Last week, September 4th, Big Sean finally dropped his long-awaited album, Detroit 2. This sequel to his mixtape Detroit was one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year and included 21 tracks with over 15 different features.
The album serves as a tribute to the city of Detroit, and an overarching theme of resilience in a world that may consistently kick you down. Story features from Dave Chappelle, Stevie Wonder, and Erykah Badu allow the artists to share their special connection with the city. They convey the importance that it holds, not only in their hearts but to the music industry as a whole.
Big Sean is one of the very few rappers left that is a good mix between creating conscious rap and party rap in mainstream Hip-Hop, which is a difficult title to hold. Many rappers struggle to find a balance between a positive message in their music and something that today’s listeners will consistently come back to. Sean has been able to find a sweet spot in successfully doing both.
This album concept and its feature list are two great attributes, however, the album itself had a few shortcomings. On many of the tracks with multiple artists featured, it felt that Big Sean put his talents on the back burner when he had clear opportunities to showcase his skills. When there are more tracks with features than not, this can be a dangerous game. For example, on Body Language, featuring Jhene Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign it felt as though Jhene carried the song with her gentle, soulful runs.
Another issue found with this album was the length. When you have a 21 track album, such as this one, it is harder to have it considered a great album overall because of how long it is, in my opinion. For it to be even close to a 10/10 album there should be more songs that are completely solid than not, and this album did not offer that. Because of the length, the album was a little bit more unfocused and was difficult to listen to completely through in one sitting.
My top song recommendations on this album would have to include: Lucky Me, Deep Reverence, Guard Your Heart, Everything That’s Missing, Harder Than My Demons, Don Life, Friday Night Cipher, and Still I Rise.
Overall I would rate this album a 7/10, because of the clever lyricism from Big Sean and the featured artists, the uplifting subject matter, the experimental production, and the bold stylistic choices. I recommend you give the album a listen.