Sean Michael Leonard Anderson (born March 25, 1988), better known by his stage name Big Sean, is an American hip hop recording artist from Detroit, Michigan. Big Sean signed with Kanye West's GOOD Music in 2007, and then in 2008 signed with Def Jam Recordings. After releasing a number of mixtapes, Sean released his debut album Finally Famous in 2011. He released his second studio album Hall of Fame on August 27, 2013.
Life and career:
1988-2003: Early life and career beginnings:
Anderson was born in Santa Monica, California but moved to Detroit, where he was raised by his mother and grandmother. He attended Detroit Waldorf School and graduated from Cass Technical High School with a 3.7 GPA. Big Sean is often heard saying "west side" in his songs; he is referring to the west side of his hometown Detroit, Michigan. In his later years in high school, Sean gained a valuable relationship with Detroit hip-hop station WHTD; he would show his rhyming skills on a weekly basis as part of a rap battle contest held by the station. In 2005, Kanye West was doing a radio interview at 102.7 FM. Hearing about this, Sean headed over to the station to meet West and perform some freestyle. Initially West was reluctant to hear the emcee, however he gave Sean 16 bars to rap for him. According to Big Sean, West enjoyed his freestyle: "As we get to the entrance of the radio station ... we stopped in the middle of the doorway. He starts looking at me and bobbing his head,". After the freestyle, Sean left West his demo tape. Two years later, West signed Big Sean to GOOD Music.
2007-2010: Mixtapes and internet following:
On September 30, 2007, Big Sean released his first official mixtape Finally Famous: The Mixtape. His hit single, "Get'cha Some", produced by WrighTrax, attained media attention and led to articles in The Source and the Detroit Metro Times. He also recorded a music video for "Get'cha Some", which was directed by Hype Williams. Sean released a second mixtape hosted by Mick Boogie on April 16, 2009, called UKNOWBIGSEAN. It featured the songs "Million Dollars", "Get'cha Some" and "Supa Dupa". This mixtape includes 30 tracks. Sean released a third mixtape hosted by Don Cannon on August 31, 2010 called Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG. Features include Bun B, Chip tha Ripper, Curren$y, SAYITAINTTONE, Tyga, Drake, Mike Posner, Suai, Chuck Inglish, Asher Roth, Dom Kennedy, Boldy James, and Chiddy Bang. The mixtape includes 20 tracks.
An unauthorized leak of his collaboration with Drake, called "Made" made its way onto the internet on April 30, 2010. In an interview with TheHipHopUpdate.com on May 1, Big Sean expressed his disappointment over the leak, calling it an unfinished version both musically and verse wise. Big Sean's official Facebook page confirmed that his debut album Finally Famous & Consequence's Cons TV would be released on September 14, 2010. On August 31, Big Sean tweeted that the album was not coming out on that day, but it would be coming out sometime in 2011.
2011-12: Finally Famous and mainstream success:
In an interview on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio, Sean discussed the role Kanye West and No I.D. have had in the development of his first studio album's sonic direction as well as the challenges of being inside the studio with West. The album's lead single, "My Last", features vocals from Chris Brown and was produced by No I.D. According to Amazon.com, Big Sean's Finally Famous was delayed by a week, with a tentative release date set for June 28. Big Sean has revealed the cover art for his G.O.O.D. Music debut and explained that the one-week pushback was to be blamed on sample and feature clearance issues. The official tracklist was revealed on June 7.
Finally Famous, Sean's debut studio album, was released June 28, 2011, and spawned three hit singles; "My Last", "Marvin & Chardonnay" and "Dance (A$$)". The album featured guest appearances from Lupe Fiasco, John Legend, Pharrell, Kanye West, Roscoe Dash, Wiz Khalifa, Chiddy Bang, Rick Ross, Pusha T and included production from No I.D., The Legendary Traxster, Andrew "Pop" Wansel, Xaphoon Jones and The Neptunes. When the songs "O.T.T.R." and "Flowers" were leaked in July 2011, speculation began of a new mixtape. Sean confirmed in an interview June 28, 2011 that a collaborative mixtape between him and "two other guys in hip-hop that are just killing it right now" will be released "in a couple of weeks". Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y, were the suspected featured rappers on the mixtape. However, Wiz Khalifa later confirmed that there would be no mixtape, claiming that the songs were created, "just for fun".
In September 2011, Big Sean confirmed in an interview with the Daily Tribune that he'll be working on his second album during the I Am Finally Famous Tour and plans to release the album sometime in 2012. On October 19, 2011, Kanye West announced on his Twitter plans for a Spring 2012 GOOD Music album release. On April 6, 2012, "Mercy", the lead single from the GOOD Music compilation album, Cruel Summer, was released. The song, produced by newly signed in-house producer Lifted, features Big Sean along with Kanye West, Pusha T and southern rapper 2 Chainz. Big Sean then announced his fourth mixtape would be titled "Detroit" and would serve as a lead-in to his second studio album. He then began promoting the mixtape, releasing short versions of the songs on his YouTube page.
2012-present: Hall of Fame:
Big Sean pushed back the release date of his second studio album Hall of Fame, and was eventually released on for August 27, 2013. The album has skits to give it a "classic feel", and includes features from multiple artists, including Lil Wayne, Jhené Aiko, Nas, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, Juicy J, Young Jeezy and Miguel. The album's production was primarily handled by No I.D., and Key Wane along with additional production from Hit-Boy, Da Internz, Mike Dean, Travi$ Scott, Xaphoon Jones and Young Chop among others. Big Sean also stated in an interview that he was in the studio with fellow Detroit native Eminem. Sean went on to say they made a "Detroit classic" but he is unsure if it will be on Hall of Fame because of "timing issues".Hall of Fame had spawned five singles, "Guap", "Switch Up" featuring Common, "Beware" featuring Jhené Aiko and Lil Wayne, "Fire", and "Ashley" featuring Miguel.
A month prior to the album's release, Big Sean told Complex that he had already begun work on his third album due to the inspiration from his new relationship.
Big Sean dated his high school girlfriend Ashley Marie from the time he was sixteen until their break-up in early 2013. He subsequently began dating actress Naya Rivera, whom he first he met over Twitter; their relationship became public in April 2013, though Big Sean told Complex that they had been dating for a while beforehand. Big Sean and Rivera announced their engagement in October 2013, but subsequently ended the engagement in April 2014. In August 2014, it was reported that Big Sean was dating collaborator Ariana Grande.
Style and clothing:
In late October 2008, Big Sean was featured in The Source and headlined the "Style" section of the magazine. In the article Sean talks about his own personal style and states that his favorite clothing brands are 10 Deep, Billionaire Boys Club, and Bape. Big Sean has posed in the Winter 2008 Billionaire Boys Club lookbook, and is a consistent representative of Ti$A clothing and hats, along with Chris Brown and Tyga. He also has an endorsement deal with Adidas through which he has released his own "Detroit Player" line of sneakers and is a follower of the Rosewood clothing style.
On August 4, 2011, Big Sean was arrested for sexual assault at a concert in Lewiston, New York. On October 26, 2011, Big Sean pleaded guilty to second degree unlawful imprisonment, and was fined $750. The charges of third-degree sexual abuse were dropped. Big Sean's attorney, Scott Leemon, stated that Big Sean "...did not engage in any type of sexual misconduct."