Big Sean | Dark Sky Paradise (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings)

Big-Sean 75From top to bottom, this album is a solid body of work lyrically and emotionally.



I can’t profess to having always been a Big Sean fan. I liked him and his music, but had never bought an album, only the song “Ashley” for obvious reasons. That all changed with his latest release, Dark Sky Paradise. From top to bottom, this album is a solid body of work lyrically and emotionally, and the production is nothing short of amazing. Let’s dive into the tracks below.

Leading single “I Don’t F*** With You” became the anthem for everyone Sean (and you) have outgrown. Featuring E-40, this song lit up the tracks. However, to me, nothing compares to the newest single out “Blessed,” featuring Drake (and Kanye West on the radio edit). In this track, the artists reminisce on how their lives have changed and just how fortunate they are be alive.

“I live the life I deserved (blessed)/ F*** a vacay I feel better at work/ I mean whatever it’s worth I give whatever I’m worth for my n****s who gon’ go to hell and back for me I’m gon’ give them heaven on earth for a hell of a check yeah, whichever come first/ Blessings on blessings on blessings/ Look at my life man that’s lessons on lessons on lessons…”

Produced by Vinylz, the beat really makes this song come alive. Trust me, with a Drake feature, it’ll blast from the speakers throughout the summertime. That is one thing I can say is perfect throughout Big Sean’s entire album—the production is this seldom hip-hop fan, Southern girl’s dream.

It’s also safe to note that Big Sean did a lot of reflecting when writing this album and that’s evident with songs like the aforementioned “Blessings,” “Dark Sky (Skyscapers),” “Win Some, Lose Some,” and “One Man Can Change the World (featuring John Legend and Kanye West).” Those tracks detail the journey Big Sean has made from being the young dude from Detroit rapping for Kanye, to a young man who has solidified a place in the hip-hop industry.

Of the 15 tracks on the deluxe edition (yes, do yourself a favor and get the deluxe edition), my favorites are “Paradise” and “I Know,” featuring Jhene Aiko. “Paradise” may be the most vulgar song, but the sentiments Sean expresses in the song are about finally attaining your dreams and proving your worth to yourself and the public at large. “I Know” just speaks to me the most as Sean and Aiko have a dialogue about how they respectively understand the other’s struggle of working hard (in their relationships and at work) and the need to release and relax with each other so they don’t add to the other’s stress.

“I know you’ve been crying and pouting,” Sean and AIko sing together. “Know you tired of arguing but no screaming and shouting/ And you know we on a roll like we did good in college/ Throwing hundreds and thousands like they not that hundreds and thousands/ ‘Cause I know you been going through some things/ (I know you’ve been going through some things you can’t explain with your main thing that shit insane/ I know you just trying to maintain, that shit is lame you can’t complain) I know you don’t even love the same, do you, do you?/ (Don’t love the same; I know you diving through pain/ I know you running so crazy; I know you running on empty that shit can fuck with you mente/ I know this shit don’t you tempt me, I know you…) ”

As a complete body of work, Dark Sky Paradise represents a pretty pivotal moment in life for Sean. He’s right on the cusp of this overwhelming success where he can see the true essence of people (as he says in “Blessings,” “I done lost homies who been with me since Ed, Edd, Eddy who flipped like confetti and then when you back they back to call you ‘dog’ that shit can get petty.”). He sings about how his fame has changed the type of people who approach him and their motives, as described in the lyrics of “Research,” featuring Ariana Grande.

As a result of all these life-changing moments, Sean has to decide which people deserve to be a part of the life he has now, which he speaks to in “Deserve It,” featuring PartyNextDoor. What cannot be denied with Big Sean’s third studio album is the unavoidable truth characteristic of moving with success. This success brings with it questions that plague his mind at night: “Is this the example I’m trying to set?/ Are these the people I’ma forget?/ Are these the times I’ma regret/ Living life wishing I could hit reset, but you win some and lose some.” And, Big Sean, you definitely won with this album. A | Ashley White

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