From Co-sign to His Own Shine: How Big Sean Finally Became Famous


Vibe / April 14, 2011

A co-sign from a big artist does not a career make (remember Quan, Nas’ protégé? Yeah, we thought not.) Big Sean learned that perseverance, preparedness and persistence are the key to success in the rap game and here he gives us the real story of how he became “Finally Famous.”

The thing about me is I was being as productive as I could be without a co-sign. You know like even when I was out in Detroit before I even met Kanye I was going out to the radio station every Friday partaking in a show where MCs would battle each other and whoever wins would get to rap on air for a few minutes I did that every week for a year. Like some weeks I wouldn’t do it but most weeks I would do it, it was called the Friday Night Cipher. I was recording music and selling it around high school I was on my grind man….

It’s not like I just ran up on him at a radio station and rapped for him. I put in a year of work at that radio station for free. I fucking was selling CDs and getting good at my craft and that built me up for that moment. People be like “you lucky that you had a chance to rap for Kanye, if I had a chance to rap for Kanye I’d be signed too.” But it’s like nigga, I’ve seen a hundred people rap for him and none of them got signed. If you wanna call me “lucky” nigga, that’s not luck. If luck is when preparation meets opportunity then I was lucky.  I was prepared for it. My shit wasn’t all that good but I was prepared for it. I progressed after I signed to him. I feel like  I’m just now comfortable enough to put out an album with myself as an artist I feel like I’ve come into my own.

A lot of my shit was just God planned out. From rappin’ for Kanye to rappin’ in a BET cipher, all of those moments are like jab, jab, jab, jab, jab and I’m setting it up for the knockout. I think people get the wrong perception of things. That’s my whole movement, “finally famous.” Famous is when you’re recognized for doing something great,  put “finally”  in front of it because it represents what people work so hard for and we worked hard as hell man. So I don’t take that lightly at all.  Whatever you do man you need to stay  productive at it and however you can be seen doing it do it.