May all the hands who thought Sean Anderson would never release his debut album be lifted in the air. A few years ago, the sentiments of many concerning Big Sean was exactly that towards the skinny emcee from Eminem’s hometown: a mixtape rapper saddled with a co-sign few have truly lived up to. Yet word continued to spread and instead of just tossing Sean out for the wolves to eat him alive, Def Jam & G.O.O.D. Music placed him in the minors for so long that Finally Famous Vol. 3 felt like the Triple A outing that pushes a talent to get the call up.

A feature heavy mixtape that capitalized on his quote-unquote original “elongated pause” flow, FF Vol. 3 served its purpose as an introduction to Sean on a major scale as well as rejuvenate the idea why people sided with the guy to begin with. Was he special? Not necessarily, more of a rapper who relied on wit and being clever than dizzying lyricism and the capability of crafting narratives similar to Hitchcock. What makes Big Sean so tailor made for his new position is that he already knows what he brings to the table and on his Def Jam/G.O.O.D. Music debut titled of course Finally Famous, Sean sticks to his strengths which is mostly fame, sex & himself.

It’s not much of a stretch to say that Finally Famous can be compared to Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout at all. Both projects are helmed by serious Chicago production (with No I.D. handling most of Sean’s album), witty lyrics and a “can’t believe this is happening” approach to it. However, that’s where the similarities end. While Yeezy’s disc was opinionated and unapologetic for anything, Sean’s is far more aimed towards pop dominance and the easy moments of fame rather than accepting failure.

Pop ready rap anthems such as the Chris Brown assisted “My Last” capitalize on Sean’s appeal as a charmer who sees rap as if he were Dorothy in Oz, unwilling to go home. Even on more soulful and introspective moments such as the John Legend feature “Memories Pt. 2” & “So Much More”, you have the sense that Sean unlike Drake for example is bewildered by everything that’s happened and wouldn’t dare muse upon his stardom like the awkward child. He readily accepts the moment to shine in the limelight, even proving to be the victor on “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay” but then again, an average verse from West coupled with yet another memorable hook from Roscoe Dash may readily tip the scales in Sean’s favor.

With such a thin palate to work with, Finally Famous does find its moments of stretching the theme a bit more than needed. Yes, a party cut like “Dance (Ass)” can stand out because of repetition but was The Neptunes cut “Get It” needed to sell the point home?  Or for that matter, does an artist who spends much of his debut disc speaking on weed consumption need an entire song to remind you ala “High”?

Growth can be had for the Michigan emcee but rather than be typecasted as another member of a vanity label who’s been given a chance to burn out, Sean will succeed on charm. He’s not as awkwardly gifted as KiD CuDi or lyrically adept as Common but he holds his own. Afterall, only can Sean essentially remake one of FF Vol. 3’s stand out cuts “Bullshittin’” into “I Do It”, another bouncy record with his trademark “boi” proudly stamped all over it. Is Sean famous? Yes and unlike many who run to the debut album, he already knows his lane and his marketability. Only time will tell how it expands from there.

FINAL SCORE: 7.0