It wasn't until a friend of mine, who's overall opinion of Big Sean mirrors my own, convinced me to give Dark Sky Paradise a shot. I trusted his taste in music, plus I have been waiting for Sean to live up to the expectations set by his mentors. Ability wise, Sean hasn't taken any major leaps, but the quality of the music on this album shows that he has been putting in serious work. Sometimes it's about more than just lyricism, and production, or whether a song will live in the club for six months. For me, listenability plays a major role in how I feel about an album. He just has a really good collection of songs here, from "All Your Fault ft. Kanye West," to "Play No Games ft. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $." Jhene Aiko also pops up on two songs which do nothing but help strengthen Dark Sky Paradise to the point where I have no problem putting this album on repeat.
Overall I will say that Big Sean is still not fucking with other juggernauts from the D, but for naysayers who feel like he isn't even worthy of being a rapper should give Dark Sky Paradise a listen. He's still not one of my favorite artists, but I can respectfully say that now he has my attention. Much like Wale's "The Gifted," the work Sean has put into this album is evident, and it's clear he is ready to take that next step musically. I'm just glad to see that, in a game that is currently being led by far superior emcee's, Big Sean is stepping up. Maybe that "Control" verse sparked something in him? Either way, I'm impressed with his growth.