Dark Sky Paradise

Last updated
Dark Sky Paradise
Big Sean - Dark Sky Paradise (Official Album Cover).png
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 24, 2015 (2015-02-24)
Genre Hip hop
Length49:57
Label
Producer
Big Sean chronology
Hall of Fame
(2013)
Dark Sky Paradise
(2015)
Twenty88
(2016)
Deluxe edition cover
Big Sean - Dark Sky Paradise (Deluxe).png
Singles from Dark Sky Paradise
  1. "I Don't Fuck with You"
    Released: September 19, 2014
  2. "Paradise"
    Released: October 7, 2014
  3. "Blessings"
    Released: January 30, 2015
  4. "One Man Can Change the World"
    Released: June 19, 2015
  5. "Play No Games"
    Released: September 22, 2015

Dark Sky Paradise is the third studio album by American rapper Big Sean. It was released on February 24, 2015, by Def Jam Recordings and GOOD Music. The album features guest appearances from Drake, Kanye West, E-40, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla Sign, Jhené Aiko, Lil Wayne, John Legend, PartyNextDoor and Ariana Grande, while the production was handled by a variety of collaborators, including Kanye West, DJ Mustard, DJ Dahi and Key Wane, who also serves as the album's executive producer alongside Big Sean himself. The album was supported by five singles: "I Don't Fuck with You", "Paradise", "Blessings", "One Man Can Change the World" and "Play No Games".

Big Sean American rapper from Michigan

Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, known professionally as Big Sean, is an American rapper. Sean signed with Kanye West's GOOD Music in 2007, Def Jam Recordings in 2008 and Roc Nation in 2014. After releasing a number of mixtapes, Sean released his debut studio album, Finally Famous, in 2011, the album peaked at #3 on The US Billboard 200, and went Platinum. He released his second studio album, Hall of Fame, in 2013, that peaked at #3 on The Billboard 200, and went Gold. Sean's next albums, Dark Sky Paradise (2015) and I Decided (2017), both peaked atop the US Billboard 200 charts and received Platinum status.

Def Jam Recordings American record label

Def Jam Recordings is an American record label focused predominantly on hip hop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group. In the UK, the label takes on the name Def Jam UK and is operated through Virgin EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan. The label distributes releases of various record labels, including Kanye West's GOOD Music, and Listen Up Forever Records, headed by producer, Ronny J. Current artists include Justin Bieber, Logic, Big Sean, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, Teyana Taylor, YG, Dave East, Jeezy, Jeremih, Q-Tip, Valee, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Fabolous, Desiigner and Jhené Aiko.

GOOD Music record label

GOOD Music is an American record label founded by rapper Kanye West in 2004. In 2015, Pusha T was appointed the president of the label by West.

Contents

Dark Sky Paradise received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the change in Sean's production and lyricism being more atmospheric and substance-filled. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 139,000 copies in its first week. In February 2016, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards. Certification is not automatic; for an award to be made, the record label must request certification. The audit is conducted against net shipments after returns, which includes albums sold directly to retailers and one-stops, direct-to-consumer sales and other outlets.

Recording Industry Association of America voluntary association

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States." The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

Singles

The album's lead single, "I Don't Fuck with You" featuring E-40, was released on September 19, 2014. [1] The song's production was handled by DJ Mustard, Kanye West, Mike Free, DJ Dahi and Key Wane. It peaked at number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs [2] and at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100. [3] The song was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on May 30, 2017. [4]

I Dont Fuck with You 2014 single by Big Sean featuring E-40

"I Don't Fuck with You", also known by the acronym IDFWU, is a song by American rapper Big Sean, featuring E-40, released on September 19, 2014 as the lead single from his third studio album Dark Sky Paradise (2015).

E-40 American rapper from California

Earl T. Stevens, better known by his stage name E-40, is an American rapper and actor. He is a founding member of the rap group The Click, and the founder of Sick Wid It Records. He has released twenty-seven studio albums to date, appeared on numerous movie soundtracks, and has also done guest appearances on a host of other rap albums. Initially an underground artist, his 1995 solo album In a Major Way opened him up to a wider audience. Beginning in 1998, he began collaborating with more mainstream rappers outside the Bay Area. He rose to even higher mainstream popularity in 2006 with his single "Tell Me When to Go" which was produced by Lil Jon.

Dijon Isaiah McFarlane, known professionally as Mustard, is an American record producer, DJ, record executive and hype man from Los Angeles, California. He is a frequent collaborator of Compton-bred rapper YG, and has produced numerous singles for hip hop and R&B artists since his entrance into mainstream music in 2011. Mustard's production style has been described as an up-tempo, club oriented, catchy yet rudimentary melodic hip hop style. This style has snowballed into the contemporary production style of West Coast hip hop during the early 2010s, which he calls "ratchet music". Almost all of his productions begin or end with the tag "Mustard on the beat, hoe!", a voice sample of YG, who says it at the end of "I'm Good", one of their early collaborations, as well as claps and repetition of the word "hey". Mustard's debut album, 10 Summers, was released on August 26, 2014.

The album's second single, "Paradise", was released on October 7, 2014. [5] The song was produced by Mike Will Made It. It peaked at number 99 on the US Billboard Hot 100. [3] The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 20, 2018. [6]

Paradise (Big Sean song) song from Big Sean

"Paradise" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Big Sean, released on September 19, 2014 as the second single from his third studio album Dark Sky Paradise (2015). Originally the song was released as a single in October 2014 but was later placed on the album as an extended version with an extra verse.

Michael Len Williams II, known professionally as Mike Will Made It or simply Mike Will, is an American record producer, DJ, rapper, and songwriter. He is best known for producing trap beats for several Southern hip hop artists as well as for producing several singles, such as "Black Beatles" and "Powerglide" by Rae Sremmurd, "Mercy" by GOOD Music, "No Lie" by 2 Chainz, "Bandz a Make Her Dance" by Juicy J, "Pour It Up" by Rihanna, "Love Me" by Lil Wayne, "Body Party" by Ciara, "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus, "Formation" by Beyoncé, and "Humble" by Kendrick Lamar. He has released six mixtapes and one studio album, Ransom 2.

The album's third single, "Blessings" featuring Drake and Kanye West, was released on January 30, 2015. [7] [8] The song was produced by Vinylz and Allen Ritter. It peaked at number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100. [3] The song was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 20, 2018. [9]

Blessings (Big Sean song) 2015 single by Big Sean

"Blessings" is a song by American rapper Big Sean from his third studio album Dark Sky Paradise (2015). The song was serviced to urban contemporary radio on January 31, 2015, as the album's third official single. It features fellow rappers Drake and Kanye West on the extended version, with production from Vinylz and Allen Ritter. The music video for the song was released on YouTube on March 3, 2015. The video features rappers Drake and Kanye West for the extended version of the song which was not included on Dark Sky Paradise.

Drake (musician) Canadian rapper, singer-songwriter and actor

Aubrey Drake Graham is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur. Drake initially gained recognition as an actor on the teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s. Intent on pursuing a career in music, he left the series in 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement. He released two further independent projects, Comeback Season and So Far Gone, before signing to Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment in June 2009.

Anderson Hernandez, professionally known as Vinylz, is an American record producer from Washington Heights, New York City. He is certainly known for his work with many artists that include Jay Z, Desiigner, Rick Ross, Drake, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Jeremih and Tinashe.

"One Man Can Change the World" featuring Kanye West and John Legend, was sent to rhythmic contemporary radio on June 19, 2015, as the album's fourth single. [10] It peaked at number 82 on the US Billboard Hot 100. [3] The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on May 30, 2017. [11]

One Man Can Change the World 2015 single by Big Sean

"One Man Can Change the World" is a song by American rapper Big Sean from his third studio album Dark Sky Paradise (2015). The song features fellow GOOD Music artists Kanye West and John Legend with production handled by Amaire Johnson and DJ Mustard. The song features uncredited background vocals from British singer Natasha Bedingfield. It was sent to United States rhythmic contemporary radio on June 19, 2015 as the album's fourth single. It was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 58th Grammy Awards.

John Legend American singer, songwriter, pianist and record producer from Pennsylvania

John Roger Stephens, known professionally as John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, activist, piano player, and actor. Prior to the release of Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, (2004) he had collaborated with already established artists and signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music. Legend has sung on Jay-Z's "Encore", Alicia Keys's "You Don't Know My Name", Dilated Peoples' "This Way", Slum Village's "Selfish", Fort Minor's "High Road", and played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything". Legend's single "All of Me" from his fourth studio album Love in the Future (2013) was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit.

Rhythmic contemporary, also known as Rhythmic Top 40, Rhythmic CHR or rhythmic crossover, is a primarily American music-radio format that includes a mix of EDM, upbeat rhythmic pop, hip hop and upbeat R&B hits. Rhythmic contemporary rarely uses rock or country in its airplay, but it may occasionally use a reggae, Latin, reggaeton, or a Christian/gospel hit. Essentially, the format is a cross between mainstream radio and urban contemporary radio formats.

"Play No Games" featuring Chris Brown and Ty Dolla Sign, was sent to urban contemporary radio on September 22, 2015, as the album's fifth single. [12] It peaked at number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100. [3] The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 10, 2018. [13]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic? 6.4/10 [14]
Metacritic 72/100 [15]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [16]
Billboard Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [17]
Complex Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [18]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [19]
Exclaim! 7/10 [20]
HipHopDX 4.0/5 [21]
Pitchfork 7.1/10 [22]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [23]
Spin 6/10 [24]
XXL 4/5 [25]

Dark Sky Paradise received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on 19 reviews. [15] In a review for Exclaim! , Samantha O'Connor noted that "stormier production and moodier lyricism replace Sean's predictable sunny wordplay and pop culture puns," further concluding that "Big Sean has reached a personal high by finding his Dark Sky Paradise, and it's his honesty that takes listeners there with him." [20] David Jeffries of AllMusic said, "Artistically, three is the charm Big Sean as Dark Sky Paradise is much more expansive than previous efforts, sometimes grinding with executive producer Kanye West's love of the dark, and other times bouncing with the snark, swagger, and style that propelled this Detroit rapper to the top." [16] John Kennedy of Billboard said, "With sterling wordplay and a consistent melancholy vibe, the Detroit native took all the tension, the highs and lows, and laid it out on wax, compiling the strongest project of his career." [17] Justin Charity of Complex said, "Occasionally clumsy but wonderfully plainspoken, and impassioned when he wants to be, Sean has advanced (if not graduated) from the tepid mythmaking of Hall of Fame . Here he's dynamic, and a pretty good rapper." [18] Eric Diep of HipHopDX said, "With Dark Sky Paradise, Big Sean is prepared to leave his mark." [21]

Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly said, "A spirited combination of grown-man statement-making and round-the-way bull." [19] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times said, "In the last year, he's made real strides toward lucidity, and on Dark Sky Paradise, his third and best album, he is more human than ever before." [26] Jordan Sargent of Pitchfork said, "Dark Sky Paradise is a big leap in the direction of the ideal Big Sean full-length." [22] Dan Rys of XXL said, "'One Man Can Change the World' in particular, which deals with the loss of his grandmother and his acceptance of her passing, really underlines what the entire work is about: dealing with the ups and downs in life and figuring out the best way to accept them and move forward. With Dark Sky Paradise, Big Sean has finally found that balance." [25] Michael Madden of Consequence of Sound said, "Mostly, though, Dark Sky Paradise is an ambitious tasteful album from a rapper who's often viewed as neither." [27] Dan Weiss of Spin said, "More of the same, really, and what same is that anyway? His beats, hooks and musicality tread slightly above water." [24] Christopher R. Weingarten of Rolling Stone stated, "His third and best record isn't that moment yet, but he's one step closer." [23]

Accolades

Critics from Billboard considered Dark Sky Paradise the 15th best album of the year, [28] and the 5th for hip-hop albums, [29] while HipHopDX listed it among their list of 25 best. [30]

Commercial performance

Dark Sky Paradise debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 173,000 album-equivalent units and first-week sales of 139,000 copies in the United States, Big Sean's biggest sales week yet. It was Big Sean's first number one album on the chart. [31] On February 1, 2016, Dark Sky Paradise was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales, streaming and track-sales equivalent of one million units. [32]

In 2015, Dark Sky Paradise was ranked as the twenty-second most popular album of the year on the Billboard 200. [33]

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Dark Sky (Skyscrapers)"
RobGotBeats2:58
2."Blessings" (featuring Drake)
4:12
3."All Your Fault" (featuring Kanye West)
3:44
4."I Don't Fuck with You" (featuring E-40)4:44
5."Play No Games" (featuring Chris Brown and Ty Dolla Sign)
  • Key Wane
  • Jay John Henry
3:36
6."Paradise (Extended)" Mike Will Made It 3:35
7."Win Some, Lose Some"5:04
8."Stay Down"
4:10
9."I Know" (featuring Jhené Aiko)
  • Anderson
  • McFarlane
  • Weir
  • Chilombo
  • DJ Mustard
  • Key Wane
5:20
10."Deep" (featuring Lil Wayne)
  • DJ Mustard
  • Key Wane
4:35
11."One Man Can Change the World" (featuring Kanye West and John Legend)
Johnson4:14
12."Outro"DJ Dahi3:43
Total length:49:57

Notes

Sample credits

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA) [32] Platinum1,000,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngsales+streaming figures based on certification alone

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