Big Sean’s album, Dark Sky Paradise, includes a collaboration with his ex-ladylove, Ariana Grande, for the track “Research.” Though Big Sean said it was just a song, and he liked it that they were doing something different together. He said that it was his way of letting Grande enter his world. We all know what happened to the couple next.
In “Research,” Big Sean raps about a suspecting lover while Grande plays the detective trying to undercover a possible infidelity issue. Although the song is about unfaithfulness, it is such a delight to hear Big Sean rap politely, while addressing the issue. Though he still uses derogatory words as metaphor to women, he makes up for it by not completely objectifying them. Inasmuch as women should not be denoted as bitches, artists should also be careful in addressing the need for feminism in music. There should not be any forms of unnecessary dichotomy between the sexes, even in songs like this.
It is interesting though to explore the thematic suspicion in a relationship through a song performed by actual lovers. However, the theme is not enough to sustain the energy of the entire track, as it can fall flat in many places. While it is a joy to hear the duo sing together, it would be more fun if the pace were faster. At times, Big Sean sounds exhausted or uninterested. Good thing still that Grande delivers smoldering hooks in her parts. Nevertheless, she is very underutilized in the track. Her sultry approach in the track deserves more emphasis.
Perhaps it’s just the great anticipation for the lovers’ duet that is the source of negations. Don’t mistake it, as the track is not lame. It’s actually good in its own right. However, there are some things like the pace and energy that don’t fall into their proper places. The concept is there, but there are probably other executions that can fit the song better. Halfway through the song, while Big Sean makes it clear that “these hoes be doin’ research,” Shaggy could just come over and suggest for him to say, “It Wasn’t Me.”