For the new October/November edition of VIBE, we see none other than Eminem gracing the cover as part of an exclusive reunion of the cast of 8 Mile, 10 years after its release. (Wow... 10 years ago I remember seeing this as a freshman in high school. Thanks for successfully making me feel old, hah!)
The full cover story can be read here - and it's a must-read for fans of the classic movie. It's a ping pong discussion between Em, Mekhi Phifer (Future), Anthony Mackie (Papa Doc), Omar Benson Miller (Sol), and Evan Jones (Cheddar Bob) that ranges from the chemistry and creative process on set, how Mekhi was initially going to pass on the film, and even a dope tidbit on "Lose Yourself", excerpted below.
I remember doing “Lose Yourself.” I went to the trailer during lunch and laid a scratch from top to bottom, just one take through and then stacked some ad-libs and shit. I was going to come back and re-do it. I actually ended up keeping it. That’s my most vivid memory—that song, and walking around set with a pad of paper. If I didn’t have that, I’d write it on my hand. I was like a little hamster: I’d go from my lunch trailer to the treadmill to run and then jump to the music trailer to make some beats.
Contesting Wayne's release of his highly-anticipated D4 mixtape, Big Sean released his first project since his freshman album: Detroit. But they homies still.
The first track on this tape, "Higher," sets the tone as a laid-back reflection, flip-flopping between recounting memories of coming up, speaking on where he's at now, and the usual Sean Don wordplay which is usually gravitates around sexual encounters.
The second track, entitled "24K of Gold," is truly a track recorded by the Big Sean of the mixtape days. The first two tracks both revolve around the BS of old, setting the tone for the rest of the tape. Not to mention, J. Cole does it big with a fantastic verse once again (his second this week! See Wayne’s Green Ranger.)
The third track, an interlude, is Sean’s label-mate Com Sense musing on his time spent in Detroit recording with J-Dilla. Set to a pleasant piano number, Common’s story perpetuates the clear theme: a proud depiction of Sean’s hometown.
On the fourth track, Sean poses the question: how does it feel? He inquires as to what it’s like spending time with someone as incredible as he is. Once again, it’s a medley of a typical braggadocio from Sean as well as further acclaim for his city. Sean also paints a crude picture of his nights partying, which is when he takes the opportunity to step back and truly appreciate everything he has and everything he’s been through.
Track five is something I could hear on the radio in the next week, but I probably won’t. Though it flaunted some solid features, especially one from Mike Posner (who surprisingly doesn’t sing the hook,) this song left me feeling like there was more to be had. Though I wasn’t too fond of the hook the first time, this song will certainly grow on whoever hears it.
“Experimental,” featuring the self-proclaimed #1 Get-High rapper himself, Juicy J, is a ode to substance abuse. Though most of Sean’s verses are very much alike and his lines aren’t meaningful, let’s all pray he doesn’t get too experimental, as that’d be a bad way for him to go out. His chances are already 50/50, hopefully hanging with the trippy half of Three 6 doesn’t change that for the worse!
“Mula,” sporting a Young Chop beat reminiscent of that on “I Don’t Like” and a boisterous verse from Frenchie, was one of my favorite songs on the tape. I’m still wondering who’s doing the hook on this track, Meek Mill?
Following Sean’s epode to money, trap-star Young Jeezy reflects on his first trip to the D, going to the club with his posse of 300 dudes. He depicts a city of “street legends” who treated him like he was treated back home. “100” serves as a diction of Sean’s concerns that he may not live his life to the fullest. Detroit native Royce da 5’9 assures us that he still has further aspirations as a rapper despite his current state of success. Lyrical genius Kendrick Lamar speaks on his legacy as well, hoping to find a wife and outdo those who go through the motions as artists with his outstanding creativity; amongst other things, he even shares his Triple Beam Dreams. “100” was definitely my favorite track on the tape.
Just as the Big Sean of old (admittedly, he hasn’t changed much at all) emerged on this tape, as did that of Chris Brown. The hook on “Sellin’ Dreams” complements the unique story-telling of Sean, making for a great track.
Tying in with the life achievements motif in “100,” “I’m Gonna Be” is Sean proving people wrong. Honestly, the only thing I truly enjoyed about this track was Jhené’s voice; I was surprised that Sean would waste that feature on such a senseless track.
Moving on to “FFOE,” Sean does what he does best: makes a track for the club. The beat is one atypical of Lex Luger, and I loved it that much more. To me this was the most enjoyable track on the tape.
“Do What I Gotta Do,” featuring Tyga, is an instrumental tailored for Tyga. Sean adapts Tyga’s #BitchI’mTheShit flow and goes in on this hopping beat. I honestly can’t tell the difference between Tyga’s verse on this track and his verse on The Motto Remix. I enjoyed this track, even when BS yelled “we outcheaaaa” in my ear.
In a stark change of pace, Snoop offers the third and final interlude on the tape, talking about his Detroit experience, speaking on how it changed him and showing the East side love.
Jumping back into the ignant stuff, “RWT” is a unique song for the trap. Sean does his thing once again, granted it was nothing special. But it bumps.
“Once Bitten Twice Shy” addresses Sean’s grievances with fame as well as shows his coming to grips with where he’s at in the game, which he considers to be the point of no return. Sean’s flow on this track isn’t exactly unfamiliar, but it is unusually gratifying, making for a great track.
Finally, the bonus track, “Life Goes On,” touches upon the topics of Sean’s humble beginnings and ambitious work ethic. This carries into his present, lavish lifestyle, which he concludes should be the norm. Wale hops on the track and once again asserts himself as “Maybach[‘s] poetic genius,” speaking on his current life of fame. Halfway through, the instrumental switches pace and switches to another agreeable track of the same subject matter. Wiz comes in and apparently has trouble catching the beat well, which is pretty much all I gathered in listening to his verse.
While the tape as a whole simply gave us more fun Big Sean songs to listen to, with the exception of “Once Bitten Twice Shy” and bits and pieces here and there, it offered little to no details of Sean’s past life; perhaps the three interludes sufficed as enough Detroit imagery for the tape titled Detroit. That’s not to say Cruel Summer, G.O.O.D.’s upcoming collaboration album, doesn’t excite me, I just know exactly what to expect from BS: the same old Sean. But don't get me wrong, I truly like the same old Sean. Stay golden, West-side boi!