Big Sean: The Interview!
He walked into the room dripping in jewellery - a big Jesus piece, several other chains, a Chanel bracelet, a Rolex watch and a ring - everything gold. It’s hard to notice much else. But his album, 'Finally Famous', is currently proving that there’s much more substance to Big Sean than meets the eye...
The morning after rocking a packed house at east London’s Cargo, The Wrap Up’s Tobi Oke met up with the G.O.O.D Music rapper to talk about his journey to stardom, Kanye West, being a young fashion icon and much more.
The Wrap Up: Your London show was crazy! Kanye West came through as a surprise guest. How was all of that arranged?
Big Sean: I knew that he was gonna be here (London) and I heard he may come through. When I got there, he wasn’t there, so I was thought that he wasn’t gonna come. During the show, I was about to do ‘Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay’ second to last, but people came out and where like, ‘No! Save it for last.’ So I knew he was gonna come out (laugh).
TWU: One of the most inspirational aspects of your story is the fact that you’ve been signed under Kanye West for a long time, but you took it upon yourself to get your own movement started by yourself. At what point did you realise this was necessary?
Big Sean: Well, there’s no manual on how to be a rapper, there’s no school for it. I was just trying to find my way, but I was relying on Kanye too much and that’s why I was frustrated. My label told me that I needed more buzz and I was like, ‘What the hell you mean I need more buzz? Why don’t you give me more buzz?’ Then I realised, what would be the incentive for the label to put my album out over a Rick Ross or Rihanna album? Grinding through mixtapes and building my movement, I had to really earn s**t. That’s what people admire the most; they admire the grind, and putting in work has actually made me more humble. My mom and my grandma have always told me, ‘Whatever you get, you can lose twice as fast’, so I’ll never be an a**hole about it. I really appreciate being here; I’m one of the people that truly appreciate being a rapper.
TWU: You’ve worked with a lot of big artists, even when you were doing the mixtape thing. So how did you select the artists featured on your debut album, ‘Finally Famous’?
Big Sean: For ‘Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay’, Kanye sent me the track and Roscoe was already on it. Kanye was like, ‘Yo! We should do this track. This is tight as hell’, so we went in the studio and wrote our verses on the spot. For ‘High’, I originally wanted Wiz on it but I changed my mind – I thought it was a little typical, but in the end I was thought, ‘Man, f**k that!’ It’s a dope song and Chiddy definitely killed it.
TWU: There have been a lot of rumours going around claiming that you Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa are going to make a CD together. Any truth in that?
Big Sean: (Laughs) Hmm, nah. I don’t know what’s happening, we’re just having fun. I mean, we just wanted to drop five songs in a row to trip people’s minds out. You guys just gotta wait and see. Maybe!
TWU: Can you see a G.O.O.D Music album happening in the future?
Big Sean: Yes, definitely. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a G.O.O.D Music album.
TWU: Consequence is currently taking shots at G.O.O.D Music. How do you see this situation and do you see it being resolved anytime soon?
Big Sean: Consequence isn’t on G.O.O.D Music. I don’t really are about it. Consequence, he used to show a lot of love, he was in the fam, but now he’s not. Personally, I don’t know what happened, but I just don’t give a f**k. It’s just not important to me, seriously.
TWU: On your album, what would you consider your favourite track?
Big Sean: I really like ‘So Much More’. That track really takes me back to being at my grandma’s house – her making pancakes and me watching Cartoons – not having to worry about life too much. But I also love ‘Memories’, because it’s just a great concept – when you look back on life, that’s all you have, your memories. My grandma was the inspiration behind that song – just us talking for hours while she’s in her wheelchair in the last years of life. She was happy about the times she’s had. That’s when I told myself that I didn’t want to conform and do some s**t that I don’t enjoy doing. When I sit with my grandkids, I want to be able to tell them and be happy about my stories, too. I also like ‘Ass’ and ‘Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay’. Sometimes, you just want fun music to lift you up. When you’ve got riots going on outside, you just want fun, feel-good music and that’s what that is.
TWU: Do you see yourself as a fashion icon for the youth of today? Because the gold jewellery and the snapbacks that you’ve worn consistently over the years are now suddenly back in.
Big Sean: Nah, man, I don’t even notice it! I’ll even do shows with twenty thousand people and they all know the words and they’re all wearing snapbacks and s**t, it’s crazy. I don’t really look at myself as influencing others, but I guess...
TWU: Kanye West, who is obviously your mentor, regularly adapts his style and sound with each album. Is this something we can expect from you?
Big Sean: For sure! I plan to grow and change. It’s not like I’ma drop five albums and they’ll all sound the same. I’m not gonna lose what people like about me, either.
Big Sean’s album, 'Finally Famous', is out now.
Stay up to date with Big Sean on Twitter – www.twitter.com/BigSean
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)