big sean marks his return with new ‘detroit 2’ album
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
“Why Would I Stop?” Big Sean asks as the opening lines to his first album in three years.
After establishing himself as a capable rapper with the album “I Decided” in 2017, Big Sean was set to embark on a tour and celebrate his 10 year anniversary of being a rapper.
Suddenly, tragedy struck when his best friend died and the tour was cancelled. As a result Sean went radio silent for years despite two singles dropping last year.
Three years later, Sean breaks his silence with an album sequel to his 2012 mixtape Detroit, Detroit 2. “Deep Reverence.” The lead single off the album starts off with a feature from the late Nipsey Hussle and ponders ideas of fame creating anxiety and discovering one’s capability to have suicidal thoughts.
These themes continue on songs like “Harder Than My Demons” where Sean explores the concepts of overcoming the aforementioned anxieties and coming out on top. “Everything That’s Missing” is a somber song that shows Sean in a place of weakness but with a glimmer of hope towards what’s coming.
A new soulful approach to the composition and backing tracks can be seen woven throughout songs like “Body Language” and “Guard Your Heart.” In these more soulful moments, we see Sean being more vulnerable about love than ever before, admitting he needs protection from his dark thoughts.
In contrast to these moments of vulnerability and openness, we have songs like “ZTFO” and “Respect It” pop up where Sean raps over huge hard hitting beats. However, this time around, people no longer sense a need from Sean to prove himself but rather he is telling the world to sit down and listen, he’s on top now and this is why.
“Full Circle” and “FEED”, among other songs on here, abandon hooks all together for Sean to just speak to the listener and push everything that’s been swimming in the back of his head for three years straight into the deep end.
Honesty is one of this album’s strongest points as Seans thoughts are as naked and exposed as they have ever been.
As the last hurrah on the album, Sean busts out “Friday Night Cypher,” a verse from every famed Detroit MC from Tee Grizzely to Eminem. The song lasts a whopping 10 minutes and shows off the ability that this city has amassed and why you shouldn’t mess with Detroit.
Strewn throughout this thematic journey are interludes where Dave Chapelle, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder essentially pen love letters to the city of Detroit.
Spiritually, that’s what this album is; Big Sean once again confessing his love for this city as it pulls him out of a dark place and back into the sunshine once again.
A marching band roars to life on the closing track “Still I Rise.” After a long winding story of every hardship Sean faced over the last three years and how he pulled himself out of those experiences, he says that it’s time to look to the sky, get back up and see where we go next.
This album is a beautiful story of having no idea where you are going but finally being okay with that. “Detroit 2” is a celebration of having nothing to celebrate.