Published Sep 11, 2016Six years ago, Toronto rapper Big Lean confidently rolled into the city's hip-hop scene with his debut mixtape, I'm Here Now, building a fanbase in the northern crevices of the city limit. After releasing two additional projects, which featured the likes of Chief Keef, Sizzla and Juicy J, Big Lean returns with his boldest statement to date, Enough is Enough.
"I'm the one they've been waiting for," the Parma Court native casually spits on the intro track of his new mixtape. Executively produced by long-time collaborator and friend Boi-1da, the 14-track collection is characterized by booming bass lines, ominous synths and lyrical grit, evident particularly on tracks like "Enough is Enough" and "Bounce Back." Big Lean's journey also spans from the East Coast to the West Coast, as Juelz Santana joins him on the money-hungry "Benjamins" and Nipsey Hussle accompanies him on "California Water," both songs marking the first time either artist have rapped on a Boi-1da beat.
Despite the aggressive undertones of Enough is Enough, Big Lean lets down his guard for "Everything's Alright," a piano-laced track that samples Singing Sweet's Bad English cover of "When I See You Smile." In the reflective song, he speaks on incarcerated friends, the support of his crew and the importance of perseverance through struggle, all of which support the "good kid, mad city" narrative throughline here.
In the words of Big Lean himself, Enough is Enough partakes in streets tales and hood politics — "ghetto boys glory," he affectionately claims on the Tupac-inspired "Eyes on Me" — but at the end of the day, it's the underdog rapper's humble beginnings that define him and will soon push him into the spotlight. (Independent)