Since day one, Big Sean was exposed to a spectrum of art and culture through his education. With a booming career, with two mixtapes down and an album on the way, Big Sean is making his dreams come true. Sean Anderson was born in Santa Monica, California and raised in Detroit, where he paved himself a road to success. He started by developing a strong relationship with 102.7FM, a local Detroit radio station, where he was able to showcase his rhymes at weekly battle raps. It was at 102.7FM where Big Sean met first Kanye West and showcased his talent. Today, Big Sean is finally famous, signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music, with an debut album on the way. As his mixtapes and freestyles get swapped across the Internet, he’s gaining a nationwide fan base solidifying his status as a star, at the young age of 21. There’s no doubt that Big Sean is part of the future of hip-hop and he’s only just started.
“Itâ€™s hard, there have been times in my life where I said fuck music because of how harsh and frustrating this industry can be. You have to be made for this or youâ€™ll get destroyed.”
Format: Whatâ€™s it like being on G.O.O.D Music?
Big Sean: Itâ€™s a dream come true, honestly. I used to ride to high school listening to Jay-Z, Kanye, Pharrell, Common, etcâ€¦ Itâ€™s my very first pick if I had to choose a label. Things you really want; do come into fruition if you just believe in it!
Format: When you first met Kanye and attended his secret listening party for Late Registration, where was it at?
Big Sean: It was actually located at a secret Universal office in the outskirts of Metro Detroit. The thing was they didnâ€™t tell me where it was at – they told me word for word, â€œYo come through the listening party, weâ€™ll put you and + 3 on the list. Itâ€™s at a secret location, see you there.â€ and they left. And they told me that right after I rapped so I was so focused on the fact that I just spit for him [Kanye] and he liked it, then he took my CD and said he was going to listen to it in the car — I wasnâ€™t really thinking as clearly as I should have been — I straight forgot to ask where it was located.
Then after Kanye left the station I was running around the station like a chicken with itâ€™s head cut off asking where the listening party was at and nobody knew! As I was hoping back into my car I thought I missed my chance cause nobody knew where it is. And as I was getting in my car, some guy who was parked in front of me was hopping out of his car and said, â€œHey! You that kid that rapped for Kanye? Man that shit was crazy! You going to the listening party?â€ and I was like, man, I donâ€™t know where the fuck it is! Then he reached in his pocket and pulled the address out on a business card and handed it to me. And thatâ€™s how I ended up at the listening party.
Format: Is there a date set for your album, Finally Famous to drop?
Big Sean: Yeah, Kanye and LA think around September, so we’re really about to kick things in high gear. The album itself is almost done though. Got appearances from Ye, Pharrell, Dream, and most importantly me. [Laughs] But I honestly hope it will change the game. Iâ€™m excited to do what Iâ€™m in love with!
Format: What should we expect from Finally Famous? Is there a theme or message?
Big Sean: Well, the whole theme of Finally Famous is way deeper than it sounds. The meaning of ‘Famous’ is being recognized for your craft. We threw ‘Finally’ in front of it to symbolize that the patience needed to achieve that craft. So basically anyone who is recognized for doing something very good, whether it be music, school, talking, etc. Whatever youâ€™re very good at doing, you’re ‘Finally Famous’ for it. So itâ€™s a concept everyone can embrace and relate to.
Format: Now that you have some touring under your belt, how do you like the jet set lifestyle?
Big Sean: Itâ€™s kind of how I imagined it. Fast, fun, and draining. A lot of work too. Sometimes I joke around saying, man, Iâ€™m either ahead of my time or jet-lagged like a bitch. [Laughs]
Format: Iâ€™ve noticed you have some Motown samples in a bunch of tracks, is there a story behind that? Possibly a Detroit influence?
Big Sean: Not at all. Thatâ€™s just a coincidence – I just use tracks that sound great to me. The only connection, maybe, is that I try and keep a certain quality. One thing that the legendary Motown had was good, quality music. But there is no connection whatsoever.
Format: You were recently at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas; how was that? Was it your first time at SXSW? Big Sean: Do you think you’ll be going back next year?
It was an amazing experience to be at SXSW as a new artist. And there is no one better than Kanye West to introduce [me] to the festival. What a crazy time. I feel like that single performance helped jumpstart my career. There are so many good people down there — Iâ€™m definitely down to go back and do it again — it was crazy!
Format: The SXSW freestyle video that is blowing up on YouTube and blogs is raw, whatâ€™s it like freestyling in the same circle as some of the best lyricists in the world?
Big Sean: Well itâ€™s a dream come true. Iâ€™ve gotten used to it now. I started off by freestyling for Kanye – thatâ€™s how I actually got on. Iâ€™ve had to rap for people like Pharrell, Jay-Z, and so on, so Iâ€™ve somewhat gotten used to it. I still love it though.
Format: Tell me about your style and your swag; who are your biggest influences?
Big Sean: Swag is, and style is just an extension of yourself. So my biggest influence is my mind I guess. I like what I like. Itâ€™s just certain clothes I love (Bape, BBC/Ice Cream).
Format: You seem to always be wearing Burn Rubber gear, whatâ€™s your affiliation with them?
Big Sean: Burn Rubber are my homies. They lace me with gear all the time. [Laughs] They were my homies before they started doing clothes, hats, and stuff. I really like their clothes. Theyâ€™re the homies. Got a Big Sean / Burn Rubber collabs coming soon.
Format: What role did your family play in your success?
Big Sean: My mother played a big role in my success as an artist because she was an actress herself. She was able to relate to my situation and did all she could to support me. I come from a family of college grads and they were disappointed I didnâ€™t go to school, but they still supported me to the fullest.
Format: Howâ€™d you stay motivated when you were going through your hardest times?
Big Sean: Itâ€™s hard, there have been times in my life where I said fuck music because of how harsh and frustrating this industry can be. You have to be made for this or youâ€™ll get destroyed
Format: What was it like growing up in Detroit rapping?
Big Sean: It was fun and competitive. It takes a lot for somebody from Detroit to support you because they have a mentality that if they themselves canâ€™t rap better than you, then they know somebody whoâ€™s better than you. It really takes a lot for them to support.
Format: At the end of all this what’s the legacy that you want to leave behind?
Big Sean: I want to leave behind the idea of following your dreams, of being able to support and be supported off what you love, and to help lead this generation in a positive direction.
More Info: www.uknowbigsean.com