Published Aug 23, 2013In preparation for the release of his sophomore album, Hall of Fame next Tuesday (August 27), Big Sean held a listening session at the Broad Street Ballroom in New York on August 6 to preview the project in its entirety. While the internet was riddled with commentary that Big Sean broke the dreaded "sophomore album curse," the Def Jam/G.O.O.D. Music artist remains humble, pointing to his heroes as major influences on his album, especially Kanye West.
"He's definitely somebody who added value to the album in many ways, from advice to his opinions," Sean tells Exclaim! "He has his ways that he'll always remind me of how to think and not be too critical, not really care or give a fuck."
While Kanye doesn't hold an executive producer credit on Hall of Fame, he still played a crucial role in crafting the album, right down to Big Sean's latest single. "He even gave me 'Fire,' the actual track. He didn't produce the track, but he was the one who brought it to the table and was like, 'Yo, I think this would be great for you. It sounds like a classic Big Sean song.'"
Sean mentions that party track "Mona Lisa" — about "having all these fine ass girls around you and threesomes and all sorts of wild shit" — was almost omitted from the album for not being personal enough, but that Kanye's push made it happen. "It's like, Kanye's favourite song," he says casually.
Despite achieving success, Big Sean still reps Detroit's 6 mile. As he speaks on the song "First Chain," he says, "Nobody else in Detroit — well there's no other black man from Detroit — who's on a platform who can be heard, so I thought that it was my responsibility to make sure that I inform people about my city and my perspective on it."
Big Sean also spoke on being in the studio with a legend in his city, Eminem. "Eminem is somebody who was in the studio and said 'I admire your album, play it front to back for me,' and he was definitely feeling it. It was one of those great moments for me," he boasts proudly.
And what about the rumoured track with Eminem, Royce Da 5'9" and Mr. Porter that didn't make the album? With confidence, Big Sean states: "Soon you guys are gonna get a Big Sean and Eminem song; sooner or later, at the right time."
Hall of Fame is out August 27 courtesy of Def Jam/G.O.O.D. Music.