Big Sean pays homage to the art of storytelling on his fourth studio album, I Decided. The 14-track project opens with a monologue performed by actor J.R. Starr representing the rapper's more mature persona as he looks back at his life. Unhappy with the things he's done, Sean's older self takes an introspective journey with his current, younger self to help change his perception on life and encourage him to keep working--even after he reaches his definition of success.
Check out the top five songs from Big Sean's latest LP.
The D-Town rapper opens this Migos-assisted track by letting fans know they have to make sacrifices if they want to get ahead.
For those who aren't privy to his personal life, Sean spits a list of the sacrifices he's made over the years to get to a clear state of mind and a project that's fuego!
"I cut the f--- s--- 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."
For years, Big Sean has felt like the underdog, but even while knowing the music industry didn't fully appreciate his potential he makes it clear he never wanted a hand out to make it to the top. Neither did Eminem, who's feature reinforces the idea of making it with "no favors."
While Em and Sean team up to swap stories about the help they didn't want and won't be giving out, Big Sean highlights a few of those that do need help like the kids in Flint, Michigan "gettin' sick with the lead."
After a forward-thinking "Intro," the rapper born Sean Michael Anderson raps as his soul falls into a musical purgatory after a more senior version of his future self is hit by a car. Thinking back on his life and all the "shoulda, coulda, wouldas" that have passed him by, Big Sean chronicles his life and the events that have defined him and those around him.
"I'm from that city four hours east of Southside/Where everyone outside, but don't f--k with no outsiders/Growing up, with the ones I hold it down with/Whole city got my back on some photobomb sh-t/Whole city blowing up on some old Saddam sh-t/Before this I was the one hoes tried to go to prom with/You know, take the fame, take the crib/Take our cars, now we gotta take the train
Hood niggas takin' chains, slave master take our names/5-0 take the shot, young souls take the blame/Man but they can't take away the light."
An ode to his grandmother that will send tingles up your spine, this track features Sean remembering all the times his grandma was there to support him and aid in his growth as a person. Missing her physical presence, the Detroit native reminisces about his favorite family memories and raps about a symbolic jetpack he uses to visit his grandmother in his time of need.
Sean closes the album with a track that embodies the premise of I Decided. Realizing his life is more than just his "salary," the Detroit rapper completes his fourth audio book with a dialogue between himself and his mother reminiscing over their pasts and their excitement about the future - now that they're both looking at life through a different lens.
"It feel like this is my second time doing this. I know that sounds crazy, but ... I don't know why I always imagine myself as someone who failed at everything he ever did in life. You know, like I got to the end of life and just regretted it all. But somehow, this is my chance to go back and get it all right. And when I wake up with that mindset, it completely changes my hunger and how I approach the whole day. When you decide to live your life like that then ppsshh, man I guarantee we'll live life to our best potential. It's that simple. It's all about living in the moment, period."
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