Since being featured on the 10 Freshmen for ’10 cover in March 2010, Detroit MC Big Sean’s been making the best of a great situation. He’s appeared on songs with his mentor Kanye West alongside Beyoncé and legendary Gap Band front man Charlie Wilson (“See Me Now”) and Dipset (“Christmas in Harlem”). He recently released the Chris Brown-featured “My Last,” the first single off of his debut album, Finally Famous. Between shows and putting the final stages of recording his debut (scheduled for a late spring/early summer release), the Midwest native checked in with XXLMag.com to speak on life as an XXL Freshman ’10 alumnus and offer some pointers to the 2011 class. —Dan Reagans
As an artist what’s it been like being on GOOD Music?
Man it’s incredible. I’ve really seen it change shape and take form into being a very prestigious legendary label, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I feel like we’re a real family. I feel like being next to people like Common, ‘Ye, Cudi, Pusha, Cyhi, and everybody it’s just legendary and I’m excited to be a part of history.
So what’s it like working with Kanye in the studio?
It’s nerve-wracking as shit, he’s definitely a perfectionist and he’s definitely nerve-wracking because he’s so passionate about the music you know, but it really makes you so much better. It definitely made me way better just as an artist. It’s really made me step my game up as a rapper and I think you can see the growth in my music. If you listen to my music from like a year ago to now. I really feel like I’ve come into my own as artist.
You hooked up with Chris Brown for your new single “My Last.” How did that song concept come about?
Well, with “My Last,” it was just me on it at first. I wrote the whole song and me and Chris Brown are homies. He came to one of my shows a while ago and I was surprised as hell. I was like, “Man, what the fuck is Chris Brown doing here? [laughs] He was like, “Yo, I fucks with your music, let’s work.” I thought he was bullshitin’ because I didn’t really know dude and to me Chris Brown is one of the biggest artists, but he reached back out to me and we got in the studio, and did some work together. I’m a fan of his, he’s a fan of mines. We did a lot of songs together. We also did a song for his album and of course he’s on mines. He just added to it, and just brought it to a whole other level of helping it become a great song. I feel that song so much as my first single because I don’t think it follows too many trends on the radio right now, and it’s something that feels really good and even though it’s about going out and doing it like it’s your last it also has a underlying message for somebody who’s really worked hard for that position. It’s just a real motivational song and a great party record at the same time.