Big Sean’s most popular mixtape to date was ‘Finally Famous: Vol. 3,’ which he released on August 31st 2010. Riding on the hype for the next year, Sean released his debut album ‘Finally Famous,’ on June 28th 2011. As the title would imply, the album was nearly identical to the mixtape, following the same exact formula and styling of songs.
Another year passed, and a lot has changed. Big Sean has transitioned from an underground starlet, to one of rap’s biggest names. The night before the September 5th release of ‘Detroit’, Sean let loose a music video for “RWT,” a hard hitting and aggressive track which would be featured on the tape. After replaying that video about twenty times that night, a new sound on Detroit was almost certain.
The tape starts off strong with “Higher,” when the beat briefly switches into “Mercy”?! It’s a wrap! Right? It's almost hard to say, but Detroit never hits full stride again after that first track. "24K" and "I'm Gonna Be," which feature Sean singing for some reason, and the three "Story" interludes, serve as speed-bumps, while there are only three other songs vaguely matching the intensity of "Higher" or "RWT" with “How It Feel,” “Mula,” and “FFOE.” After digesting the project that night and early into the next day, Detroit easily blends into his last two released.
Oddly enough, “Clique” just happened to be released the following day, all but figuratively incriminating Big Sean with releasing the same project once a year for the last three years. Big Sean murdered “Clique,” refreshing my memory that he had a similar showing on “Mercy” and maybe even his best effort to date on “Burn.” After listening to those three latest singles from Big Sean, it leads us to wonder when the songs for Detroit were even recorded. It seems like half the songs (“I’m Gonna Be,” "Sellin' Dreams" etc.) were leftovers from his album, while the other half (“Higher,"RWT” etc.) are actually new songs. After a little digging we remembered Big Sean has in fact been talking about releasing this mixtape even BEFORE his debut album. On June 6th 2011 he announced that he would release some leftovers from the album, on a new mixtape, prior to the album release. So it's reasonable to believe that a handful of the songs on Detroit are in fact a year and a half old.
Taking into account that half the songs are eerily similar to his last two projects aka leftovers, along with the high bar he set on his last three singles, I think the only reaction one can having after listening to Detroit is: “Meh?”
As always if you can justify that this specific album justifies a higher rating, or greater reaction, feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section!