Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Big Sean about a mysterious new album, G.O.O.D. Music and his at-the-time recently released “IDFWU”. This marks the second time I had interviewed the Detroit spitter, but since we last spoke about ‘Hall of Fame’, I noticed something was different. In a room filled with his team, including his mom, Big Sean seemed more confident and more assertive than he’s ever been. “We’re going for blood this time,” he proudly said.
After using this interview to write a news story for Exclaim! Magazine in Toronto, this transcript got vaulted. While we now know the release date, its producers, as well as its features and the actual title of this new album, we still haven’t heard Big Sean speak on ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ candidly – until now.
Interview by Ellhah
If we’re being honest in the interview, it’s safe to say throughout 2014, we’ve heard your name more in the entertainment media outlets for your relationships than we have heard music. For some people, that paparazzi-hawk like life can get to you very quickly. Has this newfound household name spotlight affected your musical mindstate at all? Does it reflect on the new album?
It hasn’t affected my mindstate musically. It hasn’t really affected many things at all. It’s not like it has changed me, people just seem to be interested in that stuff.
Can you tell me more about the ‘Hall of Fame’ follow-up? (Note: We’ve now come to know this album as ‘Dark Sky Paradise’, and will be released later this month.)
It’s almost done. We’re working on the new album right now, just getting the vibes right and looking to make it real special. I feel like it’s definitely going to be my biggest project, bigger than any album or mixtape I’ve ever done. Just making sure we tie all the ends, we got everybody involved, all hands on deck from the people around me, from the G.O.O.D. music side of things. You know, I’m really feeling great about it. If you wanna get the vibe of the album, you can check out the 4 songs I put out a couple weeks ago – it’s just the tip of the iceberg, but those are kinda the vibes of it – the dark clouds, the rain, the thunder – the storm’s coming.
What about the producers you’ve decided to work with?
Well, you heard Mustard and Kanye did ‘IDFWU’ together. You have got producers like Key Wane, DJ Dahi – who produced a lot, like Drake’s “Worst Behavior” and stuff for Kendrick…he’s a great, great producer. Of course Ye, can’t forget about Da Internz… there’s more producers. I can’t think of them all, but some good ones.
How does your management deal with Roc Nation and your label deal with G.O.O.D. Music impact this album or any other future release?
It seems like everything is great communication between my label and my management, and that’s really what it is. G.O.O.D. Music is my label, and Roc Nation is the management side of things, and it kinda all fits under one umbrella. Everybody is familiar with everybody… Kanye has the same management, it just makes it easier to communicate. It’s a great situation and I’m happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see where it takes us.
Your albums and mixtapes/EPs seem to carry two very distinct identities; one a little more gully and one more ‘commercially entertaining’ so to speak. Will there be a unity between the two for the new album?
Yeah, yeah. [My albums are] a little more polished… or like, what’s the right word… They just have a little more thought to it than my mixtapes. I treated this project like a mixtape in the sense of not thinking too hard, just kinda going off feel and having fun with it. I think it shows in the music a lot. Some people like that more; I just can’t wait for people to hear what we’ve been working on. I was so excited to put new music out! I was just happy to start the process, you know? It’s great that it’s been received so well. I got hit up from everybody! Everybody was just hitting me up… a lot of my peers, you know what I’m saying? A lot of rappers, actors, fans, family members… I’ve never gotten hit up so much at once. Especially from the song “IDFWU”, people were just loving the vibe. I was really taken back by it. I mean, I love it but just to see people’s reactions to it… I guess it’s something that’s relatable. So, I’m just excited for people to hear the album because if they like that, they’re for sure going to gravitate towards the album.
People have hopped on “IDFWU” left and right. What are the chances of getting an official remix?
100%. There’s a 100% chance you’ll get a remix.
Who would you put on it?
Who knows… that’s a good question. Who would you hear on it? There’s a lot of people going through this situation, just like I say on the song – “Seems like nowadays everybody’s breaking up”. Like Wiz, Tyga, Jason Derulo… everybody. There’s a lot of them man. That’s the anthem! [laughs]
Having participated in We Day, it came to my attention recently that you appeared on our own MuchMusic’s ‘Music On Demand’ when you were 14 years old on a school trip from Detroit – a video that recently resurfaced on their website. If you were to tell that 14-year old Big Sean about the music industry, about being hungry and about staying relevant in both positive and negative spotlights, what would you say?
Wow, that was over 10 years ago. My 14-year old self… I probably made some right moves, some wrong moves, and I feel like that’s all a part of being a man and growing up. It’s really about just enjoying it and really just having fun with it. You know, the world can end tomorrow, and you gotta have fun with it. You can’t get caught up in anything else but having fun. I realized I’ve taken it further than a lot of people will ever take it that wanted to be a rapper, and I wanna take it way further than I’ve already taken it. So I would tell my 14-year old self to just to have fun and not worry about what people say so much. I used to care too much about what people thought and say, and really it’s all about what I think. Listen to your heart, listen to that voice in your heart and not every other voice that’s in your ear.
Can we expect any more surprises like the September quad-release throughout 2015?
You can expect more music, for sure. We just gotta figure out at what capacity, but the album is the main focus. I think a lot of people thought I just dropped these four songs because I’m not about to drop an album, but really you might hear a couple of those songs on the album… in some capacity at least. Especially “IDFWU” and probably “Paradise” too, that’s another popular one people been gravitating towards.
If there’s one last thing you want to say about the new album, what would it be?
We going for blood this time, we taking it there. I hope the fans enjoy the journey. It’s G.O.O.D. Music, it’s finally famous over everything, it’s that Roc Nation!
– Erin Ashley (Original News Story via Exclaim! Magazine, Toronto)
The views of our contributors are their own, and not necessarily those of Boi-1da.