Album Review: @BigSean | Hall Of Fame

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Label: G.O.O.D Music

Released: 27 August 2013

Rating: 8/10

  Big Sean‘s long awaited album Hall of Fame has finally dropped! With such a proficient production team ranging from the likes of Kanye West, No ID, Key Wane, Young Chop, Travi$ Scott among many others, your expectations have to be high. Hall of Fame showcases Big Sean’s lyrical growth; much more extensive and creatively constructed rhymes than what we heard on his debut ‘Finally Famous.’

  Hall of Fame opens with ‘Nothing Is Stopping You’, sampled from Pharrell’s ‘Rocket’s Theme’ off the Despicable Me soundtrack. Along with a melodic bass synth and very catchy hi-hat pattern, Big Sean raps ‘Parents always tried to keep me home, But I can’t get paid from the crib, so I’ll be gone ’til we on.’ Big Sean describes the song as a song for the dreamers; seeing his dreams unfold at the same time having someone sharing the same dream. ‘Fire’ is more of a joyful noise soundtrack, with Miley Cyrus, James Fauntleroy and Ellie Goulding assisting with the vocals. ‘Tell ’em that we need more FIRE!’ 

Big Sean and girlfriend Naya Rivera

  One track that particularly stood out for me in the first half of the album, well from a musical point of view was Xaphoon James’ ‘Toyota Music’. Very captivating ancient analogue synths and dubstep algorithms deliver a very psychedelic sound and you almost feel like you’re listening to a song from the 70s; but with a twist. Lyrically, the song is not that great. Much of the song basically references to a common theme in rap: money, drugs, and women. Sometimes we just don’t need it.

  Nevertheless, Big Sean’s sophomore still has brighter moments though. One of No ID’s productions from the album ‘Sierra Leone/Greedy Hoe’ which samples Dorothy Ashby‘s ‘Loney Girl,’ has a much more meaningful purpose behind it. Big Sean outlines the lifestyle that comes with being rich and famous, more specifically focusing on the relationship aspect. ‘I gave her diamonds and gold, That’s Sierra Leone, her friends like “Girl don’t let go.‘ This meaning behind Sierra Leone is quite deep as Sierra Leone has been abused for it’s resources, leaving its people torn and hurt. Sean can relate, as the girl is basically just using him for his money. A more chilled, contemplative ‘World Ablaze’ portrays a more affectionate Sean who gives a message of hope along with James Fauntleroy ‘Now, when the world’s ablaze, the stars will fall, the lights go off, say its going to be alright.‘ ‘Stay close to me, so close to me, that’s how it’s supposed to be.’ 

  To be fair, Big Sean did not do anything groundbreaking with Hall of Fame but he’s definitely managed to keep it simple and create an album you can play through without skipping a song. There isn’t a song that sounds entirely horrible. Big Sean mentioned before this album would be a classic but it probably won’t although I think it should be appreciated for exactly what it is. Progression is very revitalizing and there is enough substantiation of this throughout HOF.

Vaughan [@ShakaVaughan]