Following an 18-track mixtape released in 2012, Hall of Fame is his second studio album. It clearly displays how Big Sean is able to develop his music with current trends while maintaining his own sound and style.

Among the aspects that are consistent is his hip-hop sound. Being neither low-budget basic beats, nor over thought complexities, the album stands on the border of having too many mainstream electronics and too little authentic hip-hop, satisfying an entire spectrum of listeners.

Big Sean stuck to using numerous collaborations, calling on the likes of Juicy J, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Miguel and Nicki Minaj. Vocals by British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding appear on the song “You Don’t Know” which was co-written by Goulding.

What has changed though, is that the lyrics are notably more crude. The lyrical themes, however, seem to have deepened romantically, like on songs such as “You Don’t Know”, “Sierra Leone” and “Ashley”. Sexual references are still often made, as in “MILF” and “Mona Lisa”, which can be expected from any hip-hop album.

The odd songs “Fire” and “First Chain”, about fame and fortune, keep the album grounded and authentically hip-hop. On the other hand, songs like “Nothing Is Stopping You” carry an inspirational, and perhaps personal, message.

More digital sounds have been used on the album, giving the music a modern sound. Big Sean manages to manipulate the arrangements so that his style is emphasised and uses modern influences to complement it.

Big Sean’s tone isn’t quite as dull as one would expect it to be from a rapper. In fact, it is more vibrantly used in this album than his previous music and although it’s not as diverse as most pop or R&B singers, it gives colour to the music nonetheless.

Hall of Fame stands out as an album that is more entertaining than the usual serving of hardcore bass, dance and shallow lyrics and is what could get Big Sean to the top with more awards like his 2012 BET for Best New Artist award. Big Sean delivers a good album with Hall of Fame, which has fans certain that his next album will be as current to its time as this one.

Rating: 7/10


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