Track Review: Big Sean, ‘Halfway Off the Balcony’
Big Sean delivers valid points on single “Halfway Off the Balcony,” but also leaves more to be desired lyrically.
Following a quiet 2016, Big Sean returns in 2017 with his fourth studio album, I Decided. Ahead of I Decided, the Detroit MC has been dropping tracks, including “Bounce Back,” “Moves,” and now, “Halfway Off the Balcony.” On “Balcony,” he delivers valid points on single “Halfway Off the Balcony,” but the latest single isn’t without its share of flaws.
“Halfway Off the Balcony” opens forebodingly, giving off a dark vibe. As a groove begins to assert itself, Big Sean delivers his signature line, “I look up.” He begins to pop-rap, giving a unique performance, to say the least. What makes it unique, rather bizarre? Sean seems to be all over the place, bragging and shifting from one subject and one thing to another. Adding to said uniqueness is the incorporation of backing vocals (“ba, ba-ba-ba-ba…”) and pitch-shifted vocals by the rapper himself. The pitch-shifted vocals are gimmicky, though interestingly, the pitch isn’t lowered as much as southern rap vocals.
While “Halfway Off the Balcony” is odd, Sean manages to put together an okay hook:
“I’m hangin’ halfway off the balcony / Overthinkin’ ‘cause my job is way more than a salary / Everything around me gold like I just practiced alchemy / I realized when it comes to girls / That chemistry means way more than anatomy / She mad at me, she been mad at me.”
Depth isn’t the right word for the hook, but the rapper gets his point across. He’s been examining life with deeper vision himself. He considers his platform as a rapper to be more important than making money, while relationships should be more about emotional connections as opposed to sex. He gets some credit for this.
As for the verses, lyrically, it’s less memorable. The listener hears some of his deeper points, but nothing stands out as game-changing. More than the lyrics, it’s the sound and vibe.
Ultimately, Big Sean articulates his points on “Halfway Off the Balcony.” Even so, it’s an okay record, not a great or monumental one. Ahead of I Decided., the anticipation is so-so, based upon the singles released ahead of the effort.