Kanye West has such a great ear for Hip Hop that him backing new artist Big Sean is a big stamp of approval in the industry. Knowing West believed in him enough to sign him to his label, you’d expect a lot from the guy. Maybe a dynamic debut album that is unique to the Hip Hop game, or something that at least makes a great statement about who Sean the artist is. The album “Finally Famous” falls somewhere in the middle of groundbreaking and average, not doing too much of anything revolutionary but managing to at least be a solid enjoyable album that’s at least memorable after the first listen.
For the most part, “Finally Famous” is a party album with enough dance floor anthems to keep clubbers sweating through the summer. The MC Hammer sampling “Dance (A$$)”, The-Dream assisted “Live This Life”, the albums high point “High” and the first single “My Last” featuring Chris Brown all excel at being well produced and upbeat. When Sean isn’t making you dance, he follows the blueprint of a contemporary Hip Hop album well. Flowing about his past, his present and what he wants his future in the game to be. He has the sex songs (“Marvin & Chardonnay”, the boasting songs (“I Do It”/ “Get It”) and the sentimental ones (“Memories II” featuring John Legend), the perfect recipe for a solid album.
While there’s nothing wrong with the material, at times it feels too familiar. Sean gives off a Ludacris vibe with his humor on some tracks, as well as sounding a little Kanye and Cudi’ish on others. Occasionally will he spit a line, or do something that shows he does have some talent, but those moments don’t come often enough. He doesn’t ever manage to make the album unique, like Kanye’s debut or even Drake’s debut last year.
Sean more or less follows the formula, and in that respect he succeeds. It’s just the album is missing a big stamp to tell the listeners who he is, what he stands for, and why we should be interested in future music. There are bits and pieces of uniqueness, but it’s not enough at this point to make him the big star he hopes to be. Maybe the next album we’ll find out who he really is, but until now he just gave us a very solid and fun Hip Hop album perfect for the summer.