Big Sean & Metro Boomin, Double or Nothing | Album Review
Rapper Big Sean and sought-after producer Metro Boomin make magic together on their collaborative album, ‘Double or Nothing.’
Both Big Sean and Metro Boomin had a great year in 2017. For Sean, he released a new studio album, I Decided., which debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200. Furthermore, he was nominated for a Grammy. As for Metro Boomin, he continued to produce his butt off collaborating with numerous artists, most notably 21 Savage and Offset for top-10 album, Without Warning. The two come together for the 10-track, 41-minute LP, Double or Nothing. All in all, the results are respectable.
“Go Legend” kicks things off with subtlety, leaning on a Diana Ross sample. The subtlety grows more overt with the entrance of hard-hitting drum programming and Travis Scott singing the chorus. As always, he’s idiosyncratic, which is the allure and charm. Big Sean handles the verses, delivering enjoyable rhymes, with a solid flow. Nothing groundbreaking, but a good start. “Big Bidness” follows, bringing 2 Chainz along for the ride. Chainz gets his own verse, following two verses by the star of the show, Big Sean. Sean also handles the hook, in all its ferociousness.
“B*tch, I’m doing digits, all business, big bidness / See me on the block? Mhmm, b*tches still business / See my dick off in her mouth? Yep, b*tches still business.”
“Who’s Stopping Me” is among the most intriguing records off Double or Nothing. The biggest reason why is thanks to sampling a Brazilian singer, Nazaré Pereira (“Clarão de Lua”). At this point in his career, Big Sean has never had a record that sounds like this, which makes it unique. As far as his rapping, he feeds off the cool, groovy production work, delivering agile, tight rhymes. The hook further accentuates “Who’s Stopping Me,” not to mention Sean’s big personality.
“Pull Up N Wreck”
Big Sean is cocky and confident throughout the course of “Pull Up N Wreck,” the crowning achievement of Double or Nothing. On the first verse, he’s slick with his wordplay, relating numerous things to cars. Among highlights of this wordplay is when he asserts, “Doing 106, then Park like I’m in my yard (sideways).” He also references sex – shocker. The chorus is absolutely infectious.
“I know some east side n***as and they love to bang / Know some west side n***as like to do the same thing / Pull up and wreck, pull up and wreck / Pull up and wreck, pull up and wreck.”
21 Savage arrives on the second verse, and he’s not playing around. Like his partner in crime, he spits about sex, as well as material things and violence. Sean returns for the third and final verse, referencing balling, Golden Eye, and connect the dots. As for unsung hero Metro Boomin, he stitches up this banger with sleek, malicious production work.
On “So Good,” we see Big Sean at his horniest. On the naughty yet irresistible hook, he asserts, “Head so good, p***y so good / If I could quit my job and f**k you all day, shit I would / Yeah I would.” Kash Doll is a perfect fit (bad choice of words) as the recipient of Big Sean’s pleasure. There’s nothing redeeming about “So Good” – it’s sex on the track – but it truly is a guilty pleasure.
“Savage Time” follows, shifting the narrative from great sex to societal issues. While “So Good” feels better, “Savage Time” has more substance and redeeming qualities. “Evens the Odds” brings Young Thug onboard. The quirky rapper is a great fit, given the unique sound of the record. Personally, “Evens the Odds” was among my least favorites, particular following he guilty pleasure of “So Good” and the killer instinct of “Savage Time.”
“In Tune” provides atonement for “Evens the Odds,” beautifully sampling Lori Perry. Like opener “Go Legend,” “In Tune” commences quieter and more reserved. Once the drum programming enters, as well as Big Sean, there’s a bit more oomph. Still, the cool, calm, and collectedness of the record is impressive.
Penultimate joint “Reason” brings in the final guest of Double or Nothing, Swae Lee. Interestingly, Lee has a small appearance on the bridge, and a few lines on the final hook. The record itself is okay, but doesn’t rank among the elite. “No Hearts, No Love” closes out solidly, fueled mostly by famed classic, “Strawberry Letter 23.” Fergie plays a role, via her underrated “L.A.Love (la la).” As always, Big Sean has a great flow and respectable rhymes, while Metro Boomin keeps the production compelling.
All in all, Big Sean and Metro Boomin “put in work” on Double or Nothing. At just 41 minutes, this is the optimal length for this project and in many cases, any project. Most of the songs are solid, with a sufficient amount of replay value. This project isn’t ‘the second coming,’ but it certainly exceeds expectations.
Gems: “Go Legend,” “Who’s Stopping Me,” “Pull Up N Wreck,” “So Good” & “In Tune”
Big Sean & Metro Boomin • Double or Nothing • Def Jam / Republic • Release: 12.8.17
Photo Credits: Def Jam, Republic