Review: Big Sean's 'Dark Sky Paradise' is quite good

'Dark Sky Paradise' is in stores Tuesday

Detroit native Big Sean with Jay-Z
Detroit native Big Sean with Jay-Z (Big Sean/Instagram)

DETROIT – Big Sean has arrived. After falling flat on his first two studio albums, his new album, Dark Sky Paradise is a breath of fresh air. "I guess it took ten years for me to be an overnight success" quips the rapper on the opener 'Dark Sky (Skyscrapers)'.

With features from Drake, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Jhene Aiko, Ariana Grande and John Legend, Dark Sky Paradise sets itself apart from Finally Famous and Hall of Fame.

But it's not just the features. Big Sean has grown up. Dark Sky Paradise is a winning mix of high tempo raps and Sean's high-velocity flows.

Missing from Sean's first two albums, the Detroit native has a story to share. From death to heartbreak and love. The lyrical delivery on Dark Sky Paradise is more pristine, the writing is sharper, his confidence is up

In the early Big Sean days, when he was releasing mixtapes, Sean was one of the best storytellers in hip hop. In this album, he has restored his storytelling ability. As the title suggests, the album is Dark, addressing issues such as being underrated, work ethics, relationships, holding his guys down, downside to success and getting his recognition.

The most inspiring among the Dark Sky Paradise cuts is "One Man Can Change the World" featuring West and John Legend. The track pays homage to Sean's late grandmother, and includes a recorded conversation between the two.

Production credits include Detroit natives Key Wane and Jay John Henry, plus Kanye West, Vinylz, and Mike WiLL. It is outstanding.

Although Big Sean isn't normally mentioned among the best rappers, this album will propel him into the conversation.



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