Big Sean hits “Nightline.”
After launching his Mogul Prep program, which is meant to educate students on the music industry, the “Bounce Back” rapper spoke with the ABC program about the impact he hopes to have.
“I thought it was important because I didn’t even know all of the jobs and all the people that I had to hire,” he explained. “I’m just like, ‘What do you do?’ That’s from road manager, tour manager, publisher, creative director, the list goes on and on. Those people who have jobs, those are long-lasting careers. Those last longer than a lot of artist careers.”
Before Sean got into the music game, he may not have known about those jobs, but he did know how to get attention. As the story goes, he was asked to come to a local radio station to rap for an unsuspecting Kanye West, long before they would form a dynamic duo.
“Kinda sounded a little stupid or silly or something,” he said. “I got down there right when he was leaving. I asked if I could rap for him. He was like, ‘We’re kinda running late.’ I was like, ‘Damn, you’re like my hero.’ He was like, ‘Alright, you could rap while we’re walking out the station.’ I started rapping. It was the chance that gave me the moment to kick in the door and put my foot in it.”
But Yeezy isn’t the only big name MC to co-sign Sean. Fellow Motor City rapper Eminem also gave him his stamp of approval and the two collaborated on I Decided.’s “No Favors” and the star-studded “Detroit Vs. Everybody.”
“Eminem is the biggest rapper in the world and he’s broken a lot of barriers, not just for the city but for music in general, especially rap music,” he said. “Growing up, I just admired the lyrical ability, the way he plays with words. It’s something that I always try to incorporate in my music too.”
When asked about cultural appropriation allegations that have been lobbed against Slim Shady, Sean defended his Detroit inspiration. “White, black, whatever, it’s about the music,” he said. “Music has no color. That is the universal language that breaks all barriers.”
Big Sean’s latest album I Decided. is currently sitting at No. 36 on the Billboard 200. The LP topped the chart back when it was released in February. Up next, Sean Don is set to team up with Jhené Aiko for TWENTY88’s second joint project.