Big Sean’s new album, “I Decided.”, shows fans a new side of the rapper

By Bri Zeiberg ’19

Earlier this month, Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, professionally known as Big Sean, released his fourth studio album “I Decided.”. The debut of these new 14 songs, featuring the two singles ‘Bounce Back’ and ‘Moves’, have already steadily climbed the charts.

This concept album is unified by one theme rather than having individual tracks. “I Decided.” steers away from the Detroit rapper’s usual uplifting party lyrics and takes on a more serious, darker tone.

The title of the album contains a higher and more powerful meaning to Sean. In a recent podcast interview with Zane Lowe, Sean described the title as being “Based off of decisions I decided” and the “evolution of who you are and not giving up”. Music critics such as Complex described the album as a “project that offers a very personal look into the life of an individual who is still growing into his own, while still counting his blessings and success”

When appearing on The Daily Show, Sean told the host, Trevor Noah, “Sometimes I do feel like I got to the end of my life and failed at everything: Failed at love, failed at career, failed at personal dreams,” Sean told Noah. “Somehow, I got a chance to go back in time and get it all right.” This overall theme is truly powerful and is more adventurous than his past work.

This change of direction confused and upset many listeners. “All the music is so dark and deep which is very different than his past music,” Jack Moses ’19 said. “I like some songs, but the album as a whole disappointed me.”

The majority of the songs consist of the constant pressure Sean feels not to fail, ending his life and living up to his full potential. The third song released from the album, ‘Halfway Off the Balcony’, Sean raps, “My daddy tell me, ‘Stay strong, son and be the man you have to be. Holdin’ ship down, don’t crash at sea,’” explaining the stress he has felt throughout his career.This pressure comes not only from his father and other controlling figures in his life, but also the stress he puts on himself to not be an underdog to rappers like Kanye West. Sean also described the song to Zane Lowe as the song he ‘loses his mind’ and the next song on the track, ‘Sunday Morning Jetpack’, as ‘the moment you get lifted with positive energy’.

One of the two singles from the album, ‘Bounce Back,’ has soared the charts with its upbeat and catchy lyrics. “Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back,” Sean raps, is one of the only songs that is similar to his other music. ‘Bounce Back’ is currently #5 on Spotify’s United States Top 50.

Hannah Eldh ’19 has listened to the album numerous times since the release and says the album is an ‘eye opener and overall a very deep album’. The messages Sean is trying to convey require a mature audience and many of his listeners are in their teens. This may be the reason many dislike the tracks. Putting that aside Sean says he ‘really just wanted to inspire to people listening to it’ and he really did inspire his fans including myself.

Fans like Eldh and myself are overall pleased with the new album, but it is transparent many dislike the new tone. In my opinion, this album is his personal best and he should continue to want to make a change in his fans lives within his music.