Big Sean is arguably one of the greatest rappers to ever come out of Detroit. His excellent word choice and “Supa Dupa” impressed Kanye West, who later gave him a shot on his team. After releasing several major hits with Kanye West’s GOOD Music, Big Sean has proved that he is one of the most talented rappers of the last decade. Despite leaving the record label for bigger things, there is no doubt that Big Sean worked his way up and deserved a better deal. The ranking of all Big Sean albums takes a look at all seven of his studio albums and ranks them from worst to best. Here are all of Big Sean’s albums ranked.
7. Double or Nothing
Double or Nothing was one of Big Sean’s collaborative albums, this time teaming up with Metro Boomin. The production was ingenious, and it’s safe to say that Metro Boomin played his role to perfection. However, the lyrics were not on the same level as the beats, and the duo would have been better off doing an EP rather than an album. The best track on the album is “So Good,” which helped propel the album to number six on the US Billboard 200 and number two on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
6. Hall of Fame (2013)
This album was released in 2013 through GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. The album opens with the song “Nothing Is Stopping You,” which is a tribute to young rappers following their dreams. Most people know Big Sean’s story about getting discovered by Kanye West after rapping for him at a local radio station. However, it is almost impossible to achieve a similar feat in this age where we have platforms like YouTube, which can easily make you famous. The album peaks up from there with the track “Fire,” whose video contains a surprise appearance from Miley Cyrus. The album was quite decent, although it was long, and I tend to feel that tracks like “Toyota Music” should have been left out.
5. I Decided
Right from the album’s artwork which features two men standing in front of their driveways parallel to one another, this album, as Big Sean indicated, represented his older self and his current self. The album opens with a monologue from an old man as he talks about how he has not made much progress in his career and his poor relationship with his family. The next song is “Light,” which sounds like an optimistic song with Big Sean advising us that we should live in the moment and try to be the best version of ourselves. The album contains several other inspirational songs, and Big Sean’s flow and smooth voice make this album quite solid.
4. Finally Famous (2011)
Coming in at number four is his 2011 album, Finally Famous, which was released through GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. The album was supported by three singles, namely, “My Last,” which featured Chris Brown on the vocals, “Dance,” and “Marvin & Chardonnay” featuring Kanye West and Rascoe Dash. The album was a clear display of how Big Sean’s rap style had evolved through his mixtapes. The album contained some great verses, incredible beats, and there is no doubt that Big Sean was enjoying himself throughout. The album’s main theme was working hard and overcoming struggles and ultimately getting what you can say is the biggest success of your life. Finally, Famous was positively reviewed by critics, and most of the songs in the album were decent. My personal favorite songs on the album are “My Last” and “Memories.” The album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 and sold 87,000 copies during its first week.
3. What You Expect (2021)
This album saw Big Sean collaborate yet again with Grammy award-winning producer, Hit-Boy. The album contains six songs that will grab your attention as soon as you hit the play button. Hit-Boy is so good at crafting perfect instrumentals as Big Sean displays his hard-hitting rap verses. The first track in the album is titled “Chaos,” and it is a perfect example of great lyrics accompanied by incredible beats. “Into It” features Nas, who is a long-time Hit-Boy collaborator. The album has a guest list that features the likes of Lil Durk, Babyface Ray, Bryson Tiller, and 42 Dugg.
2. Detroit 2
By the time Big Sean released Detroit 2, he had evolved a lot as an artist, and it’s clear that he had put so much into this album. The album was supposed to be released on 13th March 2020 to coincide with “313 Day,” but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The album was a dedication to his hometown, Detroit. Although the album’s release was delayed, Big Sean saw it as a silver lining since he was able to work on reshaping some parts of the album as well as writing new material. The album contained the track “Harder than Demons,” which was released as the album’s promotional single. Overall, the album was well produced with clean beats, and Big Sean showed that he had a passion for progress. According to Mark Elibert of HipHopDX, the album was worthy of being considered as one of the greatest in his era.
1. Dark Sky Paradise
Before he released this album, Big Sean knew that he had something to prove since some people in the industry were starting to count him out. Dark Sky Paradise is arguably his best album with excellent production and great lyricism. The guest list featured Kanye West, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and others. The album was full of great songs, with the album’s lead single, “I Don’t F*** With You,” peaking at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100. My favorite track on the album was “Blessings,” which featured Drake and Kanye West. The song peaked at 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum by the RIAA on August 2020.