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Big Sean has big plans for 2012, with his second studio album slated to drop before the end of the year. It’s been over a year since his studio debut, Finally Famous, and despite a slew of features and involvement in G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer, Big Sean decided to warm fans up with a mixtape, Detroit.
The tape starts off strong. On the first song, “Higher,” Sean takes advantage of the mixtape format and spits uninterrupted bars, proving that he can still hold down a song without choruses or catch phrases. Next is “24K of Gold,” a chill cut thoroughly assisted by a J. Cole feature. “How It Feel” picks the pace back and features some of Sean’s hardest rapping on the project.
Unfortunately, the beginning sets the bar a little high, as the mixtape hits a lull for much of the middle, dragged down by some uninspired production and guest verses.
Other standouts include “100”, which finds a more introspective Sean assisted by strong features from Royce Da 5’9 and Kendrick Lamar, and “FFOE”, where Sean again utilizes the flexibility of a mixtape to drop an extra long verse.
By the end of the mixtape, Sean is back in his groove, and closes strong with “RWT,” “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” and even a combined bonus track highlighted by a feature from Wale.
On Detroit, you will not find Big Sean’s most potent lyricism or technical rhyming. You will not find his best hooks or funniest punchlines. You will not find the most cohesive project or theme, rather what comes off as a collection of songs that didn’t quite make the album, strung together only loosely by references to and spoken interludes about Detroit. However, there are enough highlights to pull up the weak spots, and certainly a few songs worth adding to your weekend playlist.
While we can hope and expect that Big Sean has saved his best for his album, Detroit should be more than enough to hold us over for the next few months.
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