Whenever new albums drop I like to wait until the hype dies down to give myself the clarity to conclude my best honest opinion and unbiased viewpoints.
HOWEVER! As I’ve been a Big Sean fan since his’ “What You Doin’” days and Finally Famous, watching his evolution has me so happy for Sean the Don. Obviously, with him being in my top five, I already had I Decided on pre-order.
When his album dropped on Feb 3, 2017, I was in Vegas. Luckily I wasn’t drunk yet, so I gave it my first listen. As it’s been a few weeks and with his album going physically today, I can confidently say this may be his best piece of artwork yet.
Thoughts: I Decided is Big Sean’s fourth album, and instantly my favorite and here’s why: In comparison, His first album Finally Famous and this album now shows Big Sean hasn’t only evolved as an artist but he has transformed into a man with a new mindset. In his debut Finally Famous, Big Sean raps about lofty goals and dreams of becoming famous while remaining insecure about his destiny as he fantasizes about the limelight.
After spending a minute in the game and working closely along some of his idols and peers, I Decided shows us what Big Sean is made of and that there’s something truly remarkable about this album. He’s sharing his deepest thoughts and decision-making skills. Exposing himself mentally and emotionally through his references regarding his internal conflicts, intentions, and permanent life-long decisions. It appears he is constantly battling, accepting or challenging his past decisions and his current ones but remains untainted living within each present moment however still suffering the consequences or the rewards of said decisions. In some songs such as Owe Me, Sacrifices, Favors, and Voices In My Head, he reflects on his organic experiences with women, haters, and public opinion, revealing these decisions have ultimately shaped his life and bringing him to where he is today. That’s just it; Big Sean has decided.
MESSAGE: Every decision is a choice. So choose wisely or don’t, either way, life goes on.
Analysis: Throughout every hook, every bar, every rhyme and every verse there are layers upon layers of subconscious turmoil or self-seeking validation. Despite some turbulence in poor decisions, there’s a strong emphasis on his spirituality and newfound ”wokeness” a.k.a enlightenment in this album (at least in my opinion, and I’m honestly digging of out of it! )
Previously, Big Sean in his music, there have always been mentions of religion, God, and acknowledgment of his upbringing, his parents, and fundamentals which are key ingredients that have shaped his moral compass in life indirectly shaping his decisions as well. However, in this new album, I’m hearing Big Sean talk about other insights for the first time ever. His bars consist of forming manifestations, maintaining his high vibrations and energy, remaining optimistic, faithful and practicing alchemy. “I realized that there’s no dream that I can’t fill, I manifested while I’m the man still”– Stick To The Plan, This is a strong metaphysical application that insinuates he’s current perspective on his life and how he is dealing with decisions daily. I’ve always appreciated Big Sean’s driven ambitious dream-like mentality so to hear the lyricism in his conscious mindfulness to date is an evolution that is invigorating. This is easily one of the best albums of 2017 serving as an underdog’s anthem. I’m currently vibing and thriving hard af to this album because it’s on my same wavelength.
Top 5 Favorite songs and why:
- Moves- Basically, the beat slaps and he’s the man making moves! This is the perfect theme song for all underdogs who are underestimated. But again, Big Sean has layers, subconsciously letting us know how he moves when he moves, and that his strategic moves in life are always with purpose and intention which is why now he’s coming up on top. I’m feeling it.!
- Sacrifices– Big Sean is talking about all the decisions he has had to made in his career, love, and life to get to where he is now and how people around him besides his mom or his girl can not understand his hustler mentality. He suggests his great aunt was a slave who didn’t die for him to be lazy or take anything for granted, he is hungry, he is motivated, remaining humble he vows to continue to make the proper sacrifices to be one of the greatest rappers alive.
- Bounce Back– As I see it, Bounce Back isn’t just an instant banger, but also, a revelation. Listen to the lyrics? “If you a real one then you know how to bounce back. Last night I took an L but tonight I Bounce Back.” Big Sean is someone with drive and determination showcasing his resiliency in any form and remains persistent in life by “bouncing back” from poor decisions and detrimental “Ls” he will continue to come back harder or stronger and be untouched.
- Halfway off the Balcony– My interpretation here is that Big Sean is speaking about either an alternate universe or his exact reality when his occupying hotel rooms and entertaining groupies while his girl is upset with him. Or perhaps he’s tired of being a public figure constantly being criticized. Sounds like he doesn’t want to participate in risky behavior in fear of losing it all, because he’s making it but having to fight his demons to stay strong and remain focused.
- Voices In My Head/Stick To the Plan– I can relate to this song, because Big Sean is orchestrating an internal conflict within his mind, the voices in his mind are reminding him to stick to the plan but also that he can do better, and be better than he is now. Self-criticism as his own biggest fan or his own worst enemy. Reminding himself to not get caught up in the drama or Hollywood’s fast life.
Lastly, the Duet with Jeremih on Light reminds us all to never dim our own shine. The outro on Bigger Than Me left me feeling so uplifted and genuinely resonated with me as it’s extremely relatable. It’s as if, Big Sean is directly telling me through his lyrics in his song to not just enjoy living in the moment, but recognize my life my moments a.k.a my decisions are bigger than myself. I’m doing this for everyone who ever believed in me, as a true dreamer or doer, I must strive to live my best life. It’s confirmed, I Decided is my favorite album of 2017 thus far.
What’s your favorite song off the album?
Check out Big Sean’s Hot 97 Breakfast Club Interview