After releasing a series of mixtapes, collaborating with Kanye West and Chris Brown, touring across the states and being featured on the cover of some of the biggest music publication, 23-year-old Detroit native Big Sean is finally famous. Sean’s career started a few years ago, when he freestyle for Kanye West at a Detroit radio station. Yeezy eventually signed him to his G.O.O.D. music label. The Interview’s magazine Alex Champan caught up with Big Sean for a brief conversation. During the interview, Sean talked about his debut album, his relationship with Kanye West & Jay-Z, G.O.O.D. Music and much more. Finally Famous: The Album is now in stores and online. Peep some excerpts below:
With all the material you’ve come out with via mixtapes, it’s crazy to think that this is really just the beginning. What’s been the difference between the music you’ve made in the past and making an official, debut album?
There are a lot of sample clearings. Because of that, I couldn’t put out some of the things I wanted to put out. I was really mad about it, but the album is still a really great body of work, and I’m so proud of it. Also, with a mixtape, you can just go in and don’t have to worry about having a single or a hit record on it. You can just have 40 bar verses if you really want. But when you are doing a commercial release, you have to make music that you can play around the world—at concerts, barbeques, stadiums, whatever the occasion might be. It’s definitely a different process, but the thing for me is just to do it well. I can’t wait to use what I learned on this album and apply it to the next album.
Interview Credit and Words by: Alex Champan/The Interview magazine
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NEXT PAGE: BIG SEAN SPEAKS ON G.O.O.D. MUSIC, HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH KANYE WEST & JAY-Z AND MORE
How involved is the G.O.O.D. Music crew in the material that made it on the album?
They give me creative control. NO ID just went in and made the body of the album—Kanye was always busy, but he would put his hand in there and let me know what was fresh and let me know when he didn’t like stuff. Kanye and me made a couple tracks that didn’t make the album because of sample clearings, and then a couple he wanted to hold onto.
So everybody’s in it together.
It’s a family thing—you do your own thing, and then you play it, and if Kanye really feels strong about something and doesn’t want it to be on there, then he has the power to cut it. But he’s an open-minded person who embraces creativity and lets you make your own mistakes. If he feels like something won’t work and you tell him you think it will, he will be like “do it,” and let you fail on your own, if you fail.
How’s your live show changed over time? You definitely seemed more at ease this time then the times I’ve seen you in the past.
Feeling more comfortable onstage is something I’ve worked on—it’s really about just being the artist I am. I’m really vulnerable onstage because it’s just me. I’m not really trying to put up a front or act a certain way. I’ll sit and talk about my grandma and what I’ve got going on and even my fears sometimes, and I’m gonna keep growing as a performer. As I put out more music, I really want to get to the point where people feel like my show is a must-see.
Everybody knows you have a great relationship with Kanye, but I’m curious about your correspondences with Jay-Z.
He’s a great guy. He’s like Kanye’s big bro—he’s family. We’ve had dinners where we just kick it with each other and talk and I just soak up knowledge from him. Once, we were in the studio and we just talked for hours—it was just me, him, Kanye and I think NO ID was there, and I was just thinking “Damn, how did I get here?” Jay-Z is definitely a person who doesn’t give a shit and, from an OG’s standpoint, lets you know if you made a mistake so you don’t make another.
With so many big stars helping shape your career, I have to ask: where do you see yourself in five years?
That’s a good question. I think I just want to be remembered for my story and as an example to always move on the impulse of your heart, and not give a fuck what people think. When I graduated from high school, the teacher said I was throwing my life away following music, and the same teacher invited me back to speak at the school. I don’t say that to brag, I just want to be an example. I never want to look back on life and say I wish I did something, and I don’t want anybody else to do that. I want my music to and serve as a message for this—my music to ride to, smoke to, have sex to, cry to, and just live to.
Read the full interview here.