Named after his successful mixtape series, Big Sean’s official debut skillfully balances his underground promise with his big money dreams and winds up an approachable winner with long-lasting appeal. His hook-filled anthem “I Do It” is an instant floor-filler thanks a No I.D./Legendary Traxster co-production, but the reason to return is supreme smart-aleck Sean, who at one point raps in Family Guy-speak, referencing cad character Quagmire and boasting “My cash flow, I giggity-gig it.” On “Dance (A$$),” he’s mixing a MC Hammer sample with a booty beat while quoting Pootie Tang, while “High” finds the crafty prankster trading weed jokes with Wiz Khalifa and Chiddy Bang for a track that runs a clever 4:20. If you’re looking for something more sane and Drake, “Marvin & Chardonnay” makes the bed squeak with some help from executive producer/label owner Kanye West, while the cool, John Legend feature “Memories (Part II)” gives Khalifa, Currensy, Cudi, and the rest of the successful stoner school something to shoot for with its opening couplet “Sometimes I dream bigger than I live/Sometimes I think better when I’m lit.” “So Much More” does what it says, adding brilliant lines like “I swear I’ve been through everything in life but the coffin/You say the sky’s the limit, hi bitch, I’m moonwalkin’” to the usually hackneyed format of the autobiographical track. At 12 cuts long, the album is right between right-sized and “leave them wanting more,” and when it comes to being well-rounded, these different-flavored tracks offer variety without wildly stepping out of Big Sean’s comfort zone. Fun, inventive, swaggering, and smart, Finally Famous is an exciting debut.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries