By Madison Melenudo
Are you in need of a song with a catchy beat to help boost your workouts at the gym? Or maybe you need a little motivational tune to help you stay positive as we prepare for the overlapping midterms next week. Whether you’re planning a night out with friends or trying to find the extra motivation to continue studying for that quiz tomorrow, we can all agree that listening to our favorite tunes helps give us that extra push when it feels like we’re running on fumes.
I have recently been searching for songs that would help me get through these last two weeks before spring break, when it feels like the pace of my classes are picking up all at once. I was at the gym, preparing for a cardio workout and scrolling through a Hip-Hop/ R&B radio playlist on Apple Music to help kick start my routine, when I stumbled across the song, “Bounce Back” by Big Sean. Immediately, I was hooked. I downloaded his entire album, “I Decided,” and discovered that it was exactly the motivational tune that I needed to stay afloat these next two weeks.
Big Sean, birth name Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, is an American rap artist who began his career in music in 2007 when he signed with Kanye West’s GOOD Music. He was born March 25, 1988 in Santa Monica, California, but was raised in Detroit by his mother and grandmother.
Big Sean has won numerous awards for his music, including the Best New Artist award in 2012 and the Best Club Banger award in 2013 for his song “I Don’t Fuck with You.” In the same year he also won the People’s Champ Award for “Blessings,” which featured Drake and Kanye West.
“I Decided” was released on Feb. 3, 2017 and reached the Billboard 200 chart with 151,000 album unit sales within its first week. This gives Big Sean his second No. 1 album of his career, which is estimated to surpass the sales of his first No. 1 hit album, “Dark Sky Paradise” (2015), which totaled at 173,000 album unit sales.
One of my favorite songs on the album, “Hanging Off the Balcony,” truly echoes this intention in the music video. It opens to a shot of an elderly man staring out into the distance in front of his house while his wife watches him from the front door. The camera then zooms in so that the old man is out of shot, and refocuses once more to show Big Sean standing in his place. It very much sends a clear message to listeners that he no longer wishes to waste time on the unnecessary chaos in his life and wants to send the message that there is more to life than money and fame. When listening to the entire album from start to finish, it’s as if the artist goes through a journey of evaluating principles and morals while taking advice from his future self.
This week, if you’re in need of a little pick me up and are looking for those inspiring lyrics to help kick start your day, I highly recommend giving “I Decide” a listen.