When Big Sean signed with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, the Detroit kid got a very special signing bonus.
“For me, when I got my first chain, Kanye gave me my first Jesus piece,” he told Sway on Wednesday (August 21) in the kick-off to MTV’s four days of livestreaming leading up to Sunday night’s 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (9 p.m. ET/PT).
As long as he was feeling nostalgic, Sean also talked about how the Nas and Kid Cudi-assisted track from his upcoming album, Hall of Fame, transported him back to his time growing up on D-Town’s crumbling avenues.
“It also takes me back because I talk about being in high school [and] how my mom … I used to hate when your parents had to come pick you up and you had a busted-ass car,” he said. “You had to hop in there and you’re friends was right in front of you. So it takes me back to those times and how I manifested being able to buy my mom a new car, the car she wanted.”
Feeling that there wasn’t really a young black male voice from Detroit who could tell the city’s story, Sean said “Hall of Fame” is his way of creating a platform to get the word out. “I’m not on the highest platform, but I’m still on a platform to be heard,” he said. “In the second verse I say, ‘The police only work 12 hour shifts/Cuz in Detroit that’s cheaper than a bailout bitch.’ When they cut the police hours down at the police station there was already high crime, but during the daytime things you’re supposed to be getting locked up for would be going on and it was a real tough time. And it is real tough times in the city.”
Sean said he felt he had to rep for the impact of those cutbacks and the devastation they’re brought to the already-struggling city that’s a shell of its former self. “[I had to] explain the fact that Detroit is $15.8 billion in debt,” he said. “I’ve never seen vacant neighborhoods … like vacant blocks. I’ve seen houses, vacant blocks where drug addicts living in and little girls getting raped on their way to school. All these different things I had to make sure I at last touched on without being too preachy.”
He’s got plenty of other opportunities on the album to step down from that platform, on songs like the Nicki Minaj and Juicy J-assisted ““Milf” and his hook-up with girlfriend Naya Rivera on her single, “Sorry.”