I Decided (album)

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I Decided
BigSeanIDecided.jpg
Studio album by Big Sean
Released February 3, 2017
Recorded 2015–2016
Studio
Genre Hip hop
Length 50:20
Label
Producer
Big Sean chronology
Twenty88
(2016)Twenty882016
I Decided
(2017)
Double or Nothing
(2017)Double or Nothing2017
Singles from I Decided
  1. "Bounce Back"
    Released: October 31, 2016
  2. "Moves"
    Released: January 10, 2017
  3. "Jump Out the Window"
    Released: May 2, 2017

I Decided (stylized as I Decided.) is the fourth studio album by American rapper Big Sean. It was released on February 3, 2017, by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings.[2] The album features guest appearances from Jeremih, Eminem, Jhené Aiko (credited as the duo Twenty88 with himself), The-Dream, Migos, Flint Chozen Choir and Starrah. The production on the album was handled by Sean's frequent collaborator Key Wane, alongside a variety of record producers such as Amaire Johnson, Metro Boomin, WondaGurl, Fuse, Tre Pounds, DJ Mustard, DJ Dahi, Detail and The Track Burnaz, among others.

The album was supported by three singles: "Bounce Back", "Moves" and "Jump Out the Window". I Decided received generally positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. It is Sean's second US number-one album. The album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Background[edit]

The album is a concept album that centers around the idea of rebirth.[3] In January 2017, during an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Big Sean confirmed that both men on the album cover are him—a present-day version to the left and an older version of himself to the right.[4]

Speaking to Zane Lowe about I Decided, Sean explained the title of the project: "[the title] means so many things. I feel like life is all about the decisions you make. This is what I decided. That's why I put a period on the end of it—because this is definitive."[5] He also cited Kanye West as an inspiration to his creative process behind the album in an interview with Fact: "He helped me learn how to make albums", and although West is absent from the record, the Detroit-based rapper exclusively told Capital XTRA that he was very influential in the project – helping to shape many songs."[6][7] West is also credited as one of the album's executive producers.

Promotion[edit]

Singles[edit]

"Bounce Back" was released as the album's lead single on October 31, 2016.[8] The track was produced by Hitmaka and Smash David, with additional production by Metro Boomin and Amaire Johnson.

"Moves" was first released as the album's promotional single on December 22, 2016.[9][10][11] The track was later serviced to rhythmic radio on January 10, 2017, as the album's second single.[12] The track was produced by Fuse and Tre Pounds, with additional production by Maximilian Johnson.

The album's third single, "Jump Out the Window", was released to urban radio on May 2, 2017.[13] The track was produced by Key Wane and Hey DJ.

Promotional singles[edit]

The album's promotional single, "Halfway Off the Balcony", was released on January 18, 2017.[14] The track was produced by Amaire Johnson, with additional production by Maximilian Jaeger.

Performances[edit]

In January 2017, Big Sean performed "Bounce Back" along with "Sunday Morning Jetpack" on Saturday Night Live.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.0/10[16]
Metacritic67/100[17]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[18]
Clash7/10[19]
Consequence of SoundB–[20]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[21]
Exclaim!7/10[22]
HipHopDX4.1/5[23]
Pitchfork6.3/10[24]
Pretty Much AmazingB–[25]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[26]
XXL4/5[27]

I Decided 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 67, based on 13 reviews.[17] Neil Z. Yeung from AllMusic wrote: "While I Decided. may not light up the club like his past efforts, it shines a different, more nurturing light onto deeper parts of his soul."[18] Andy Belt of Consequence of Sound said, "I Decided. is a fresh statement that proves Big Sean is continuing to evolve."[20] Eric Renner Brown of Entertainment Weekly said, "It's a supremely listenable album, loaded with comfort-food hip-hop fit for booming club sound systems and earbuds on the subway alike. It's also Sean's most cohesive, personal work to date."[21] A. Harmony of Exclaim! said, "Big Sean exhibits growth and wisdom on I Decided., and that's definitely worth a listen. This is a solid effort."[22] Colin Groundwater for Pretty Much Amazing stated that "on his fourth studio album, he positions himself as hip-hop's poster-boy for all of these qualities [hard work, sacrifice, persistence, gratitude], but in rapping about such unassailable ideas, he comes away with uninteresting results."[25] HipHopDX stated, "Is it going to be the album of the year? No. But it's a very high quality, and very enjoyable."[23] Preezy of XXL said, "Big Sean rises to the occasion on I Decided., arguably the best album of his career, and one that secures his spot as one of the top five artists in hip-hop today."[27]

Jack Dolan of Clash said, "While it's undoubtedly a solid addition to Sean's catalogue, at the end of I Decided. it's the flows and instrumentals that are left with the listener, having upstaged what Sean is actually trying to say."[19] Matthew Strauss of Pitchfork said, "While he has become incrementally more skilled over the years, not much else has changed. Throughout I Decided., Sean conflates the passing of time with growth and progress. Nothing on I Decided., however, suggests that he has gained perspective worth sharing or to which he should devote a whole album."[24] Writing for Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos concluded: "As always, his earnestness is believable. Every moment he counts his blessings – like on the casually catchy single "Bounce Back" – you root for him. He embraces his underdog status, especially since he is most often pitted against and working with rap's biggest personalities, like Kanye West, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar. More often than not, however, he gets swallowed by the larger-than-life brands and presences of those he surrounds himself with, like Eminem who steals Sean's thunder with the quality, agility and fire of his guest verse on "No Favors"."[26]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Clash Clash Albums of the Year 2017
43
HipHopDX HipHopDX's Best Rap Albums of 2017
14

Commercial performance[edit]

I Decided debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 151,000 album-equivalent units, of which 65,000 were pure album sales.[30] It is Sean's second US number-one album.[30] The album earned 66,000 units in its second week, bringing its total to 217,000 units.[31] On October 25, 2017, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales, streaming and track-sales equivalent of a million units.[32] As of September 27, 2017, the album has moved 724,000 album-equivalent units.[33]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Big Sean's official website.[1]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Intro"
Amaire Johnson1:04
2."Light" (featuring Jeremih)
3:30
3."Bounce Back"3:42
4."No Favors" (featuring Eminem)
5:25
5."Jump Out the Window"
3:33
6."Moves"
2:22
7."Same Time Pt. 1" (featuring Twenty88)
  • Anderson
  • Johnson
Johnson1:29
8."Owe Me"
4:31
9."Halfway Off the Balcony"
  • Anderson
  • Johnson
  • Jaeger
  • Johnson
  • Jaeger[b]
3:50
10."Voices in My Head / Stick to the Plan"
4:02
11."Sunday Morning Jetpack" (featuring The-Dream)
  • Johnson
  • Cary Singer[b]
3:45
12."Inspire Me"
  • Anderson
  • Noel Fisher
  • Sidney Swift
  • Justin Philip Bradley
  • Ruben Jason Raymond
  • Justin Rodriguez
3:28
13."Sacrifices" (featuring Migos)
  • Metro Boomin
  • Ritter[a]
4:47
14."Bigger Than Me" (featuring Flint Chozen Choir and Starrah)
  • RobGotBeats
  • Johnson
4:52
Total length:50:20

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • "Intro" features vocals by JR Starr
  • "Bounce Back" features additional vocals by Kanye West and Jeremih
  • "No Favors" features additional vocals by Starrah and Iman Milner
  • "Jump Out the Window" features additional vocals by Starrah, Jeremih and Tommy Parker
  • "Same Time, Pt. 1" features talk box by Andre Troutman
  • "Owe Me" features additional vocals by Michael Carson
  • "Halfway Off the Balcony" features additional vocals from Amaire Johnson, Maximilian Jaeger and Eric Duncan
  • "Sunday Morning Jetpack" features vocals by Cary Singer
  • "Bigger Than Me" features additional vocals by Myra Anderson

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the I Decided album credits.[1]

  • Nick Kennerly – violin (tracks 2, 11, 14)
  • Peter Lee Johnson – violin (tracks 2, 11, 14)
  • Amaire Johnson – bass (track 1), keyboards (tracks 1, 8), synthesizer (tracks 1), piano (tracks 8); strings (track 8); additional vocals (track 9); production coordinator
  • David Pizzimenti – assistant engineer (tracks 2, 14)
  • Matthew Sim – assistant engineer (tracks 2, 14)
  • Manny Park – assistant engineer (tracks 7, 10, 12, 14)
  • Nick Mills – assistant engineer (tracks 4, 7, 8, 9)
  • Gregg Rominiecki – recording; mixing (tracks 2, 5, 8, 9)
  • Maximilian Jaeger – recording; additional vocals (track 9); mixing (tracks 2, 8)
  • Hector Fernandez – mix assistant, assistant engineer (track 9)
  • Henry Solomon – clairinet, flute, horn, saxophone (track 9)
  • Eric Duncan – additional vocals (track 9)
  • Big Sean – rap vocals; additional vocals (tracks 8, 9, 14)
  • Myra Anderson – additional vocals (track 14)
  • Michael Carton – additional vocals (track 8)
  • Rob Kinelski – mixing (tracks 11, 12, 14)
  • Iman Milner – additional vocals (track 4)
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing (track 4)
  • Mike Strange – vocal recording for Eminem
  • Joe Strange – vocal recording for Eminem
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing (tracks 4, 7, 10)
  • Dave Nakaji – assistant mix engineer (tracks 4, 7, 10)
  • Maddox Chhim – assistant mix engineer (tracks 4, 7, 10)
  • Li So – guitar (track 7)
  • Andre Troutman – talk box (track 7)
  • Rumeal Eggleston – bass (track 7)
  • Cary Singer – vocals (track 11)
  • Albert Strickland – choir director
  • Mike Carson – creative direction (for the 92 Group)
  • Juco – photography
  • Omar Rajput – graphic design
  • K8 [Young Algorithm] – web development
  • JR Starr – model
  • Ade Samuel – styling
  • Kahlil Sledge – grooming
  • Roc Nation – management
  • Zeno Jones – management
  • Deborah Mannis-Gardner – sample clearances
  • Chris Athens – mastering

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[32] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States February 3, 2017 Digital download Def Jam [2]
February 17, 2017 CD [52]
April 14, 2017 LP [53]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b "I Decided. by Big Sean". Apple Music. February 3, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  3. ^ Kyles, Yohance (December 30, 2016). "Big Sean Explains His Inspiration Behind 'I Decided' Concept Album". AllHipHop. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  4. ^ Burgess, Omar (January 21, 2017). "Watch Big Sean Explain the Concept Behind 'I Decided' on 'The Tonight Show'". Complex. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Lamarre, Carl (January 18, 2017). "Big Sean's Zane Lowe Interview: 9 Highlights". Billboard. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Big Sean – Confessions". Fact. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ Davey, Jacob (February 5, 2017). "Big Sean's New Album 'I Decided' Is Out Now, Stream It Here". Highsnobiety. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  8. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (October 31, 2016). "Big Sean Drops New Song "Bounce Back"". Complex. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  9. ^ Cline, Georgette (December 22, 2016). "Big Sean Makes Major 'Moves' On New Song". XXL. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  10. ^ Goddard, Kevin (December 22, 2016). "Big Sean – Moves (Prod. By 808 Mafia)". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  11. ^ Mench, Chris (December 22, 2016). "Big Sean Drops His New Single "Moves" And Announces 'I Decided' Album". Complex. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Ariana Grande & Future's "Everyday" most added honor at rhythmic radio". Headline Planet. January 10, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on April 26, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
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