After taking the backseat to a fiery Kendrick Lamar on his latest release, “Control,” Big Sean hopes to regain the position his first album, Finally Famous, carved out for him today, when his sophomore effort, Hall of Fame, hits iTunes stores and any other places people still buy music from these days.
While the single-less “Yeezus” has managed to barely reach Gold status, the G.O.O.D. Music Prince–whose debut single, “Dance (A$$),” boasted $2 million in sales–should bring the label and Big Sean's signature “Boy!” ad lib back into the mainstream when the new album is released in its entirety. But it has been 10 months since the first of four singles hit the streets, and neither the Common-featured “Switch Up,” the Young Chop-produced “Guap” nor the Tunechi-assisted “Beware” can be found in any radio station's major rotation. The fourth single, “Fire,” has a video with a cameo from Miley Cyrus, and as with the other singles, it's still waiting on deck to become a hit (no twerking was involved).
That said, none of the Detroit rapper's clever verbiage is lacking in his latest productions, and he has retained the boyish delivery that set the tone on the smash “Mercy.” Au contraire, the phrase “numbers don't lie” nags at the lack of hype surrounding the project with a title that kinda promises the project of a lifetime.
In most sports, it takes five years after an athlete's retirement before one is even eligible for a spot in any real-life Hall of Fame. Seeing as it was 2010 when the still-growing Big Sean appeared on his first track with Kanye, a claim to Hall of Fame status seems just a bit premature, doesn't it?
Further, the journey from Finally Famous to the legendary mark his second album title symbolizes is logically missing some steps. Perhaps starting with an album titled Almost Famous would have made more sense, followed by albums MVP and having a championship titled LP. Even if he'd have Photoshopped his head onto a Deion Sanders jersey and named the project Primetime, it still would have come earlier than a virgin seeing all the feats that Deion accomplished during his time on the gridiron–and the baseball field.
Speaking of illegitimate photo editing, Big Sean was just featured on the cover of The Source magazine with a sacrilegious Photoshop of his head resting on the famed 6-ringed Michael Jordan pick, making it seem as though it's okay to make a claim so outrageous, even by hip-hop standards. Delusional is the only word that comes to mind.
The guy could have at least waited until after he had an album go platinum or won a Grammy, even if just in the rap category. Shit, even being featured on a soundtrack that won a Grammy would have allowed him a little more room to boast. Assuming Big Sean will take it to the next level on his next release, as expected by all artists, we're facing the possibility of being hit with a title claiming some type of pioneering that couldn't be any further from the truth. Good thing Hov, who did so on his sixth album after two chart-topping ones, already has the Blueprint title in the books.
As a relief to Big Sean fans (and the record labels) who want this album to be as good or better than his Detroit mixtape–a.k.a. everything they dreamed of–is he'll have plenty of chances to make his way into hip-hop's Cooperstown and maybe the actual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the persistence and vitality he has displayed in his short time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, Big Sean ultimately set himself up for a sophomore slump by having a title grand enough only the game's certified greats can truly live up to.