Big Sean

Most rap albums contain a certain plea for the listener to buy into the artist's personality, based upon the simple principle that one needs to empathize with the storyteller in order to give a crap about what they're saying, a fact that is doubly true in a lyric-reliant, image-heavy form like hip hop. On his industry debut Finally Famous, Detroit's Big Sean is rarely able to pull the listener in based on personality alone, as his style—shit, even his stage name—isn't different enough to set him apart from a majority of the pack. And yet, he's won the favor of one of the best artists in the game (he's signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music), and has been moved from the Showbox Market down the street to SoDo to accommodate his fan base. The deal is that, within these fairly common parameters, he can rap quite well (see: "Put her hands down my pants/Now she rockin' Sean John"), and his tracks are laced with agreeable production from big names like No I.D. and The Neptunes. With Cyhi the Prince, Shawn Chrystopher. TODD HAMM

Thu., Nov. 17, 7 p.m., 2011

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