step back to reflect on these past 25 years of his life.
Don't kid yourself, the party songs are still there front and center. "Toyota Music," with a chimey rhythm and slow, choppy flow, and "You Don't Know" sound like club staples.
But the bulk of the album, and the tracks that stand out the most, focus more on introspection.
The latest single "Fire" kicks off the journey into the deeper side of Sean's mind. Touching on advice he'd grown up with from his parents and sharing what his hometown means to him sets the table for what's to come on the rest of the record.
Continuing down this road is "World Ablaze,"a slow jam delving into people close to him dealing with tragedies like gun violence and cancer.
Sean also spends a couple songs talking about his breakup with long-time girlfriend earlier this year. "Beware" takes an upbeat approach to pouring his heart out over the breakup. "Ashley" features an achingly soulful chorus from Miguel book ending Sean's verses apologizing for not living up to his promises.
"First Chain" has the potential to be a classic. With a record "popping" sound high up in the mix over an old school beat, Big Sean talks about how his first gold chain is worth much more to him than just being a piece of jewelry. How it represents his rising from the streets to the good life, and how some of his favorite rappers sported gold chains and he's honored to now be part of that group.
"Hall of Fame" is rounded out with the track "All Figured Out." Yet another deep thinker, looking back at times he thought he knew it all and how foolish he was.
"Hall of Fame" is certainly a departure from Big Sean's previous work. But it's a natural evolution from youth to a more mature view of the world, and Sean seems to have taken it in stride with this record.
- ABC12's Josh Daunt
ABC12 Main Station