Musician’s Spotlight: Big Sean

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Detroit rapper, Big Sean, is the example of what hard work and dedication can amount to in terms of success. However, Sean’s fame in the music industry is no overnight story. Born Sean Michael Leonard Anderson in Santa Monica, California, his mother relocated to Detroit, Michigan when Sean was 3-months-old.

While in Detroit Sean gained a valuable relationship with Detroit’s Hip-hop station WHTD during his high school years. He would showcase his rhyming skills every week as part of a rap battle contest held by the station. In 2005, Kanye West did a radio interview at nearby radio station, 102.7 FM. After hearing this news Sean made his way over to the station to meet West in hopes of impressing the music mogul.

West was reluctant to hear him, however, he gave Sean 16 bars to rap for him. According to Sean, West enjoyed his freestyle and bobbed his head to the young rapper’s talent. After the freestyle, Sean left West his demo tape; two years later he was signed to West’s newly formed music label, GOOD Music and the rest is history.

In 2007 after signing with GOOD Music, Sean released his debut mixtape, ‘Finally Famous, Vol. 1’. His single, “Get’cha Some”, produced by WrighTrax, was a hit on music airwaves across the country and attained media attention which led to articles in The Source and the Detroit Metro Times. He also recorded a music video for “Get’cha Some”, directed by Hype Williams.

Sean released a second mixtape on April 16, 2009, entitled ‘UKNOWBIGSEAN’. It featured the songs “Million Dollars”, and “Supa Dupa”. The mixtape includes 30 unreleased tracks.  In 2010, Sean released a third mixtape, ‘Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG’, which featured major artists such as Bun B, Chip tha Ripper, Curren$y, Tyga, Drake, Mike Posner, Chuck Inglish, Asher Roth, Dom Kennedy and Chiddy Bang.

Sean issued his official debut album, ‘Finally Famous’ in 2011 which featured the single “My Last” with singer Chris Brown. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and later that year his single “Dance (A$$),” featuring Nicki Minaj, became his first in the pop Top Ten.

‘Hall of Fame’ followed in 2013, which had features with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Nas, and Miguel. It reached number three on the pop charts. ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ was next in 2015 and it featured another impressive guest list of musical talent which included Kanye West, John Legend, and Lil Wayne, as well as Drake, Ariana Grande, and E-40. It also featured the chart-topping single “I Don’t Mess with You” which debuted at number one.

‘Dark Sky Paradise’ debuted at the top of Billboard 200 making it his first No. 1 album.  He would lead with video singles for songs entitled “IDFWU”, “Blessings”, “I Know”, “One Man Can Change The World”, and “Play No Games.” As of February 1, 2016, ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ was certified platinum.

On March 25, 2016, Big Sean released a track to celebrate his 28th birthday, “Get My Sh** Together”. Two days later he announced an upcoming album with musical companion and former label mate, Jhené Aiko entitled  ‘Twenty88’ which was scheduled for release on April 1, 2016 exclusively on Tidal but became available on Spotify and Apple Music in late April.

Deja Harris is a Graduating Senior Print/Mass Communications major from Jackson, Mississippi. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2016-2017 school year.

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