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Big Sean-Dark Sky Paradise

  • Release date: 15 February 2015
  • Label: GOOD music and Def jam records

Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise is by far his best album; it comes close to that elusive balance where his music works as mindless entertainment while yet giving you something to think about. Guests include John Legend, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and more.


His most recent album, Dark Sky Paradise, does not entirely give up his desire for a certain sense of legitimacy, despite what the absurd but official-sounding title would suggest. The first to come the closest to that elusive sweet spot where his music works as mindless entertainment while still giving you just enough to chew on, it is by far his best album. The song “I Don’t Fuck With You” is the best illustration of this; it was the album’s opening track and may have even rescued Sean’s career as we know it.

The song, which was released online in September along with three other songs, is a clear hit with a catchy hook and some great lyrics—”I just bought a cot, three stories, that bitch a trilogy”—and it makes use of his broken engagement with “Glee” star Naya Rivera in a way that feels sincere and inspired. For Big Sean, that song marks the turning point, and the assurance he seems to gain from fully embracing his abilities seeps from its pores.

If you don’t mind actively perfecting tracklists, you could replace the album’s soft middle with those three songs to create a pretty good little rap album. The deluxe bonus tracks, particularly the Ariana Grande collaboration “Research”, which has a beguilingly tricky beat, help to redeem the proceedings. Dark Sky Paradise, however, represents a significant improvement above the ideal Big Sean full-length. It’s unclear whether he will succeed there, but in the meanwhile, the smirkiest rapper in the industry has released an album that vindicates all of his arrogance.


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Big Sean Dark Sky Paradise’s Tracklist


1. Dark Sky (Skyscrapers)

2. Blessings f/ Drake

3. All Your Fault f/ Kanye West

4. IDFWU f/ E-40

5. Pay No Games f/ Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign

6. Paradise (Extended)

7. Win Some, Lose Some

8. Stay Down

9. I Know f/ Jhené Aiko

10. Deep f/ Lil Wayne

11. One Man Can Change the World f/ Kanye West and John Legend

12. Outro

13. Deserve It f/ PARTYNEXTDOOR

14. Research f/ Ariana Grande

15. Platinum & Wood