The gospel production of No I.D.

Kanye West & No I.D. in the lab. (No I.D. is the dude on the left.)

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of Big Sean’s “Finally Famous: The Album” in a couple of weeks. Big Sean has been one of the most entertaining MC personalities to keep track of over the past couple of years. He’s the best kind of combination in hip-hop – His punchlines are actually funny AND he gets to land a lot of them on top of some of the best beats the game has to offer. My favorite single released in the buildup to “Finally Famous: The Album” has been “What Goes Around,” a look-how-far-I’ve-come anthem that sounds like an album-closer. It has the stomp, and soul, of a particularly lively gospel church service. So good it sounds like a sequel to “See Me Now,” my favorite track off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. (The remix of which features a star-making verse from Sean.)

It’s no accident the production sounds so similar. The man at the boards in both cases is No I.D., “godfather of Chicago hip-hop” and mentor to Kanye West. Kanye landed Beyonce and Charlie Wilson for “See Me Now” but “What Goes Around” hits as hard regardless. I’d cherish the instrumental alone but the Big Sean bars are the icing on the cake.

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