At the 5:30 mark. Big Sean also explains the making of his hit single, “My Last” featuring Chris Brown and the misperceptions of his boss, Kanye West and check out some of the questions from the interview in the digital version…
TRUE: The album title Finally Famous what can you say about your journey to where you are now? The good and bad?
SEAN: Finally Famous I feel like I called it Finally Famous because that was like my crew in Detroit and like I feel like when you’re famous you’re recognized for doing something great and I put the finally in front of it because it’s like we worked our ass off and worked real hard, you know, nothing was handed to us so that’s the whole meaning behind the name and that can relate to anybody, like, if you’re doing what you love to do and you’re getting recognized for it you finally Famous, you know what I’m saying? Whatever you do, whether you rap, make beats, got good grades, you know, got a magazine….whatever you do as long as you love doing what you’re doing and you’re recognized for it, you’re Finally Famous. So that’s, like, the underlying meaning of it all; it’s like an adlib, you know what I’m saying? And then…it’s been like a…you know the bad times have made me enjoy the good times way more you know it’s like I remember pulling up to McDonald’s not having no money…I remember one time I was in the studio and I pulled up to McDonald’s and I didn’t have no money and I ordered my food, they gave me my food and then they were, like, ‘ok, see you later’ without me paying and I was, like, that was one of the omens/signs that I knew I was supposed to be doing music, you know what I’m saying, because stuff would always work out, even if it’s little stuff like that you just got to pay attention to it ‘cause the Universe is telling you you’re doing the right thing.
TRUE: Let’s start from the beginning, how did you link up with Kanye West we hear it was a crazy situation at the radio station?
SEAN: Yeah, it was crazy…well, when I was sixteen I was in this group, me and my best friend, and as soon as I was 16 and old enough to drive we went down to this radio station downtown and they had a show there every Friday called The Friday Night Cypher where MCs would come together and battle each other and whoever would win the battle, there would be, like, seven winners, would get to rap on air and they would get to spit a verse or two over instrumentals for, like, thirty minutes. So we went down there…as soon as I was old enough to drive, I got my car the first day I was old enough to drive (my Grandma bought me a car)…and we went down there, we battled all these MCs, we won…we ended up doing the show every single week and got a good relationship with the station. So my Junior year going into my Senior year over the summer, it was a Saturday morning, you know the show was every Friday night, and I was cashing, like, a hundred dollar check ‘cause I was a Telemarketer, that was the wackest shit ever, and it was packed because banks on Saturdays be packed and my homie called me and was like ‘Yo, you listening to the radio?’ and I’m like No, what’s good? He like ‘Man, Kanye down there…if you go down there and rap for him he’ll sign you, nigga!’ I’m like, ‘Man, hell no what are you talkin’ bout…that sounds stupid’. But then after I thought about it for about thirty seconds, I was like, ‘Man, this might work I don’t see why it wouldn’t work’. I couldn’t see a reason why that wouldn’t work, you know? So I dropped everything I was doing, walked out of the bank without cashing my check, went to my crib to grab the CD I had been selling around high school, my homie met up with me and gave me twenty dollars to drive down there. So I was smashing down there, got to the radio station and since I was there the night before doing that show, I told them I had left something in the back, like my phone or something and they were like ‘cool, go get it.’ But then I went in the back back where I wasn’t supposed to be and that’s where Kanye and them was and one of the DJs was like ‘Yo, you should go holler at Kanye, man.’ So I got past the security guard, I got past his Road Manager who was sitting right in there…he was actually the guy who came out and talked to y’all…so you know he got a real crazy accent he was like (mimicking Don C’s voice) ‘Yo, what’s good fam? What up? Yo you want me to give ‘Ye a CD or somethin’?’ He got that strong Chicago accent…that’s my homie. Yeah, so I snuck past him and I gave Kanye my CD and shook his hand; I was nervous…I never met a celebrity so I was nervous; I froze up and he started walking away and my homie was like ‘Man, what the hell you doing?! You gotta rap for him!’ and I was like ‘you’re right’ so I ran back up to him while he was walking out and I was like ‘Yo man, I’m an aspiring MC, can I rap for you? I do this show here every Friday, can I rap for you?’ he was like ‘Man, I ain’t got time I gotta go…” and I’m like ‘Nigga, Please? I ride to school listening to you…you’re like one of my heroes cuz, just let me spit…’ and he was like ‘Alright man you got 16 bars while we’re walking out the station’ 16 bars is equivalent to a verse. And I was like ‘Cool’ and he was like ‘Go’. So we’re walking out the station, I’m rapping and then he wasn’t really paying attention at first and then when we got to the entrance/exit he stopped and he started bobbing his head and was really getting into it and I was so nervous that I just remember rapping towards the ground ‘cause I was nervous as hell because I knew that was one of my chances to really get somebody’s attention who could really change my life, you know? So I was rapping for like ten minutes straight, it was a big crowd that came around, everybody was clapping…and that’s how I got his attention. Then he took my CD and was like ‘I’m about to listen to this.’ The story goes on and on and on but that’s how I got his attention. But even after that it took like two years to do the deal like, a long ass time and you know, when I graduated high school I gave up all my scholarships, I was going to Michigan State University, I was ready to like party, get high…off life, you know have sex and shit, live on my own with girls all the time…like I was looking forward to all that and I gave it up…that’s a whole other story because I gave it up without being signed to him, so I was like, broke as hell living at my Mom’s house going through some of the most depressing times because all my friends were in school, most of them at least, and excelling in life; I felt like I wasn’t going nowhere and it was like I was hitting rock bottom, I was broke, a lot of my family was like ‘Man, you stupid for not going to school’ and ‘education is the way’ and saying this is the wrong decision, you’re throwing your life away so I was really going through a lot of shit, you know what I’m saying? And I felt like giving up so many times but my Mom was the one who really held me together and told me to keep my faith and would give me books to read and she spent all her money on me and shit for the studio, so it’s finally paying off so she’s happy.
TRUE: Do you remember the 16 you spit for Kanye?
SEAN: No, man I wish I did just for my own keepsake…I really don’t, though. A lot of it was freestyle, a lot of it was old ass verses that I can’t believe I forgot because then I knew them like the back of my hand and about five hundred, six hundred raps later, I can’t even remember what I was saying. I know I was something about…I really don’t even remember…but I wish I did remember it ‘cause it was a pretty good rap.
TRUE: What can you say about how you made your album? We know it was hard and a lot of time but what element gave you inspiration to make each song such as the single with Chris, Rick Ross, Drake and your boss and friend Kanye?
SEAN: I mean, just catching vibes…you can get inspiration from anything…you can get inspiration from a bum on the street, you can get inspirations from your mom crying ‘cause she didn’t have enough money to pay her bills, you can get inspiration from other songs, other artists, you can get inspiration from having good sex, getting high…whatever you like to do, you know what I’m saying? So I just kind of let it flow, I don’t really pay attention to how it happens, I just let it happen. But I definitely feel like it’s more so God-given…I can’t explain it sometimes how songs be getting made, you know…it just happens.
TRUE: We just named a couple of big named artists on your album is there any other major artists on your album or someone who helped you put your first major project together and what did they help do and how do you feel about working with them?
SEAN: well, No I.D. is kind of more so the album producer, he’s a legend; he’s like Kanye’s mentor. He did a lot of Common’s first stuff and new stuff, did a lot of Jay-Z, Kanye stuff and he’s like an O.G. in the game who really took his time out to fine tune and make sure my album was good. He taught me a lot about life; he’s really one of the nicest people I ever met and it’s really hard to find nice people in this Industry. You know, he took me in and believed in me when I was at the lowest point of my career and built me up to the potential I have now, you know what I’m saying? So, you know, he’s definitely one of my mentors and I love him from the bottom of my heart and he definitely was somebody who was a blessing to work…he produced ‘My Last’ too and he produced a whole bunch of things; he produced about 8 songs on the album, I would say; and of course Kanye…who else was on the album…Wiz Khalifa’s on the album; that’s my homie me and him was cool like years and years and years ago before anything, so it’s tight that he’s blowing up and then I’m starting to blow up too. So it’s just like…’cause we’re going on tour together this summer and me and him were on this bus and we were sitting, talking and he was like ‘Man, that shit dope as hell. In 2007 I hit you up on MySpace and now we’re going on tour together, we’re both getting money together, doing what we love to do and we’re young as hell in our twenties…’he’s like a year older than me… [I’m] 23 so he’s like 24 but, we’re out here young with the possibility of making millions, you know what I’m saying?