On the set of a G.O.O.D. Music cover shoot, Big Sean spoke about his writing technique, the effect of being in Kanye's shadow, and revealed some details about his upcoming sophomore album.
During the G.O.O.D. Music cover shoot for them, Complex had a chance to talk to Big Sean. The young Detroit rapper seems like he has something to prove with his upcoming sophomore album, “Everybody who’s not respecting it, they’re going to see. I know they hear me eating up these records. People talk shit like I can’t rap. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Big Sean talked about his writing process, how he never writes a rap down, and how his verse on “Mercy” started out as a backstage freestyle for Kanye. He also talks about Kanye’s influence on him, and how he’s learned to come out from the little brother/big brother dynamic, and be his own rapper.
The G.O.O.D. Music emcee talked a little bit about his second solo album, which he says is coming out sometime this year, and mentions some of the producers to expect on the LP.
Check out excerpts from the interview below, and you can find the interview in full here.
Is it true that your "Mercy" verse started out as a random freestyle for Kanye?
Yeah, I was really freestyling with Kanye backstage at the Watch the Throne tour and he was like, “Man, you got to say this on the record.” I was like, “Man, I ain’t about to say that. I just put out A$$. I don’t need to be talking about no ‘ass-quake, ass-tate.’” But I just laid it to see how it sounded and then for a while, there were no other verses on “Mercy.”
When artists get signed by huge talent like Kanye, they sometimes get stuck in that dilemma of always being the little brother. Were you happy that your biggest hit, “A$$,” wasn’t one that Kanye jumped on produced?
Coming up, I used to always want Kanye to be more involved. I can’t even say I did it by myself, because I had people like No I.D. that was there. I had other producers who were really there, too. It’s all about finding your sound and finding your producers, finding someone to produce you and then just take it there yourself artistically. I’m glad that Kanye didn’t have to hold my hand through the entire process and I’m just under him.
What can people expect from your upcoming sophomore album?
Well, we just got the first single. I’m not going to tell you who’s all on it. Dope ass artists on it, though, for sure. It’s great. It’s something that connects. When I was playing it for Common, he was losing his mind. J. Cole was blown away. It really is elevating, taking it to a different level. I don’t even want to hype it up or talk too much like, “Yeah, my album is the shit!” I just can’t wait for everyone to hear what I’ve been doing, what I’ve been cooking up. We’re figuring it all out. I don’t know the title of the album. I know it’s coming out this year.
Is No I.D. playing a big role on this album like he did on your debut?
No I.D. is playing a role but the person who is playing one of the biggest roles is my new producer I signed myself, KeY Wane. He also did the “Amen” track for Meek Mill. He got stuff with ‘Ye coming. He produced my first single that’s about to come out of my album. KeY Wane is definitely an instrumental part. He kind of has like a vintage sound with a new spin on it, so I’m excited to have him on the album. Of course, No I.D. is playing a big ass role in it with his beats, his input.
That’s the main thing I get from No I.D. It’s not always just production, it’s his input a lot of times and that’s a true producer. That’s the difference between a beat-maker and a producer. Young Chop is definitely on the album. Shout out to Young Chop from Chi-Town, bringing that new sound. We’re just young guys with that new sound.