Big Sean - Hall of Fame (Review)

Big Sean - Hall of Fame

"Hall of Fame" is the second studio album by GOOD Music emcee Big Sean. The album features guest appearances from Nas, Juicy J, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and others as well as production by No ID, Key Wane, Da Internz and others. It is set to be released on August 27, 2013 via GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings.

1) Nothing Is Stopping You - The first song on the album features an energetic Key Wane instrumental with some smooth synths and a sprinkle of piano keys over light drums. The beat is dope and Big Sean sounds pretty good over it, rapping about pursuing his dream of making it big in the rap industry and about kicking some rhymes for Kanye before he got signed to GOOD Music. The lyrics have some substance and the beats got my head nodding a bit. Good way to start the album.

2) Fire - This track was the fourth single released from the album and it's dope. The beat, by DJ Camper, has an epic sounding chopped up vocal sample with some hard pianos and stadium drums. The instrumental has a strong triumphant feel to it and Big Sean comes correct, rapping about everything from his work ethic to the life's lessons he learned from his pops while growing up in Detroit. This track is fire, but I could have done without the singing by Big Sean at the end.

3) 10 2 10 - Young Chop, No I.D., Travis Scott and Key Wane collaborate to come through with this monster of a beat that has some ominous synths and trunk-rattling bass. The beat has a heavy trap music influence, but the shit bangs. Big Sean, however, sounds pretty terrible on here. His flow is off and the lyrics are laughable. Did I mention the beat is dope though?

4) Toyota Music - This song has another ill beat, with some ethereal chimes and synths over sparse drums. Big Sean's flow is back to normal, but he isn't really saying anything on here except some braggadocio raps about his money and drugs. Are we seeing a trend yet? Still, this is actually one of the better tracks on the album for me. That beat is just crazy.

5) You Don’t Know - Big Sean raps about partying and women over an Ellie Goulding sample from Dubstep artist Flich's "You Don't Know." The beat is really dope, but Big Sean is just spitting more of the same old stuff. This is cool, but nothing mind blowing.

6) Beware (featuring Lil Wayne and Jhené Aiko) - This was the third single from the album and it's ok I guess. The instrumental, by Key Wane and Mike Dean, is laid-back and has more of the same synths and mellow drums that have been so prevalent on the album so far. Big Sean and Lil Wayne rap about the drama of getting caught cheating on your girl and dealing with the repercussions that come with it, while Jhené Aiko just provides the chorus. Big Sean sounds ok on here, but Lil Wayne sounds like he isn't even trying any more. It's a shame too since he was slowly working his way up into my top 10 back around the "Tha Carter" - "Tha Carter II" era. Oh well.

7) First Chain (featuring Nas and Kid Cudi) - The beat on this song, courtesy of No I.D., has a soulful feel to it with some light pianos and head-nodding drums. All three emcees come correct and spit about the times when they got their first Jesus Piece's. Kid Cudi rips it, but I think Nas has the best verse by a slight margin.
"Cause it's a mental game
I learned that when I got my first initial chain
I didn't fake it, it was gold plated
I was posing, relating
To those dealing with blow, had the big gold boat anchors, it was those gangsters
That bonus, that culture, those projects
Shiny shit on their necks, making both of my eyes squint
They got in my bones, now I'm coppin stones
Sorry Sierra Leone, one day we'll right the wrongs"
This song is really dope.

8) Mona Lisa - Big Sean raps about trying to have a threesome over a forgettable Da Internz trap instrumental. The beat is pretty bland when compared to the lush instrumentals on the album so far and Big Sean's lyrics are weak as well. I'm not feelin' this track at all.

9) Freaky - Bleh.

10) MILF (featuring Nicki Minaj and Juicy J) - What the hell is this? Da Internz return with a slightly darker instrumental than their previous track, but it's just as forgettable. Big Sean and Juicy J kick some rhymes about hooking up with MILFs while Nicki Minaj plays the welfare card. I know they are just playing characters in the song, but this shit is terrible.

11) Sierra Leone / Greedy Ho’s - Now this is MUCH better. No I.D. and James Poyser come through with a breezy instrumental that has a nice "vacation on a tropical island" feel to it. Big Sean spits his typical boastful rhymes about his wealth and women, but the beat is so smooth and carefree that I can't help but to like this. The skit at the end is unnecessary, but you can just skip it when it comes on. This is one of the better tracks on the album for me.

12) It’s Time (featuring Young Jeezy and Payroll) - The beat on this song has a strong Southern feel, with layers of frantic keyboards over deep bass. Lyrically everyone comes correct and rap about their come up and making it big in the rap industry. This is the first Jeezy verse I've heard in quite a while and he definitely does his thing. I'm feelin' this track. It's far from the best on here, but it's also far from the worst.

13) World Ablaze (featuring Cocaine 80's) - Finally Big Sean comes with some some lyrics other than all of the women, drugs and wealth talk. The beat on this track, provided by Key Wane and No I.D., is mellow and soothing as Big Sean spits some heartfelt lyrics about comforting his neighbor after her son got shot as well as caring for his girls mom who has breast cancer.
"I left, came back in town, it wasn't in time
The cancer done came, it just hit it's prime
It came from the breast, it spread to the spine
It might make her blind, she stare at the blinds
"This can't be my mom!"
Got me thinking..
Whats a girl to do, a girl to do?
When her world's a pool?
And she comes up for air and it's walls of flames
And all the stress is all propane, she's burned again"
This shit is dope. I wish the album had more songs like this one.

14) Ashley (featuring Miguel) - And maybe it does. Big Sean raps some more honest and heartfelt rhymes about his ex-girl Ashley while Miguel provides a passionate chorus to take the song to even higher heights. The beat, by DJ Mano, is nice, with an energetic piano and resonant drums. This song would probably be a hit if they decide to release it on the radio. Not bad, I guess.

15) All Figured Out - The final song on the album has another dope No I.D. instrumental with fuzzy keyboards and more contemplative pianos. Big Sean kicks some rhymes about trying to figure out the keys to life and realizing that he never will fully understand it all. While there is nothing mind blowing lyrically on here, its still a welcome change from the many recycled topics on the album. Eh, not bad for a closer track.

*The following are all bonus tracks on the deluxe edition of the album*

16) Mula (Remix) (featuring 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and Earlly Mac) - The first bonus track has a trap instrumental, provided by Young Chop, that sounds just like a million of the other trap beats out there. It's not terrible, it just sounds kind of uninspired. Lyrically everyone sounds pretty good on here, rapping about their money and such. 2 Chainz probably comes the weakest though. Eh, this is just ok.

17) Switch Up (featuring Common) - DJ Mano, No I.D. and Rob Kinelski team up for this upbeat instrumental that has some more trap synths and energetic drums. The beat is ok and Big Sean comes correct, but Common just phones in his verse and collects his check. I was really disappointed in this song. Oh well.

18) Guap - The final bonus track was also the first single that was released from the album. The song features a dope instrumental by Key Wane and Young Chop that's actually got my head nodding a bit. The hook is very catchy and Big Sean is on point lyrically, but the subject matter of the song is just a retread of the rest of the album. Still, this song is dope and is much better than the past two bonus tracks.

I'm going to rate the album

2.5 / 5

because there are some really good tracks on here, but a bunch of filler ones as well. The beats are pretty much fire throughout the entire album, with only a few missteps here or there. Big Sean is very hit-or-miss lyrically, however, rapping about the exact same thing on almost every song. His flow is off on some tracks and his lyrics are just a rehash of the same topics over and over again. I know it's his style and all, but I just don't think this album will get much replay from me in the future. That being said, there are a few songs on here where Big Sean is really spitting and brings some heat lyrically. Combined, though, the album is only average for me, with a few standout tracks interspersed throughout a sea of weaker ones.


  1. You don't know music or flow. Stop wasting your life with something you don't understand.