Review ·

Big Sean can’t lose with Finally Famous, and he knows it. He is, after all, Kanye West’s golden child, currently running rap radio with a hit single featuring Chris Brown and a deep, deep album, featuring some of the best production money can buy. But the deck being stacked in his favor does little to change that Big Sean is one of the most anemic, half-assed rappers working today. Sean has absolutely zero charm, charisma or lyrical depth. His voice is one of those flat, thin tenors so completely devoid of personality that it sounds absolutely unlistenable coming from anyone other than noted vest enthusiast Fabolous. What’s even worse, he’s one of those rappers who adlibs coquettish, insipid laughter over his self-satisfied, lazy punchlines that at first blush seem clever but  reveal themselves as obvious and, well, completely fucking stupid.

 

With the quick oscillation from rapping to autotuned singing, and all with a grandiose self-consciousness, Big Sean is sort of going for a Drake vibe on Finally Famous, but by the standards of the Young Money powerhouse, he falls supremely short. Big Sean’s brags are semi-clever, but ultimately dismissable. Meanwhile, when Drake boasts, he does so with wide-screen aplomb, not just saying he is powerful, but illustrating this point through a short anecdote about how he’s going to call border patrol and convince them to allow his felonious ingénue to fly to Paris. In a situation such as this, Big Sean would say something to the effect of, “I’m really powerful. Boieeee.”

 

The production on this album, however, is tremendous. Crafted mostly by No I.D., cohort of Kanye and responsible for some of the most famed beats in the rap canon, the production veers close to Mr. West’s earlier work on such albums as The College Dropout and Late Registration. It is interesting, then, that Yeezy chooses to drop in on the sex anthem “Marvin & Chardonnay,” which also features Roscoe Dash, who seems ecstatic about having made the jump from pop-rap also-ran to mercenary R&B hookman. However, the beat, produced by Andrew “Pop” Wansel and Mike Dean, is such an over-the-top sensory overload that perhaps the only person in the universe who might find it sexy is Michael Bay. West’s rapping – concerned chiefly with intercourse, of course – is positively ebullient, perhaps overly so, as if he had just lost his virginity prior to writing his verse.

 

Other songs shoot for beyond the obvious. “High” features Wiz Khalifa and is exactly 4:20 long, because of course it is. On “My Last,” Chris Brown croons, “I’m a-hit this ass up like it’s my last.” Given his less than stellar history of not punching his girlfriend repeatedly in the face, it's especially painful. Meanwhile, “Wait For Me” features Lupe Fiasco, and sees Lupe as a pop star who has found a way to make himself more annoying than he was when he rapped about how he never wanted to be a pop star. Its a semi-conscious song, but Sean torpedoes that by saying "Suck my dick." Talib Kweli this is not.  

 

Perhaps the album’s biggest flaw is Big Sean’s ham-fisted logic. When he says things like, “I got the whole rap game tryin’ to sound like me,” “You tell me that wasn’t verse of the year,” or refers to himself as, “Greatest of all Bigs/Greatest of all Seans,” it seems that he assumes that they are true, simply by virtue of his having said them. Big Sean, in fact, does not got the whole rap game trying to sound like him. He is trying to sound like Drake. And sweet Christ, in no universe will Big Sean be greater than Notorious B.I.G. or Big Pun, and at the rate he’s going he’ll be lucky to end up a better rapper than Sean Combs, let alone Sean Carter.

  • Million Dollars
  • Desire, Want & Need Remix
  • Blue Sky
  • Made
  • Way Out ft. Mr. Hudson
  • For Long
  • Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
  • Thank You
  • Donald Trump
  • Money & Sex
  • Hey Na
  • Take Me Away
  • Whatever You Want Remix
  • Story (Produced by No ID)
  • Pimp Sh*t (Produced by No ID)
  • Want It
  • Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
  • Pistons vs. Bulls ft. Kanye West
  • Getcha Some

After just two mixtapes and a fortuitous encounter with Kanye West, 21-year old Detroit MC Big Sean releases his debut album, Finally Famous on West's own GOOD Music imprint. With tracks produced by NO I.D., Kanye West and the Neptunes and guest spots by hip-hop's A-list, including the-Dream, Drake and Pharrell, Finally Famous is a big-time debut for an up-and-coming artist.

Rob Swift - The Architect Decoy Vol. 1: Spirit
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Release date updated

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

Well if "Donald Trump" is gona be on the album then I HAVE TO buy it!!!!!

Chris

Release date in March 2011 now

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

album cover art added

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

this is sooo wrong its retard
not a single song on that track list is on the album nice try

Cam Robins

^we were early. we were wrong. fixed now.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

I hated this on the first listen, but the more time I spend with it, the more smirking cornball charm I find. To me it's the least deplorable pop rap outing of the year. One problem, tho. Chronologically speaking, Big Sean was the first to use the punchline flow that Drake and Young Money popularlized, so when he brags about people trying to sound like him, he's actually telling the truth, even though his debut came out months late.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/LongestWinter/moonjpg.jpg CraigJenkins

To be fair, I'm not really referring as much to Big Sean's hashtag rap flow (which Drake DID lift from him back in the day) as I am to Big Sean's lyrical conceit of, "Man, being famous totally blows! Whatever you do, you should not aspire to the stresses of fame, but also being rich and famous is awesome!" Which is definitely a thing that Drake popularized. So it's really an issue of thematic biting v. technical biting. I guess in the end they're even?

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif drewmillard

I thought I hated this album more than anyone on the planet but kudos to you my man. This review had my cracking up. Thank you for a fantastic review and some great comedy, I honestly agree with everything you said. Sean is corny and his style is played out.

thatrealshit

You lost all credibility when you said Drake popularized the being famous sucks but not really raps. Jay-Z has been doing it years before them and he wasn't the first either.

Santa

LoL

K

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