When Justin Bieber enlisted Big Sean for his Believe track “As Long As You Love Me,” the 24-year-old MC didn’t clean up his NSFW act. Instead, Sean found a new way to express his more mature lyrics to the Bieber crowd.
“Bieber’s a true G. People may not know that,” Big Sean said recently. “Nah, but he is a good dude, man. And I ain’t toning down nothing — I’m diverse, I can write raps to any type of song.”
Sean also revealed to MTV News that on the same day he was recruited to work with the pop star, the rapper got a call from another artist — one who exists on the polar opposite end of the musical spectrum — also wanting to work with him.
“It’s crazy! I got a call from Gucci Mane the same day I got a call from Bieber and his people to do two different projects,” Big Sean recalled. “It’s tight that I can be a person that’s so diverse that I can do both of those and it’s not reaching. I’m still me … and I didn’t compromise anything for Bieber. You know, I just didn’t curse, which is easy. I don’t have to curse every day.”
Of course, the Bieber/Sean collaboration is definitely more in Justin territory thanks to a pulsing dance beat, courtesy of producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. The pair go back and forth about that special girl over some fist-pumping beats.
But Sean is hardly the only rapper who’s giving Believe the co-sign: Drake, Ludacris and Nicki Minaj all make cameos on the release, out on Tuesday (June 19). When we spoke to Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, he told us the singer worked hard to make sure the cameos fit perfectly.
“[Justin] and I are both very competitive, and he’d always look at me and go, ‘This is the make-it-or-break-it album, and you got to push me. You got to tell me if I’m not good enough, and I might argue’ … so I really, really pushed him, and we took this album really seriously,” Braun said. (Bieber will talk all about the making of the album tonight on “Bieber Live,” set to air at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!)
“But I also had to give it room to grow,” he added. “Sometimes I’d put him in writing sessions for two weeks, and we’d get one song out of it, and it was just because he had to find that place for himself and that music. And as the process went on, he really started hitting his stride. … And I think everyone has a different favorite, but the one common thread is you don’t dislike any songs.”
Don’t miss “Bieber Live” tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!