Big Sean flexes his lyrical muscles on the magnetic “No Favors,” where he holds his own alongside indisputable rap titan Eminem, who gets politically brazy in his verse and that was pretty much awesome.
Eminem steals Big Sean’s thunder with the quality, agility and fire of his guest verse on “No Favors.” Elsewhere, Sean is no match for the affable charm of Migos on “Sacrifices” or the dulcet tones of singers Jeremih, The-Dream and Jhene Aiko who slip in and out of their dreamy appearances with ease.
Consequence of Sound
Big Sean’s infamous ad libs and party songs are largely nonexistent, and in their place are more intense verses and subject matter. Take, for instance, the track “No Favors” with fellow Detroiter Eminem. Shady barks a fiery political verse and Sean’s no slouch either. The former class clown of G.O.O.D. Music has grown up.
The song “No Favors” features an Eminem verse that calls out President Trump and political commentator Ann Coulter. Eminem’s verse overshadows Big Sean’s to a certain extent, something Big Sean has struggled with in the past.
For years, Big Sean has felt like the underdog, but even while knowing the music industry didn’t fully appreciate his potential he makes it clear he never wanted a hand out to make it to the top. Neither did Eminem, who’s feature reinforces the idea of making it with “no favors.” While Em and Sean team up to swap stories about the help they didn’t want and won’t be giving out, Big Sean highlights a few of those that do need help like the kids in Flint, Michigan “gettin’ sick with the lead.”
“No Favors” has a bit of a novelty to it, similar in its dark style to “Bounce Back” with a frankly hilariously tone-deaf Eminem feature (“Fuck you lookin’ at, hater?/I saw-dem-eyes, like an ass raper”). Yikes, dog. Cool if you’re looking to feel nostalgic about Eminem but probably not worth throwing on your playlist.
Hip-Hop N More
They each take their turn at the beat. Sean leads things off and sounds right at home as he sets the stage nicely for Em. The Wondagurl laced beat is uncharacteristic of what we’re used to hearing Shady rap on. Reactions about this verse have been on polar ends of the spectrum with no in between. Truth is the verse is neither as good or bad as people are saying and realistically falls somewhere in the middle. If you’ve heard an Eminem verse in the past three years, then your opinion of this verse will probably be similar to your opinion of him over that time.
The Daily Free Press
Another highlight, “No Favors (feat. Eminem),” features an always fired-up Eminem, who raps on a strict political bent and addresses the current administration. This provides the album with a particularly timely edge without allowing it to define Big Sean’s style. The two artists are an unlikely pairing, but they mesh well in an unexpected and dynamic way, creating what will surely be one of the most iconic duos of 2017.
“No Favors,” a dark early highlight produced by Drizzy collaborator WondaGurl. Over a twinkling melody and sputtering drum machines, Sean deftly flips from sharp showboating to incisive commentary. Even Eminem’s troubling guest verse — including a threat to murder Ann Coulter as vengeance for the deaths of Philando Castile and Sandra Bland — doesn’t sink the otherwise stellar track.
Dj Booth Net
This is going to be the one internet rap fans will spend all day talking about. Production is slow, dark, this is slowly becoming the Big Sean template. Mid-tempo flow, these piano keys are entrancing. The bars are solid, I’m still waiting for him to throw a punchline that will shatter my glass jaw. A nice Midas touch line. A dope African American in Atlanta line. A Flint reference. There are some good lines on this one. So far he’s going off—no pause, no hook, just stream-of-consciousness . Okay, the hook just came in. Very Drake-esque. Anddddddd… Marshall just arrived. An ass raper lyric happened so early and I’m rather disappointed in myself for not seeing it coming. Em’s voice sounds funny. Lack of energy, like he just woke up in the studio. This is pretty much the standard Eminem verse; the delivery is so effortless like he’s not even trying. Did he just say he’d pee on Fergie? He just pressed the aggression button. The wordplay is there. Sean pretty much told Em to spazz out. Eminem just called Trump a bitch. That’s pretty tame for him. I’m pretty sure if Earl Sweatshirt never grew out of his horrorcore phase he would be rapping very similar to this. The wordplay is insane, but Em’s verse lacks content. You could take this verse and give it to anyone. The old man narrator just came back suddenly to mention a girl…
Scott: The Eminem feature was exactly what everyone should have expected; some tight punchlines, angry delivery and of course shock value bait name drops. It’s the type of verse I think we’ve all heard before but hearing a god-level bar brigade from one of the GOATs is always appreciated. With that said, that particular song is one of the album’s weakest – Sean pretty much phones in the chorus and lets Em do all the heavy lifting. Agreed?
Aaron: I wasn’t a big fan of the Eminem feature, to be honest. The lyricism was brilliant, but he’s done this kind of elongated lyrical exercise before and to a better effect (“Rap God,” anyone?). How many times are we going to hear the same angry delivery from Em, not to mention the familiar shock value? It would have been better if his verse fit into the “No Favors” concept of the song.
Trent: When it comes to a reclusive legend like Eminem, you take what you get but that verse didn’t add anything to the mix other than shock value. It’s not wack in the slightest but still. I’m a critic so I’m far from impressed with the Eddie Kendricks sample used for “Light” that Alicia Keys used to sell her Unplugged album. It’s those little things that keep the peanut gallery scoffing when you mention Sean in the same sentence as Kendrick, Cole and Chance.