Finally Famous

Album Preview: Big Sean – ‘Finally Famous’

After patiently waiting for his moment in the spotlight, Big Sean announced his arrival at a listening session for his debut Finally Famous at New York’s trendy Standard hotel on Tuesday night (June 7). Swarms of well wishers including G.O.O.D. Music’s own Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Pusha T, along with Swizz Beatz, DJ Khaled, and Estelle, came through to show their support and lend their ears (see photos).

The lights faded and the Detroit MC greeted fans while seated onstage in a white chair. Many thank yous led to a particularly touching moment. “I see my best friends. We used to ride to school listening to Kanye, listening to Jay, so it’s kind of emotional,” he said before tearing up to thunderous applause. “Just thanks for always being there.” He fought back his tears and joked, “I cried, [but] I’m not no bitch or nothing!”

Mr. West praised his 23-year-old protégé, who he signed on the spot to G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam. “I believe Sean’s story is one of the most amazing ever because he literally got signed off of a freestyle,” he told the crowd. “I feel like he could be like what Beyoncé is to R&B, that he could be that to rap music.”

Sean, who garnered buzz with his popular Finally Famous mixtape series, turned the focus to the music that he has worked so long to create. Surrounded by a background full of movie clips catered to each song, the one man show ensued, equipped with banging speakers, captivating visuals, and the slim rapper, who started off with just a cheek-to-cheek smile, $20, and a 16.

Find out what you can expect from Finally Famous when it drops on June 28.

1. “Intro”
Produced by Kevin Randolph, Key Wane

For the opening act, Big Sean picks up where his mixtape Finally Famous Volume 3 left off, telling the “story of a kid who followed his heart, did what he wanted to do.” On the pensive track, Sean fittingly embarks on his journey, dreaming big, but “still sleeping long enough to dream.”

2. “I Do It”
Produced by No I.D., The Legendary Traxster

Hustling hard and partying hard is the anthem on this second single as Sean shows his bravado amidst a cryptic piano and bass. In this spatial twilight zone, he raps to the audience over a visual of just his eyes, offering a preview of the song’s accompanying music video.

3. “My Last” featuring Chris Brown
Produced by No I.D.

The upbeat party starter about seizing the day serves as the album’s lead offering. “You just need that one [hit]!” he recalls being told. When he heard the song for the first time, he said, “Hell no, I’m not doing this!” But after releasing it and seeing the response at Summer Jam, he admitted, “Damn, No I.D. is right!”

4. “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”
Produced by No I.D.

A dramatic piano and a thumping bass accompany an electric guitar while Sean spits about his relationship blues. “She said I had enough tries and she’s the reason why she doesn’t trust guys,” he raps. He goes on to question his readiness for a relationship, asking, “What’s the perfect girl if it’s not the perfect time?”

5. “Wait for Me” featuring Lupe Fiasco
Produced by No I.D., Exile

In front of a scene from the 1979 movie The Warriors, Lupe and Sean trade verses about running out of time. “Be on time for nothing and a little late for a lot,” Lupe comments on his thought-provoking verse before the song draws to a close. Sean admits that he had to listen to Lupe’s lyrics a few times to fully grasp them.

6. “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay” featuring Kanye West & Roscoe Dash
Produced by Pop Wansel, Mike Dean

One of many party joints on the album, this potential single is about getting down and dirty to the sounds of Marvin Gaye and a glass of Chardonnay. Horns, a winning verse from Kanye, and some crooning from Roscoe equal another club success. “It’s kind of like super special. It’s something people are going to be able to party to and has a great message at the same time,” Sean previously told

7. “Dance (A$$)”
Produced by Da Internz

The self-explanatory title isn’t about getting some. It’s about getting some asses on the floor. An overbearing baritone voice repeats “ass” over and over again to get everyone moving. “White girls, black girls/ Tall girls, fat girls/ Shake that ass,” Sean retorts in raucous fashion.

8. “Get It (DT)” featuring Pharrell
Produced by The Neptunes

Formerly titled “Donald Trump,” this record is about striving to reach Trump’s tycoon status. “I’m trying to get to that level of success to where you control the world. But they’re relating it to the sense that you’ve got to start somewhere, and I’m starting here,” Sean previously explained. He showcases his witty wordplay, rapping, “The warmer the weather, the colder the drink/ The colder the weather, the warmer the mink.”

9. “Memories (Part II)” featuring John Legend
Produced by No I.D.

The G.O.O.D. Music spitter shares his dreams over piano riffs. “I just want my fantasy real life/ You got everything tell me what it feel like,” he rhymes as John Legend sings the hook. He reflects on good and bad memories, adding, “Reality checks are too big to be cashed.”

10. “High” featuring Wiz Khalifa & Chiddy Bang
Produced by Xaphoon Jones

When Wiz gets on a track, it only takes one guess to know what it’s about. As smoke sets the scene, Sean, Wiz, and Chiddy Bang express their love for all things green.

11. “Live This Life” featuring The-Dream
Produced by No I.D.

Big Sean lives it up as The-Dream’s falsetto laces this track. “The drink you were waiting all night for/ Make sure the motherfucker ice cold,” commands ‘Ye’s protégé with a buzzing voice.

12. “So Much More”
Produced by No I.D.

Sean takes the road less traveled, sharing that the same teachers who asked him why he chose a career in hip-hop didn’t realize it would lead him here. Keyboard and bass bombard the speakers on this one.

13. “What Goes Around” (Bonus)
Produced by No I.D.

With a pounding beat, Sean comments on comparisons between him and other rappers. “Visualizing how the crown might be/ Got the whole rap game trying to sound like me,” he spits on the track, which is among his favorites.

14. “Celebrity” featuring Dwele (Bonus)
Produced by Filthy Rockwell, No I.D.

Sean looks at the good life, but questions its fleeting nature, and wonders what it would be like if it were all gone. Dwele chimes in to the sounds of a keyboard and flute.

15. “My House” (Bonus)
Produced by Boi-1da

16. “100 Keys” featuring Rick Ross & Pusha T (Bonus)
Produced by Hilton and Brian Wright

–Tanya Remekie