Track by Track: Big Sean's 'I Decided.'
After his “TWENTY88” album release with Jhene Aiko back in 2016, Big Sean finally dropped his fourth studio album, “I Decided.,” on Feb. 3. Produced by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings, the album features the two hit singles, “Bounce Back” and “Moves.” Big Sean was signed on to GOOD Music in 2007, Def Jam in 2008, and Roc Nation in 2014. A change of tune from his previous work, “I Decided.” focuses on his climb to fame.
This track kicks off with a minute-long monologue of a person praying to God, asking for help with their future. A soft, melodic beat plays in the background, emphasizing the emotion during this moment.
“God, I have been doing the same thing in the same place / Working the same job for 45 years / What am I really doing?”
The track immediately flows into the next.
‘Light (feat. Jerimih)’
Featuring Jerimih, “Light” merges with the same melody from the first track. Big Sean raps about the racial discrimination he has seen throughout his life as well as the events happening today. The chorus between the pair is like an anthem to keep fighting the fight.
“Even if you take my life / You can’t take the light / No matter how much they gon’ shade you.”
The first single to gain popularity on the radio and music streaming services, “Bounce Back” sets the theme for the album, which is centered as a rebirth between the past and present. The beat is fast-paced and can be played at parties or during nights out.
“Boy / I been broke as hell / Cashed a check and bounce back / D town LAX every week I bounce back / If you a real one / Then you know how to bounce back,” Big Sean raps.
‘No Favors (feat. Eminem)’
Eminem makes a cameo on this track. The two talk about making it by yourself and not relying on anyone for anything, as they could hold you back from success.
“You can save your hand / I ain’t gotta shake it / Everything lined up for the taking / And what I need from em’ / No favors.”
‘Jump Out the Window’
In this track, the narrator is giving advice to a friend experiencing an abusive relationship, while having hope that the girl will fall for him. Big Sean raps,
“The question isn’t do he love ya? / The question is do you love yourself? / You give the best advice to your friends and not take it for yourself.” The simple lyric sums up the theme of the song from both parties’ point of views.
Letting go of the seriousness of others on the album, this track is a fail-proof party song. “Moves” could easily be played to make an entire room jump to their feet.
‘Same Time, Pt. 1 (feat. TWENTY88)’
A shorter track that features “TWENTY88” collaborator Jhene Aiko, this song describes mutual feelings between two people and the relationship they are in.
“Look / We in tune / We in sync / Eye to eye / Don’t need to blink / We been here / Don’t need a drink.”
A mix between a fast pace and slow beat, “Owe Me” is a tune to head bop to while driving. Sean raps about someone who left and came back into his life, making him contemplate whether or not to try again.
“Owe me time/ Owe me sex / Long nights / No reply / I got no regrets / You disrespect disrespect.”
‘Halfway Off the Balcony’
This song is about reaching a breaking point where everything is too much to handle. Each emotion is described during the moment where it could be the end for everything.
“I’m hanging halfway off the balcony / Overthinkin’ cause my job is way more than a salary.”
‘Voices In My Head/Stick To the Plan’
A continuation of “Halfway Off The Balcony,” this track connects the insight to those thoughts that led to the breaking point. The insecurities and fears begin to break through and start to stick into your everyday thoughts.
“Voices in my head / Sayin’ I could do better / Voices in my head / Sayin’ that I knew better.”
‘Sunday Morning Jetpack (feat. The-Dream)’
Here, the tempo becomes uplifting and soulful as the listener reaches the closing of the album. It goes back to all of the good times and relationships. Big Sean mentions his past lovers and current lover and how it affected his decisions today.
“I hope this is somewhat of a ‘thank you’ for all your help / Hope the angels take care of you until I see you there myself.”
Going with a more tribal beat, “Inspire Me” is a tribute to Sean’s mother, who helped him throughout his life and is a major role model.
“Mama you know you inspire me / You deserve early retirement / You text me / Tell me to take my vitamins.” The lyrics prove that even now during his adult years, his mother still plays a part in his life and career.
‘Bigger Than Me (feat. The Flint Chosen Choir and Starrah)’
Featuring The Flint Chozen Choir and Starrah, “Bigger than Me” closes the album by bringing back the slow melody that was introduced in the beginning. The song ties up the entire album as Big Sean reflects and realizes that though he has made it to the top, he still has more to do. The song ends with a conversation between Big Sean and his mother, who is giving him advice for success. “And they all just waiting on you to speak / That’s when you realize that this is bigger than me.”
It’s plain to see the growth Big Sean has undergone, both through his actions and the music he makes. “I Decided.” is perfect to listen to whether you’re on the way to work, going through a tough time or ready to party.