I remember being 13 and watching the Biggie biopic “Notorious” for the first time. One scene that had a huge impact on me was during his funeral when fans began to play Hypnotize loud through their speakers. At that moment I began to think, what songs really define the essence of an artist. What music had each artist made that spoke so much to the core of their being that it would make sense to play at their funeral? Digging deeper I pondered, if someone had never heard this rapper before what songs would you show them to define what they stand for? That brings me to this series, “The Essentials.” I will be trying to pick five songs that I believe perfectly describe what a certain rapper stands for. It doesn’t have to be their biggest hit or a well respected deep album cut. It can and will be songs I feel display their biggest strengths and rapping abilities. “The Essentials” will be starting with no other than B.I.G Sean Don.
If you ever met me or seen my Twitter you’d know that I’m a huge Big Sean fan. While some have the audacity to call him “corny” because of his animation and witty lines, I see an artist who has the total package. His versatility allows for him to effortlessly hop on an array of different beats and talk of a wide range of topics. Big Sean’s two most amazing gifts are his flow which is so adaptable and smooth, and his clever punchlines. All in all, when I think of what makes a good rapper, the G.O.O.D Music MC fits the bill. With that said here is The Essentials: Big Sean.
5. Glenwood ft. Kanye West
Bars. Bars. Bars. On 2009’s “Glenwood,” both Kanye and Big Sean take turns spitting some of their best lyrics to date. Originally a song titled “Wheelie Shit,” this version somehow managed to fall into our laps. Big Sean impresses greatly showing why he was signed to G.O.O.D Music with a bunch of word flips and a hard-hitting flow. Though this song isn’t really popular it is easily one of his best displays of his rap skills.
Best Line : I know its niggas praying on my downfall and weak shit/ But I’m never going downhill even on a ski trip
4. Almost Wrote You a Love Song Ft. Suai
What a beautiful record. Appearing on “Finally Famous 3,” Big Sean was able to really show his versatility with this love ballad about his cheating ways. Adding slick punchlines with the relatable tale of love lost, you get an early glimpse of just how introspective he can be. The song really picks up during the second verse when he raps about his unfaithful ways through his girlfriend’s perspective. Just amazing honestly.
Best Line: Before you say another nigga next up/ I should call a maid down cause I messed up
3. How It Feel
After the lukewarm reception of his debut album Big Sean shocked the world with “Detroit.” Still to this day people will argue that this is his strongest piece of work. As soon as the Barry White sample drops you know you will be in for a wild ride with Sean Don. Personally, I think this track is the best his flow has ever been. He managed to stay super smooth while still flowing fast with every line hitting. This is really just a great overall Big Sean song.
Best Line: B.I.G I’m mayor in this bitch / All fur coat looking like a bear in this bitch
I mean who really didn’t love this song ? The lead single off his second album “Hall of Fame” was massive. It perfectly showed Big Sean’s personality by combining humor with typical money talk sprinkled in with the need to work hard and provide for loved ones. Once again, B.I.G dazzles with his electrifying energy and flow that is second to none. The final half of the last verse when the beat drops and Sean is just spitting is one of his career highlights. The added Kanye vocals then took the song over the top.
Best Line: They like, “Boy, won’t you get your rest on?” / Bitch, cause I’m up for every hour I was slept on
When people talk about J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar being complex conscious rappers this is the song I use to justify Big Sean being in that class. It’s a record literally everyone can relate to. When you lose someone whether it be from death, a break up, or just growing apart, in the end all we have is memories. Sean Don is introspective giving us a glimpse of what he struggles with. If you are ever missing someone or just having a bad day this song will instantly speak to your soul. It is easily the greatest Big Sean song ever.
Best Line: My best friend got addicted to pills /I can’t look at him in his eyes you don’t know how that shit feels