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Album review: ‘Hall of Fame’ not a step forward for Big Sean

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arts_seanAt last, G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam recording artist Big Sean, whose real name is Sean Michael Anderson, decided to end his long-lived “Finally Famous” series for this album, entitled “Hall of Fame.”

The Detroit rapper has been in the news throughout hip-hop circles lately for very different reasons than this much-anticipated album released Tuesday. Sean has caught a lot of criticism for beingoutshined by Kendrick Lamar on his new single “Control.”

He begins the album conveying this concept with the track “Nothing Is Stopping You,” which seems to be aimed at young rappers who are following their dreams. The premise is nice, but in the end, the song sounds pretty cheesy. Most people have heard Big Sean’s story multiple times about getting discovered by Kanye West when he rapped for him at a local radio station. However, in a world of the Internet, it is a lot more plausible to get recognized through a YouTube video than to seek out random rap stars like Big Sean orKanye West for your big break.

The album picks up a nice flow after the first track. I appreciate the ambiance of the track “Fire,” mostly because the music video contained an unexpected cameo from the infamous Miley Cyrus.

I could do without the excessive screaming on the track “10 2 10,” but I absolutely love the song “First Chain,” featuring hip-hop legend Nas and Kid Cudi. Even though Sean continues to speak about his rise to the top, there is something cool about a rapper stressing some positives in the black community for a change.

This album is stacked with wonderful features to bolster solid wordplay from Big Sean himself. If anything, this album shows how connected he is in the rap game. Fellow G.O.O.D. Music artists Common and 2 Chainz make appearances along with rappers Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and Meek Mill. He even enlists Nicki Minaj and Juicy J for the song “MILF” that will surely have you smiling, if not laughing out loud.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with this project is the length. Songs like “Toyota Music” could easily be cut out without losing any substance. My least favorite song on the album, “Ashley” featuring R&B singer Miguel, is a total downer. It feels as though he was reaching for more radio spins than being genuine.

Big Sean did not show poor rapping skills on this album, but it failed to give off any signs of staying power. There are a couple very good tracks but some absolute stinkers. This project has an average feel to it and therefore deserves an average grade.

Grade: C+

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