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Hall of Fame (Big Sean album)

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Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Big Sean
Released August 27, 2013 (2013-08-27)
Recorded 2011–13
Studio
Genre Hip hop
Length 61:10
Label
Producer
Big Sean chronology
Detroit
(2012)
Hall of Fame
(2013)
Dark Sky Paradise
(2015)
Deluxe edition cover
Singles from Hall of Fame
  1. "Guap"
    Released: October 26, 2012
  2. "Switch Up"
    Released: April 6, 2013
  3. "Beware"
    Released: June 25, 2013
  4. "Fire"
    Released: August 20, 2013
  5. "Ashley"
    Released: October 2013
  6. "You Don't Know"
    Released: March 24, 2014

Hall of Fame is the second studio album by American hip hop recording artist Big Sean. It was released on August 27, 2013, by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions took place from 2011 to 2013, at the variety of the recording studios; primarily in Los Angeles, California. The album features guest appearances from Nas, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj and Jeezy, while the production on the album was primarily handled by No I.D., Key Wane, Da Internz, Mano, Young Chop and Hey DJ among others. The album was supported by six singles: "Guap", "Switch Up", "Beware", "Fire", "Ashley" and "You Don't Know".

Hall of Fame received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 72, based on 14 reviews. The album debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200, selling 72,000 copies in its first week. As of February 2015, the album has sold 155,000 copies in the United States.

Background[edit]

On September 27, 2012, Big Sean announced his second studio album with the title Hall of Fame: Memoirs of a Detroit Player, and then has announced a release date for December 2012.[1] Sean explains why chose this to be the title, stating that "its because it'll represent who he is". He then said that he feels "like situations are really going to be relatable to people."[2] He then stated that he "didn't want to just do another club song",[3] and he didn't even wanted to follow these popular music standards. "This is just what the fuck I want to do. Some people are going to like it. Some people are going to hate it; regardless, I'm just doing me."[4] Sean then said that Hall of Fame will be a far more inspirational and a more conceptually-driven project than his debut album. He even went on by saying the fact that he wants to teach, while making his lasting impact on peoples' lives with this second album.[5] During an interview with Power 105, Sean stated that he would include some skits on the album to give it a "classic feel". He even indicated that the song "Mula" featuring French Montana (which also this track was included on the mixtape Detroit), could be featuring as the track for his deluxe edition.[6]

In December 2012, Sean said that this album will be featuring all types of songs, so that everyone can hear the album at this point to make them being "blown away", including its contributions from his label-mate Kanye West, alongside with No I.D. and J. Cole.[7] The single "Clique" from GOOD Music's album Cruel Summer, which was rumored to be featured on Hall of Fame.[8] Starting off the year, the album was included on multiple "Most Anticipated Albums of 2013" lists, including those by MTV, XXL, who ranked it fourth and Complex ranked it eleventh.[9][10][11]

Recording and production[edit]

No I.D. (left) was the album's primary record producer and Kanye West (front) was the album's executive producer.

During the recording sessions on the album, Sean revealed Kanye West, Nas, Tyga, Common and Jhené Aiko were going to be appearing as featured artists, while West, No I.D., Key Wane, Hit-Boy and Young Chop will provide production on the album.[3][4][12] He then announced the final guest appearances from Miguel, Kid Cudi and other members of GOOD Music.[13][14]

On November 28, 2012, in an interview with Tim Westwood, Sean revealed that he had to invited Eminem to come to the studio, along with him announcing that he had renamed the album from Hall of Fame: Memoirs of a Detroit Player to just titled Hall of Fame.[15] On March 12, 2013, along with revealing a slew of songs on the album, Big Sean stated that there will be songs featuring Lil Wayne, Juicy J and 2 Chainz on the album. He also revealed that he worked with DJ Camper, DJ Mano, Da Internz and Rio on the album, production wise.[15]

On April 26, 2013, Sean then finally had some studio session with Eminem, which included Royce da 5'9" and Mr. Porter.[16][17] On June 8, 2013, Big Sean spoke with MTV News; about his almost full day studio session with Eminem, he'd promised a potential final product and labeling it a "Detroit classic", but was not sure whether it will appear on Hall of Fame or on Eminem's upcoming eighth studio album.[18] However, he explained Eminem was too busy working on his album to get on Hall of Fame.[19]

In July 2013, Sean revealed Ellie Goulding would be featured on the album.[20] In the following month, during a listening session, he revealed additional guest appearances on the album from Nicki Minaj, Young Jeezy and Doughboyz Cashout.[21] In August 2013, Big Sean told Rolling Stone the album was primarily produced by No I.D. and Sean's childhood friend Key Wane, with Kanye West having a much smaller presence on the album then Sean's debut album.[19] The final track listing contained guest appearances from Ellie Goulding, Lil Wayne, Jhené Aiko, Nas, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, Juicy J, Young Jeezy, Payroll of Doughboyz Cashout, James Fauntleroy, Miguel, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Earlly Mac, Pharrell Williams and Common.[22]

Release and promotion[edit]

While garnering the anticipation for the album, Big Sean released the mixtape Detroit on September 5, 2012. The mixtape consisted of previously unreleased songs. The mixtape features guest appearances from fellow rappers J. Cole, Juicy J, King Chip, French Montana, Royce da 5'9", Kendrick Lamar, Tyga, Chris Brown, Wale and Wiz Khalifa, along with track narrations by Common, Young Jeezy and Snoop Dogg. Production was provided by Hit-Boy, Da Internz, Lex Luger and Key Wane.[1] Before the album's release, Big Sean released a handful of his inspirational video blogs, which gets in touch on how far he has gotten to where he’s at throughout his career and what he plans on doing to further his position in music.[7] Most of his vlogs feature cameo appearances from Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, Common, No I.D., Rita Ora, Trey Songz, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, Lupe Fiasco, Teyana Taylor and T-Pain, among others.[23] Starting on February 23, 2013, Sean began a European tour in promotion of the album, which continued until March 13, 2013.[24] On September 28, 2013, Sean released a 23-minute documentary covering the development and making of the album, which began 269 days before the project's release.[25]

After initially announcing a December 18, 2012, release date for the album, it was revealed the album would be pushed back to February 2013, because it was not ready yet.[1][6] However, the album's release date was yet again delayed. At the beginning of February, Sean stated the album was almost finished, and the second single would be released in the same month. He revealed the expected release date of June 2013.[14] On June 22, he released a video on YouTube, where he previewed one of the songs, "Nothing Is Stopping You", and announced a final release date of August 27, 2013, for the album.[26] A little over a month later, Sean revealed the standard and deluxe edition album covers via his Instagram.[27]

Sean intended to include on the album the track titled "Control", a track produced by No I.D. and featuring guest vocals from Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica. However, he could not include it on the album due to sample clearing issues.[28] On August 14, 2013, the song was sent to mainstream urban radio as one of the album's promotional singles.[29] Lamar's verse caused controversy as he "called out" J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, ASAP Rocky, Drake, Sean, Jay Electronica, Tyler, The Creator and Mac Miller and referred to himself as the "King of New York".[30] Many rappers were offended by the lyrics, even though they were not explicitly mentioned. Rappers including Lupe Fiasco, Papoose, Joell Ortiz, Cassidy, Joe Budden, ASAP Ferg, King Los, The Mad Rapper, Uncle Murda and B.o.B, among others released their responses or diss songs, within the following week.[31][32][33][34][35][36] The song has since peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and number 43 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.[37]

Singles[edit]

Rapper Lil Wayne made a guest appearance on the album's third single "Beware".

The album's lead single, "Guap"[38] was released on October 26, 2012.[39] The song was produced by Key Wane and Young Chop.[40] The song has since peaked at number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[37]

The album's second single, "Switch Up" was announced, along with its artwork by Big Sean on April 5, 2013, after its audio was premiered.[41] The single featured fellow rapper Common, while the production was handled by DJ Mano and No I.D..[42] The song was released for digital download on the following day.[43] The song has since peaked at number 50 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[37]

The album's third single, "Beware" featuring Lil Wayne and Jhené Aiko,[44][45] became digitally available on June 25, 2013. On August 16, 2013, the music video was released for "Beware" featuring Lil Wayne and Jhené Aiko.[46] The song has since reached a peak of number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.[37]

"Fire" was released on August 20, 2013, as the album's fourth single, before the release of its music video starring singer Miley Cyrus was released.[47] The song has since peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.[48][49][50]

"Ashley" featuring guest vocals from R&B recording artist Miguel, which impacted urban contemporary radio in October 2013,[51][52] as the album's fifth single, becoming the most-added song to urban radio on the Nielsen BDS chart in the week following its release.[53] On January 31, 2014, Big Sean released the music video for "Ashley". Luke Tedaldi of XXL described the video as dark, intense and "undeniably dope."[54]

"You Don't Know" was released as the album's sixth single in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2014.[55][56]

Other songs[edit]

On August 30, 2013, the music video was released for "10 2 10".[57] The remix to "10 2 10" featuring Rick Ross and Travis Scott was released as a single on January 28, 2014.[58]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100[59]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[60]
The A.V. Club B–[61]
Entertainment Weekly A–[62]
Exclaim! 7/10[63]
The Oakland Press 3/4 stars[64]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[65]
The Source 4/5 stars[66]
Spin 7/10[67]
USA Today 3/4 stars[68]
XXL 4/5[69]

Hall of Fame received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on 14 reviews.[59] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly positively compared the album to the late 90's releases by Bad Boy and said that Big Sean easily outshines all the featured artists on the album.[62] At USA Today, Edna Gunderson called this, an "outstanding second album" that he "occasionally stumbles" in an effort that is a "smart set of slick club thumpers, tear-jerkers and introspective yarns."[68] Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone commented saying, "The Detroit MC gets over on congeniality and crisp delivery, even when his lyrics are pro forma." He also praised the album's production.[65] At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff noted that "Hall of Fame is still a solid, confident and diverse set that shows how much he's grown as both an MC and a writer since 'Finally Famous' came out in 2011."[64] Andrea Aguilar of HipHopDX summarized the album stating, "As a whole, the feel-good album's set of eclectic beats doesn't disappoint, but it lacks diversity. Most of Sean's content still teems with predictable material risking leaving listeners disinterested. Random skits also slightly interrupt the flow of the album, but if you're looking for motivational music centered on the money, the cars, the clothes and hoes, this album is sure to get plenty of replays on your iPod and local radio stations alike."[70]

Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club said, "Hall Of Fame doubles down on the carefree spirit of its predecessor. The mood is so consistently upbeat and agreeable that nearly everything works, especially the tracks that pair Sean with a strong singer."[61] Eric Diep of XXL commented that, "Hall Of Fame moves along at a steady pace for the most part," but there are instances where the album is less than consistent. Concluding that, "even these minor shortcomings don't supersede the fact that the album is filled with radio-friendly cuts and compelling storytelling."[69] David Jeffries of AllMusic said, while Hall of Fame provides plenty of vibrant, sexual, exciting moments, the "classic feel" that was intended is "nowhere to be found."[60] Erin Lowers of Exclaim! commented that, "While Hall of Fame escapes the dreaded sophomore curse, it doesn't do so unscathed. [...] Big Sean may not have solidified his position in the rap hall of fame, but is certainly in the process of paving his way."[63] David Turner of Spin said, "Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is an immediate parallel to this album of relationship struggle and soul-searching, and while Sean obviously lacks his mentor's star power or ambition, he shows more heart than he typically gets credit for."[67] Jesal Padania of RapReviews.com called the individual tracks distinct, big and bold, while the album remains consistent. However, said that the album lacks any classic material.[71]

Accolades[edit]

The album was ranked at number 16 on XXL's list of the best albums of 2013.[72] Complex placed the album at number 50 on their list of the best albums of 2013, saying that "It's fitting that he and Kendrick had that moment on "Control," because Hall of Fame clearly owes some sort of debt to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. K-Dot opened up a space for rap to do that, or at least reminded folks of the sorts of things Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth used to do with the art form. Before hearing Hall of Fame, the title sounded pretentious. After hearing it, it's clear that Sean is ready to earn his place."[73]

Commercial performance[edit]

Hall of Fame debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 72,000 copies in the United States.[74] That was a 17% decline in sales from his debut studio album Finally Famous, which also debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 and sold 87,000 copies in its first week. David Drake of Complex named the album an example of a sophomore slump.[75] In its second week, the album sold 18,000 copies in the United States.[76] As of February 2015, the album has sold 155,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.[77]

The album also charted internationally, peaking at number 56 on the UK Albums Chart and number 10 on the Canadian Albums Chart.[78][79]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Nothing Is Stopping You"   Key Wane 5:03
2. "Fire"  
  • Anderson
  • Darhyl Camper Jr.
  • Izquierdo
  • Rob Kinelski
  • Hey DJ
  • Kinelski[b]
  • Anderson[b]
4:22
3. "10 2 10"  
3:22
4. "Toyota Music"  
  • Anderson
  • Noah Beresin
Xaphoon Jones 3:23
5. "You Don't Know"  
No I.D. 3:42
6. "Beware" (featuring Lil Wayne and Jhené Aiko)
  • Key Wane
  • Dean
3:54
7. "First Chain" (featuring Nas and Kid Cudi)
  • No I.D.
  • Key Wane
5:29
8. "Mona Lisa"  
3:30
9. "Freaky"   Rudy Moore   0:42
10. "Milf" (featuring Nicki Minaj and Juicy J)
  • Da Internz
  • Twilite Tone[b]
4:23
11. "Sierra Leone"  
  • No I.D.
  • Poyser[a]
4:44
12. "It's Time" (featuring Jeezy and Payroll)
Key Wane 4:41
13. "World Ablaze" (featuring James Fauntleroy)
  • Key Wane
  • No I.D.[b]
4:48
14. "Ashley" (featuring Miguel)
  • Mano
  • No I.D.[b]
4:22
15. "All Figured Out"  
  • Anderson
  • Wilson
No I.D. 4:44
Total length:
61:10

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • "Nothing Is Stopping You" features additional vocals by James Fauntleroy, Kanye West, Zeno Jones, Myra Anderson and DJ Mo Beatz[80]
  • "Fire" contains additional vocals by Melanie Fiona, Nicole Lequericam, James Fauntleroy and Elijah Blake[80]
  • "You Don't Know" features additional vocals from Elijah Blake[21]
  • "First Chain" features additional vocals from Kaye Fox and Nicole Lequerica[80]
  • "Milf" features additional vocals from Niko Clark, Terron Clark and Quron Hudson[80]
  • "Sierra Leone" features additional vocals from Roscoe Dash, Key Wane Mike Posner and James Fauntleroy[80]
  • "It's Time" features additional vocals from Key Wane and Roscoe Dash[80]
  • "World Ablaze" features additional vocals from James Fauntleroy and Elijah Blake[80]
  • "All Figured Out" features additional vocals by James Fauntleroy[80]
  • "Guap" features additional vocals from Kanye West and Key Wane[80]

Samples credits

Personnel[edit]

Album credits adapted from AllMusic.[82]

  • Jhené Aiko – featured artist
  • Myra Anderson – vocals
  • Sean Anderson – primary artist, composer, executive producer
  • Big Sean – primary artist
  • Elijah Blake – vocals
  • Mike Brinkley – management
  • Leesa D. Brunson – A&R
  • Darhyl "DJ" Camper Jr. – producer
  • Mike Carson – graphic design
  • Ariel Chobaz – vocal engineer
  • Niko Clark – vocals
  • Terron Clark – vocals
  • Crazy Mike – engineer
  • Da Internz – producer
  • Roscoe Dash – vocals
  • Mike Dean – producer
  • DJ Mo Beatz – vocals
  • James Fauntleroy – featured artist, vocals
  • Melanie Fiona – vocals
  • Kaye Fox – vocals
  • Quron Hudson – vocals
  • Maximilian Jaeger – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Young Jeezy – featured artist
  • Xaphoon Jones – producer
  • Zeno Jones – vocals
  • Terese Joseph – A&R
  • Juicy J – featured artist
  • Kacper Kasprzyk – photography
  • Kid Cudi – featured artist
  • Rob Kinelski – additional production, engineer, mixing
  • Dave Kutch – mastering
  • Nicole Lequerica – vocals
  • Lil Wayne – featured artist
  • Kevin Liles – management
  • Tai Linzie – artwork, package production
  • Million $ Mano – producer
  • Miguel – featured artist
  • Mikewaxx – graphic design
  • Nicki Minaj – featured artist
  • Nas – featured artist
  • No I.D. – A&R, additional production, producer
  • Payroll – featured artist
  • Che Pope – A&R
  • Mike Posner – vocals
  • James Poyser – keyboards, musician, producer
  • Andy Proctor – package production
  • Akinah Rahmaan – marketing
  • Kevin Randolph – keyboards
  • Antonio Rey – engineer
  • Travi$ Scott – additional production
  • Derek Taylor – drums, percussion
  • Twilite Tone – additional production
  • Anna Ugarte – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Key Wane – additional production, musician, producer, vocals
  • Dawud West – artwork, package production
  • Kanye West – executive producer, vocals
  • Matthew Williams – art direction
  • Steve Wyreman – bass, guitar
  • Kristen Yiengst – artwork, package production

Chart positions[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia[90][unreliable source?] January 1, 2013
New Zealand[91][unreliable source?]
France[92] August 26, 2013
Canada[93] August 27, 2013
United Kingdom[94] Virgin EMI
United States[95][96]
  • CD
  • LP
  • digital download
  • GOOD Music
  • Def Jam
Germany[97] August 30, 2013
  • CD
  • digital download
Def Jam (Universal)

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