Big Sean‘s journey from the mixtape circuit to becoming a bonafide, top tier rapper in the industry has been a long and arduous one. From misunderstandings with Ludacris to overly publicized relationships, he’s managed to keep his head down and work through the distractions.
Recently, ABC News Nightline sat down with him while in NYC for his Radio City Music Hall show to look back on his career thus far.
If you’re generally unfamiliar with Big Sean’s career arc, the short video from ABC News Nightline is a concise crash course. Interviewer Sunny Hostin starts with the well known story of Big Sean meeting Kanye at a radio station to rap for him as they were walking out. Big Sean tells Sunny, “It was the chance that gave me the moment to, like, kick in the door.” Even after signing to G.O.O.D. Music in 2007, he didn’t release his debut album Finally Famous until 2011. This is something rarely seen now as fans expect a project from new signees immediately.
When asked if he listens to the music he’s given now from aspiring artists, Big Sean replies, “For sure. Every time.”
When looking back at his accomplishments, Big Sean seems to be more concerned with the bigger picture. He asks himself some difficult questions in the interview: “When I look back, like, yeah, I collabed with a lot of great people but the main focus, for me, is what did the music mean? What did the message mean? What did he do for Detroit?” Detroit seems to think he’s done enough by granting him the key to the city.
Aside from music, Big Sean also details in the interview that he has been working with his Sean Anderson Foundation on Mogul Prep. Mogul Prep is a program developed to teach children about careers in publishing, tour management, and other areas of the music industry that aren’t presented to them in the same light as a recording artist. Big Sean admits that he didn’t know so many other jobs existed in music before becoming the star he is today.
Big Sean also spoke briefly on Eminem, praising the 8 Mile emcee: “Eminem is the biggest rapper in the world. He’s broken a lot of barriers, not just for the city but for music, in general, especially rap music.” And when asked what he’d say to those who think Eminem is an example of cultural appropriation, he replied, “Then you need to grow up.”