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Big Sean’s “I Decided.” is The Rap Album of The Year and It Will Be Hard to Dethrone It

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By: Alex Marcheschi

The point of an intro is to set the tone for an album and Big Sean basically stabbed everyone’s soul in the face with his. Below is how he described the album’s concept to Jimmy Fallon, below that are the lyrics to the album’s intro.

God, I have been doing the same thing in the same place, working the same job for 45 years. You know that. It just flew by. What am I really even doing? God, I know we rarely talk, but every day I wake up I feel like, I feel like I blew it with my family, with her, these kids around me don’t have no one to look up to. Should have been me. This job ain’t me, man. This ain’t what I’m supposed to be doing in my life, man

*p.s. I think the voice from the intro is the same dude who did the intro for Drake & Jay-Z’s hit “Pound Cake

Welp, there’s everyone’s worst nightmare straight to your eardrums to start things off. The concept of this album is that Big Sean is rapping as the guy at the end of the intro who received a second chance. Knowing that, let’s strap in.

The first two songs are “Light” and “Bounce Back“, two extremely respectable songs that would be among the better songs on many other rapper’s album, but not Big Sean’s. “Light” has an unreal vibe with the HIGHLY underappreciated Jeremih.

After those two comes the proverbial clean-up hitter to bring in the runs from the first three at-bats.

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The David Ortiz of “I Decided.” is “No Favors” featuring Eminem. Detroit was in the mf’n building and the tone is set EARLY with this one. After this song, you realize you just entered into an album realm that very few rappers are capable of achieving.

First of all, I think I sense a “Let The Drummer Kick” sample, comment and let me know if you can hear it too.

Big Sean kills it, setting the tone for Eminem to come in with a flamethrower and ether the track. We don’t hear from Em much anymore, and he let his political views fly in this verse. It’s extremely vulgar, a blast from the past, and it hurts so good. Here are the lyrics to his verse:

If she was flavor, I won’t savor
No taste buds, hoe later
Fuck you looking at, hater?
I saw them eyes (sodomize) like an ass raper
Try to copy my swag like a cheating classmate
I’ll be the last face you see before you pass
When you get your fucking ass graded like a math paper
So ahead of my time late means I’m early, my age is reversing
I’m basically 30, amazingly sturdy, zany and wordy (Em sticking with the theme)
Brainy and nerdy, blatantly dirty
Insanely perverted, rapey and scurvy
They blame me for murdering Jamie Lee Curtis
Said I put her face in the furnace, beat her with a space heater
A piece of furniture, egg beater, thermos
It may be disturbing, what I’m saying’s cringeworthy
But I’m urinating on Fergie, call Shady number 81
Surely I’m turning into the Aaron Hernandez of rap
State of emergency, the planets having panic attacks
Brady’s returning, matter of fact I may be deserving
Of a Pat on the back like a Patriots jersey
Inexplicable stomach growl from the pit of it
Like a fucking Terrier hittin’ it
Despicable, dumb it down, ridiculous
Tongue is foul, shoot off at the fucking mouth
Like a missile, a thunder cloud
100 pound pistol, pull the trigger this gun will sound
And you’ll get a round like Digital Underground
And fuck Ann Coulter with a Klan poster
With a lamp post, door handle, shutter
A damn bolt cutter, a sandal, a can opener, a candle, rubber
Piano, a flannel, sucker, some hand soap, butter
A banjo and manhole cover
Hand over the mouth and nose smother
Trample ran over the tramp with the Land Rover
The band, the Lambo, Hummer and Road Runner
Go ham donut or go Rambo, gotta make an example of her
That’s for Sandra Bland ho and Philando
Hannibal on the lamb, no wonder I am so stubborn
I’m anti, can’t no government handle a commando
Your man don’t want it, Trump’s a bitch
I’ll make his whole brand go under (yeah)
And tell Dre I’m meeting him in L.A., white Bronco like Elway
Speeding, I’m bout to run over a chick, Del Rey CD in?
Females stay beatin ‘em, bet you they’ll lay bleeding
And yell, “Wait,” pleading—but screaming is pointless
Like feeding Michel’le helium
Leaving them pale-faced, medium sized welt
Straight treating ’em like a cell mate
Seedy, I’m climbing hell’s gate
Bitch, I’m like your problems: self-made
Meaning someone else’s help ain’t needed
‘Cause I’ma—

RIP IN PEACE ANN COULTER

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The Aaron Hernandez/Patriots lines are amazing, and then he scorches Trump. Pretty wild, great to see one of the kings return. You’re not the same after you hear Eminem’s verse, and it’s certifiably insane that this isn’t the best song on the album, but it isn’t. Just wait. The album then moves into “Jump Out The Window”, a scarily honest track with an unbelievable opening beat. And then “Move”, a song that plays with the word “Move” pretty hilariously. There’s also an insane couple of lines with actor references it it:

We making moves like Tarantino, like J.J. Abrams
Moving like Channing Tatum
Moving like Jason Statham

“Same Time Pt. 1”. is decent, but in my mind it was a bit of a break from the album. Definitely listenable, and it keeps the album flowing.

Owe Me” is the next song up and it’s quintessential Sean Don. Rhyming in ways that no else can, putting the emphasis on unexpected syllables and getting extremely deep about a past relationship. There’s a skit at the end “Owe Me” and we get a behind-the-scenes look into his life on the road and on the stage with audio of a paparazzi member asking him about Harambe.

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Halfway Off The Balcony” is about how being a rapper is way more than simply being an entertainer. Kids all over look up to him as a role model and his actions can influence them. He messes around with slowing down his voice and the song’s message reminded me a lot of Kanye’s “Power“.

The beginning of “Voice In My Head/Stick To The Plan” is about the feeling you get after consciously making a bad decision and shit gets deep as hell. You’re definitely not going to be feeling joyful after listening this part of the song, however, the classic “If Young Metro don’t trust you…” sound comes in out of nowhere and then the “Stick To The Plan” portion of the song morphs it into inspirational song. Then it morphs back into a scary tune with Sean rapping faster than anyone other than his Detroit role model is capable of.

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“Sunday Morning Jetpack”  ft. The-Dream is the next song about how his mom use to take him to church and the way he blew up as a rapper. He recalls a moment in Kanye’s house when he got his first chance and it’s pretty cool.

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“Inspire” then steps up to the plate and he uses a Kanye-style high pitch voice in the background of the beat. The song is about how his mom is his inspiration, and how his relationship with his mom is hard because he loves her, but he has to travel and can’t talk to her much.

The upcoming song was the one I was second-most excited for when I first looked at the tracklist. It features the Migos boys and they’re riding a titanic wave of momentum after the release of their new album “Culture”, last week. And let me tell you, folks, even though Takeoff didn’t even make the track…

IT EXCEEDED THE HYPE.

Big Sean WEEEEEEEEEENT INNNNNNNNNNN on his first verse, like, he swan-dived into it from the top of a skyscraper. Holy shit.

Read along with his first verse, it’s an experience, it makes you realize just how fast he really is rapping.

Fuck what you telling me, I sense the jealousy
I got telepathy, I got the recipe
I got the streets and I don’t got no felonies
Forward thinking yeah my mind is ahead of me
Momma said it’s gonna be whatever you let it be
It’s some homies I grew up with that’s dead to me
It’s some niggas that I just met in debt to me
What’s in common is they both pay respect to me
I get it my way from Friday to Friday
My girl is a mix of Aaliyah and Sade
I came a long way from that Marvin and Chardonnay
I pull out the driveway like I’m in a car chase, speeding
And if my bitch cheat she know I’m leaving
No text no call, boy that bitch airplane mode code
No peacoat no time to change clothes, same clothes
Love if you living by the same code, G code, leave ho
Fuck it you dead to me, back to my destiny
Penthouse, birds eye view that’s a nest for me
I got my self out of debt
So when you see me know you’re somebody I’ll never need

Crazy, but then he dips into a disgustingly good hook, only to have his next bridge roll off as if someone squeezed an Uzi on accident.

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Sean’s bridge into Offset’s verse is not only the cleanest transition from rapper to rapper I’ve ever heard, it’s amazing because Offset was able to mimic Sean’s pace punch for punch. Very few can do that. It’s clear that Offset’s current message to the world is “I’m not just the third dude from Migos”. He’s 100% for real. I’m gonna paste their verses below, read along, it’s unbelievable. Offset’s lines about his mom are outrageous.

[Bridge: Big Sean]
I cut the fuck shit drama out my energy
Focused on the inner me, never on the enemy
And I done sacrificed my own time
I done sacrificed my own mind
I done sacrificed the club life
I done sacrificed my love life
I cut the fuck shit drama out my energy
Focused on the inner me, never on the enemy
And I done sacrificed my own time
I done sacrificed my own mind
I done sacrificed the club life
I done sacrificed my love life

[Verse 2: Offset]
I done sacrificed the thug life
Diamonds shining ain’t no dull life
Drop my top to get my mind right
Pull up in the ‘Rari, loud pipes
Bitch I’m the don, my wrist a hundon
Ooh yeah Gucci python ooh yeah
She play with her tongue
Yeah, I bought that bitch a new charm
Let the top on told her come see about me
Come on come see me
The devil had entered my soul, my momma had beat it out me
Remember my grandmama had told me you better be somebody
Hop in my seats massaging (aye)
Watch how I leave the posse
I made an M deposit

And then, as if we haven’t already opened our Christmas presents, Quavo drops the best LeBron reference hip-hop has ever seen. And that’s no small feat because there have been a shit ton of them. Here it is:

[Verse 3: Quavo]
Paid all these dues with the game (yeah yeah)
Sacrificed yo stripes for that stain (Sacrifice)
Heard you sacrificed your life for that chain (yeah yeah)
She sacrificed that money for cocaine (white, phew, coco)
Left hand got three rings
That’s Bron Bron, we up one

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It was at this moment that “Sacrifices” became the solidified Rap Song of The Year. We even got a Matrix reference from Big Sean at the end, and that’s when you know a song just got real, as I once wrote about here.  It can’t be topped. It’s at the top of the mountain with a bazooka and a box of ammo.

This is also when “I Decided.” became the album of the year thus far, and not just in rap. This is the best album to be released since the new year, and I really doubt any rapper is going to top it. It’s possible, but I can’t fathom what an album better than this would be like. Maybe if Drake dropped an album full of DMX and Bun B features, but even still that’s a maybe. 

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The last song, “Bigger Than Me”, is Big Sean telling the world that he is and always will be the mayor of Detroit. He is Michigan’s rap god right now, it’s clear than Eminem has passed the torch to him and he’s very pleased with the new ruler. Look at that pic of them together from earlier, he’s pointing to him like he approves of the new guy. I mean, “Bigger Than Me” features a choir from Flint. This is a real album.

In reality, it’s just Kanye, Kendrick and Sean sitting on the throne of actual hip-hop right now. Kanye is off his rocker, but he’s still got it. And as little as Kendrick sells out, Sean sells out even less. The whole message of this closing song is that Sean realizes what he’s doing has serious power for change. It ends with audio from a phone call with his mother and it’s extremely moving.

“I Decided.” has the vibes of Kanye’s “Graduation”.

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This album is a very clear sign that Big Sean has indeed graduated. He can no longer be thought of as a “feature guy” or a secondary level rapper by the mainstream media. He’s on Kendrick’s level, he’s on Drake’s level and he might be the closest guy to Kanye right now. This was a great album, and it will definitely be the favorite for Rap Album of The Year until another challenger enters the ring.

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