Sean Don has done it again—”Detroit 2” is full of hits! The much-anticipated fifth album of the Detroit-born, Cass Tech alumnus, Big Sean’s album dropped today and he did not disappoint. “Detroit 2‘s” release date was pushed back twice, and the time he spent tending to his mental health is palpable in this project filled with spiritual storytelling, mindfulness and with enough base to make your trunk rattle.
The album starts off with “Why Would I Stop?” an apt response to those who questioned Sean’s ability to carry the same fire he carried in the onset of his career. Big Sean moves through his first track: “Why would I stop? I’m unstoppable.” With a beautifully artistic flow of life experience and higher consciousness, Big Sean provides a view from his “third eye” recounting pivotal moments throughout his life all while humbly paying homage to his hometown, Detroit. From staying in a two-family flat with his mom and aunt to Sean experiencing his first “audition” dancing for his family. All candid, character-building moments that lead to his success today.
Included in this 21-track project are sweetly placed interludes of other artists regaling the listener with their Motown moments entitled “stories.” Dave Chappell shares the story of the time he was encouraged by Big Sean’s father. There are other big names among the seasoned story tellers including Queen Erykah Badu and living legend Stevie Wonder.
Throughout the album Sean nods to other artists that paved the way for him like Diddy (who is also featured on the track “Full Circle”), Jay-Z and, of course, Kanye West who discovered Big Sean. We’re reminded of Big Sean’s range and versatility as he switches cadences in tracks like “Lucky Me” and “The Baddest.” Lyrically, it’s some of his best work. Comparable to Big Sean’s famed album “Dark Sky Paradise”, released in 2014, which explored the complexities of his mind while he rose to fame. “Detroit 2” displays a more intentional, grounded Big Sean, matured in his artistry, and always appreciative of his roots.
“When God said let there be light, he made Sean,” says Diddy in “Full Circle.”
Big Sean has been openly vocal about his battle with his mental health, admitting he attended counseling and temporarily took a step back from music to heal from his daunting traumas. In true Detroit fashion Sean is as much a fighter as he is a lover, often referencing his success and failures in relationships in addition to his intimacy. “Detroit 2” features softer tracks such as “Body Language” featuring Jhené Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign and “Time In” by TWENTY88 (the duo of Jhené Aiko and Big Sean).
The pinnacle of the album is “Friday Night Cypher,” a 10-minute Detroit Artist Collective with Tee Grizzly, Kash Doll, Cash Kidd, Payroll Giovanni, 42 Dugg, Sada Baby, Royce Da 5’9”, Big Sean, Eminem and more .
“Detroit 2” was well worth the two-year wait, the entire album Is fire. This is a clear indication of what happens when you realize you can’t pour from an empty cup. The album is overflowing with talent and true artistry. A refreshing rap album that you can listen to the whole way through. It features other dominant artists like Post Malone, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Travis Scott and a dynamic posthumous feature from beloved Nipsey Hussle on “Deep Reverence.”
“Detroit 2” feels like Faygo, Better Made, and 25 Cent Now N’ Laters. Big Sean bossed up, put on his buffs, and gave us something to bop to down the lodge. “Don’t mistake me falling down for falling off,” he says in “Guard your Heart” (featuring Anderson Paak, Earlly Mac, and Wale). “Detroit 2” is now streaming on all platforms.