Being a rapper looks easy. You record some tracks, shoot some videos, maybe hit up a party or two. But on Tuesday, Big Sean didn't do any of that. He also didn't sleep and didn't sit down for a single meal. Sean was on the road promoting his latest (and greatest) album Dark Sky Paradise, and MTV News was along for the ride.
On Monday, I received an email around 3 PM inviting MTV News to board a private jet with Sean at 3:30 the next morning. The plan was to fly with Sean from New York to Atlanta, then finally to his native Detroit, for scheduled radio appearances. You don't decline an offer like that, so myself and MTV News producer extraordinaire Adam Murphy boarded a plane with Sean, his right-hand man Zeno, his Roc Nation manager Edith, his bodyguard Damian and a team from Complex Magazine.
Sean had three scheduled radio stops in Atlanta and then another four radio stops in Detroit. At the end of the night the G.O.O.D. Music MC hosted a meet-and-greet with fans at the Shelter in Saint Andrew's Hall; the same Shelter where Eminem made a name for himself as a battle rapper. There was no time scheduled to eat, but we all managed to grab quick bites on the go.
Big Sean powered through it, loving every moment, excited to share the album he's worked so hard on over the past year.
You may have heard him on your local radio station, or saw him flexing on Instagram, but here we break down Sean's busy day, step by step.
Time For Take-Off
Most interviews don't start at 3:30 AM on a private jet. We knew from the very beginning this was going to be a day like no other.
Would You Like An MTV Woodies Announcement?
That's right! Big Sean will perform at the 2015 mtvU Woodie Awards on Mar. 20 and after we landed in Atlanta on Tuesday morning, he used my phone to make the announcement.
Radio Runs Are Real Rigorous
Sean had a few radio stops in ATL so we hit "The Rickey Smiley Morning Show" at Hot 107.9 and Streetz 94.5 to chat with Jazzy McBee. There were no breaks in the schedule, but somehow a bag of Chik-Fil-A magically appeared. Sean enjoyed a chicken biscuit and oatmeal. #Blessings
Back To The PJ
After a very brief run in Atlanta, #TeamBigSean rushed back to the airport to catch the jet a little before noon. On our way to Detroit, we turned on the MTV News cameras and spoke with Sean about Dark Sky Paradise. When we finally landed in Sean's hometown, it was freezing, and someone (OK, me) made the inevitable It's So Cold In The D joke.
More Radio And Hungry Hungry Hippos
Speaking Of You Know Who...MTV
In between radio stops Sean hopped on the phone with Ariana. We weren't exactly eavesdropping, per se (except that we were). Sean told Ariana about his day, she talked about her "Honeymoon Tour," and it was a totally normal couple conversation. Kind of.
Can We Stop At Best Buy?
Sean ran through his promo schedule like a pro, but he did have one request: he asked his management if there was time to stop at the Best Buy in Southfield. There really wasn't time, but everyone agreed it was a great idea. Sean ran in to buy all the copies of Dark Sky Paradise and also picked up Chris Brown and Tyga's Fan of a Fan: The Album, plus Kid Rock's new one, too.
By about 7 p.m. the entire team was STARVING. We hadn't eaten since Chik-Fil-A in Atlanta, so Sean ordered some wings from Detroit's famous Sweetwater Tavern. He and Zeno promised me that I never had wings that good. They were right.
Time To Hit The Shelter
Sean was scheduled for a fan meet-and-greet at the Shelter in Saint Andrew's Hall. Before kicking it with fans, Sean jumped on stage and performed "I Don't F--k With You" and "Blessings." Oh yeah, and Sean's mom, Myra, and I danced to "IDFWU." Coolest mom ever (I hope my mom isn't reading this).
And He Signed Every Autograph
Sean was scheduled to remain at the Shelter from 7 to 9 PM, but he stayed until almost 11 PM, making sure to greet every single fan and sign every single autograph. He gave out hugs to sobbing girls and took as many pics as he could.
And Listened To Every Rap
Big Sean was discovered after he freestyled for Kanye West outside of a Detroit radio station, so the G.O.O.D. Music star has a special place in his heart for up-and-comers from his city. Yesterday, I watched Sean listen to every up and coming MC who freestyles for him, and while some rappers were better than others, he gave 'em all positive encouragement. This guy managed to catch a very tired Sean at the very end of the night.