Big Sean isn't taking any Ls with this top 25.
Just before the release of Big Sean's fourth studio album I Decided, Jay-Z gifted him a Roc-A-Fella chain, and in that moment the fate of the kid who secured a record deal from bum-rushing Kanye West at a Detroit radio station was effectively solidified among the stars, because as Jay-Z said himself, Sean earned it. He earned all of this with painstaking leg work. Big Sean has been rapping like he has something to prove since well before he signed a deal with G.O.O.D. in 2007 and 10 years later, he is one of the biggest mainstream rappers in the game, and its all due to his professional consistency and drive.
Since his days as a high school student in the motor city, Sean Michael Leonard Anderson took his craft ever so seriously and took advantage of any and every opportunity to showcase his skills. He got his start in weekly Rap Battle clashes for Detroit Hip Hop Station WHTD, and built a valuable relationship with the station that would help him connect with Kanye West in 2005. Then, in 2007, shortly after he signed his deal with G.O.O.D. Music, he released his first official mixtape Finally Famous: The Mixtape, and it quickly infiltrated the hip-hop blogosphere, becoming a defining mixtape of that era. Fast forward, eight years later, and he scored his first No. 1 album with Dark Sky Paradise, and took command of the game with hits like "IDFWU" and "Blessings."
Now it's 2017, and Sean Don is still riding the wave, and creating it, following his fourth studio album, I Decided. This list is a representation of his growth (albeit not chronologically), dominance and patience with regards to the process. This top 25 should feel a bit like a time warp, depending where you stop in it, you're taken to different stages of his ever-evolving career, but one thing that remains true through out, and should become evident with this list, is Sean's relentlessness. If something didn't hit the way he wanted it or expected it to-- we've witnessed it through out the years-- he'd just dust himself right off and go back to the drawing board, never holding in any bitterness, constantly looking for positivity. What's even more impressive about Sean's rise to the top is how committed to holding down D-Town. As much as this is about celebrating the expansive discography, Detroit deserves some glory too.