Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise (GOOD music/ Def Jam; 2015)
Is Dark Sky Paradise an improvement over Big Sean’s last two vapid releases? Absolutely. Over a comparatively concise 49 minutes, Big Sean is engulfed by lush, moody and fairly varied trap rap instrumentals from the likes of DJ Mustard, Boi-1da and mentor Kanye West among many others.
From the synth funk groove of “Play No Games” to the densely atmospheric, DJ Mustard produced “I Know”, Dark Sky Paradise remains consistently interesting on the basis of its much improved production. Big Sean, on the other hand, remains as interesting as a plastic bag. Boasting relentlessly of his current status and his insurmountable merits as a rapper, Sean forgets to provide proof, regularly undercutting any moment of possible introspection with a kitchen sink of pop rap clichés delivered in the most cringe-worthy of ways (“I’m doing extra numbers like I’m Chinese”).
With Dark Sky Paradise, Big Sean has side-stepped a chance at ambition and solidified his place as one of hip-hop’s biggest black sheep, proving that a Big Mac in fancy packaging is still just a Big Mac.
Trial Track: “Outro”