After sitting down last year with Detroit rapper Big Sean when he performed at the spring concert in the Aebersold Recreation Center, it was obvious that Sean’s hometown of Detroit was an important part of his life.
The rapper performed in a Detroit Red Wings hat and sat down with a Detroit Lions hat on for an interview after the show.
Since that interview, Big Sean has appeared on a few features that released over the summer and is anticipated to be a main feature on Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation album, “Cruel Summer,” which releases Tuesday.
Prior to the release of “Cruel Summer,” Big Sean once again made it obvious that his hometown of Detroit plays an important part in his life as he released a mixtape named after his city on Sept. 5.
Unlike most mixtapes that drop these days, “Detroit” features all original music with no remixes of other popular songs on the track list.
From the first track of the mixtape, you can tell that Sean is out to prove to anyone who doubts his ability that he can put together solid lyrics over any beat.
The first track sets a great tone for the album, as it’s a smooth beat with 808 drums kicking behind Sean’s vocals. The lead-off track is one of only five tracks out of the 17-track mixtape that features Sean solely.
The mixtape is filled with features from artists big to small in the hip-hop game. The second song called, “24K of Gold” features J. Cole and continues the smooth, soulful beat from the first track. This song focuses on the two artists making it from their hard youths to a time where they can afford all of things of which they dreamed.
After listening to “24K of Gold”, we hear the first of three monologues by fellow rappers reminiscing on the importance that the city of Detroit has had in their lives.
The first one is fellow G.O.O.D Music rapper Common talking about going to Detroit years ago and recording songs there while he enjoyed the city.
The next is Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy discussing his first show in Detroit, and how accepting everyone in Detroit was of him.
The final Detroit story comes from Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) talking about living in Detroit with his father in 1986 and working at McDonald’s and how it molded him as a person.
These Detroit stories mix well into the track list and show an overall flow and progression that few albums these days are able of accomplishing, let alone mixtapes.
Along with the features of rappers for their Detroit stories, Big Sean has a plethora of fellow rappers join him on “Detroit.”
From fellow Detroit natives Mike Posner and Slaughterhouse leader Royce Da 5’9, to Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Tyga, there is plenty of diversity on Big Sean’s first musical release since his debut album, “Finally Famous.”
The production value of the mixtape is of album quality and clever rhymes and punch lines from Big Sean are available throughout.
Overall, the mixtape has a much more polished feel than most free releases put out by artists these days. While there are a few tracks that I could take or leave, the majority of the mixtape is solid.
My personal favorite track is title “100” and features Royce Da 5’9 and Kendrick Lamar on it. It is definitely the most serious track on the album, as the hook goes, “As I look up to the sky, I thought about 100 things to do before I die, wondering if I could live it all in one life, because it could all end in one night.”
The hook sums up the majority of the message in the verses, and along with a good message the rhymes and flow of all three artists fit together well and culminate to create an excellent song.
This mixtape is definitely worth a download and is available at www.datpiff.com among other hip-hop sites.
By the time you download “Detroit” and give it a few good listens you’ll be able to get more Big Sean, along with the rest of G.O.O.D. Music when “Cruel Summer” releases on Tuesday.