Big Sean has been referring to himself as B.I.G. for a while now. Realistically, that’s just not happening, but he is getting closer. After being a redshirt on the G.O.O.D. Music team for what seemed like an eternity, he dropped an album that had no business being as good as it was, then reinforced it by figuratively eating everyone’s food on the track of the summer, “Mercy.” Odds are that Sean will be doing more food eating on Cruel Fall or Cruel Winter or whatever this tardy G.O.O.D. compilation is called when it’s eventually released, but in the meantime he’s released a timely and darn good mixtape.
Detroit is a tightly put together batch of diverse tracks that play to Big Sean’s strengths: he knows how to choose beats and he has fun all over them. He holds his own alongside formidable guests known for their scene-stealing behaviour (J. Cole, Royce Da 5’9, and Kendrick Lamar) and shines even more on his solo tracks. To display his versatility, he goes from talking about the usual over-the-top rapper shit, then hits his compassionate side on the stand-out track “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” Songs like this make all of his cocky antics tolerable, and to a certain extent understandable. As much as he’s a boastful brat, the dude works hard because he loves it and he wants it. It’s hard to deny that.
The one-two punch this recent mixtape and Cruel Summer create will nudge Big Sean into an elite class of rappers. And that will be well deserved. Swerve.