Big Sean’s “Dark Sky Paradise”

Impressive collaborations, production, and even inspiring ballads help to make “Dark Sky Paradise” everything a rap album should be.

With his last studio album, “Hall of Fame,” being mostly hit or miss and performing poorly on the charts, it looked like Big Sean was experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump. His latest effort, “Dark Sky Paradise,” though, is undoubtedly his best album yet and succeeds on almost every level.

Big Sean is known for his oftentimes goofy lyrics, but this record is significantly more serious than his work in the past. Impressive collaborations, production, and even inspiring ballads help to make “Dark Sky Paradise” everything a rap album should be.

The album’s standout track “All Your Fault” features Big Sean’s rap mentor Kanye West overlapped with a sample of Ambrosia’s “How Much I Feel.” The best part of the song is the third verse, where the two trade lines in a true collaboration.

“Paradise,” a track originally released on Soundcloud, features Busta Rhymes-like rapping speed, spot-on delivery, and a fantastic new verse.

Emotional depth and personal growth are more prevalent in “Dark Sky Paradise” than they have been in Sean’s other albums. The title track reflects on Sean’s early days and his journey to the top. “Win Some, Lose Some” also finds Sean dealing with his past relationships between women and his friends.

“One Man Can Change The World” is a surprisingly sweet, yet somewhat cheesy ballad about the endless potential one person has to change the world. John Legend and Kanye West trade off beautiful choruses, and we find Big Sean reflecting on positive influences from his life.