Big Sean talks about his new album "Hall Of Fame," Detroit, The "Supa Duppa" flow, and whether or not he's Rap Game Beyonce.
Big Sean released his sophomore album last month, and we keep learning more about it. In a recent interview with VIBE, Sean explains a few more details of the album, including the role he had in production. He also speaks about Kanye's declaration that he could be the Beyonce of rap, and the possibility of reintroducing his "Supa Dupa" flow (better know as the "Hashtag rap" that was endorsed byDrake, and allegedly killed by the dude who said "I fill her up... Balloons!").
Read some excerpts from the interview below.
Take us back real quickâall the way back to high school. Youâre in your first rap group, Fresh Fam. Did Lil Sean ever think he would make it be Big Sean?
It seems so far away when I used to be like, âI want to buy my mom a house.â Then it was like, âWhat do I want to do besides be famous and rep the city?' I want to change the world. I want to be a part of culture. I want to help teach. I saw it all but it was just a dream back then.
Well, youâre definitely progressing. At your official New York listening party you told everyone: âIâll get on a song with Drake and out-rap Drake, Iâll get on a song with Jay out-rap Jayâ¦â
Iâm a real-ass dude, but Iâm a humble dude, too. Iâm not saying Iâm a better rapper than Jay Z, thatâs not what Iâm saying. What Iâm saying is you can hop on a song and out rap somebody. Itâs just about that song. Like if you donât think youâre the best, then I donât know what youâre doing out here
As someone from Detroit who still spends time there, what you can tell us about what itâs really like in the streets?
Iâm still there but my homies are there every damn day. You may hear about the poverty and bankruptcy on CNN but half the people I know donât watch CNN. I got to be the one to relay these messages and let people know that Detroit is 15.8 million in debt. Iâve never seen vacant neighborhoods, and Iâve never seen full vacant blocks. Iâm talking about a whole block of housesâthen the next block and then the next block, all vacant. Itâs some crazy shit and theyâre full of crack heads, full of people raping girls walking to school. People I know, personal friends, girls, little sisters getting raped going to school. It fucks their whole head up, and they become different people. There ainât nobody telling that story from Detroit. Eminem not gonâ tell that story because thatâs not Eminemâs story. I feel like itâs my responsibility to be that person and tell that. I have to rep for those people on a major scale.
Did you ever think about trying to head some kind of a coalition or fundraiser to get some investors for the D. You can get Jay Z, Russell Simmons and some folks together to try and really get Detroit back on its feet.
I try man, and Iâve started my own foundation, the Sean Anderson Foundation. Last year, we started out by giving families Thanksgiving dinners and then paying for families to have a real Christmas. We have a lot of big things planned. One step at a time.
I noticed sonically, the production is way more complex than your first album. Were you a lot more hands on with this project?
Yeah, this was the first time where I was like an actual producer. I really played the role of a producer. I probably didnât get the credit but I was up in there tweaking these songs just how I wanted them. I was sitting with the producers telling them how to play it, what to take out and what to put in.
So you were getting your Puff Daddy on?
[Laughs]Â I guess so. Next album Iâm probably going to get even more into the production side of it. It was just me and my engineer sometimes, or me and No ID or me and Key Wane and I would sit with them and tell them exactly how I wanted the beat. Iâm not taking anything away from the producers. Iâm just saying I had a lot of input on the production side of things as well.
Do you think that is Kanyeâs influence?
It must be, because when I get in the studio with other people you know like Wiz or French or other people theyâre like, âDamn you really are into this.' Thatâs how songs like âMercyâ get taken to that level or any song onÂ Hall of Fame.
I remember when âMercyâ came out and people were looking at you like a new rapper. They didnât expect you to come so hard on that.
I just had the slow flow and added the âswerve.â Before the song came out, I was like, âShould I change my verse?â I was thinking people are going to say 'Sean wasnât rapping how 2 Chainz was spazzing on there.' That was the first time I realized that music is a puzzle, and sometimes when youâre a piece to that puzzle. Just make sure you fit.
Also, melody wise on this album, youâre way more melodic on songs like âWorld Ablazeâ
âWorld Ablaze,â Iâm singing on thereâ¦ but Iâm not about to drop an R&B album or anything.
Have you ever thought about at least recording a real R&B songs?
I wrote one R&B song called âLondon Bridge.â Itâs pretty tight.
Is anyone ever going to hear that?
I played it for a couple people like JhenÃ© Aiko and she loved it. I played it for No ID and he loved it. I was just straight up singing, and I was going to add a rap verse at the end. I did two verses where I was just singing. I canât sing that well, but I can hold a note. I guess I can harmonize.
You should just drop it under a secret alias on Soundcloud with no photo. I mean just put it out there and see what the people say.
People are gonna know itâs me. But thatâs an ideaâ¦
At your first listening in New York, Kanye said, âWhat BeyoncÃ© is to R&Bâ¦Big Sean can be to rap.â Do you remember him saying that?
I just think what he was saying was likeâ¦ Kanye says great statements. Heâs definitely awesome, man. I donât think Iâm the BeyoncÃ© of rap. Iâm the Big Sean of rap. Iâve contributed to some of the biggest rap songs and have some of the biggest rap songs over the last couple years.
You ever thought about bringing back the super-duper flow?
Maybe, Iâm about to start working on my third album. That may be something to think about since itâs calmed down a little bit. Every rapper was likeâ¦ âAnd Iâm smoking on green (grass) and I got the steering wheel in my hands (driving). [laughs] Thatâs how bad it was getting.
Are there any other rap trends or rap flows that you think is annoying?
You know what I think is hilarious? People just feel like youâre snapping when you rap fast. Thatâs like the biggest misconception Iâve ever experienced in rap music. But if you ainât saying nothing then you just wasting time. I wish people would listen to the words more sometimes but whatever.