Date: 9/5/2012

Despite the arduous Cruel Summer recording process, Big Sean was able to put out his own tape, Detroit, before summer slid out the door. Although Sean has released a trio of mixtapes since being signed to G.O.O.D., his most recent effort, with original production, sounds closer to a proper release. Hit-Boy and Common assist their G.O.O.D. Music brother while Sean demonstrates serious growth. In '07 the Detroit native began basic training at Kanye's rap boot camp, but after his latest project crashed Datpiff, Detroit looks like one the best albums—forget mixtapes—of 2012. Though he admits he was once insecure around the likes of Kanye and Cudi, Sean's star power has become undeniable.