Big Sean has a lot to be happy about. He released one of this year’s most celebrated rap projects, Dark Sky Paradise. He’s dating one of the biggest stars on the planet. He’s traveling the world.
So, it’s safe to say he’s likely happy on many days, not just his birthday. Still, we thought we’d wish Big Sean a happy birthday by highlighting some facts about the emcee.
Big Sean Meditates
“Pretty much before I record a song, I meditate,” Sean told The Covetour. “I really feel like it’s a spiritual process. Man, I get my mind right, I close my eyes, I concentrate on my breathing. I visualize myself getting to feel the light and connecting to a higher power. I take 10-15 minutes, then I go down there and start vibe-ing out.”
“I graduated with like a 3.7,” Sean told The Breakfast Club. “I was on my way to Michigan State. I just didn’t go because I had just rapped for [Kanye West]. The deal was supposed to be in the works, but it took a couple of years.”
His Grandmother Was One Of The First Female Black Captains Of WWII
My grandma passed away a couple days ago. I haven't said anything to anyone because honestly I feel like she's still here. I definitely can feel her consciousness. Im having a hard time accepting her death, but I must acknowledge my grandma's life, a true hero. She was a black female Captain in World War 2 (one of the 1st), got her degree at West Virginia State University, and her Masters degree at U of M. After school she became a police officer in Detroit, which at the time was very rare for women to be officers in Detroit. Then she became a caring teacher and counselor. She was the best grandma anyone could ever ask for. From the Sunday Dinners, home cooked meals, and how special she made us feel on our birthdays by baking us the cakes we loved most. She put her heart and more into anything she was involved in. She gave as much as she could to her family and the world! She completely made something out of nothing. When I was growing up, there were people interviewing my grandma about her life because she's done and seen so many amazing things. She supported me so much in every aspect and part of my life, even when I went against what was becoming traditional in our family, and didn't go to college to pursue music. She made a better life for me and the rest of my family, and I will forever be grateful I got to know and be loved by such an amazing woman! I'm so proud of her. She was truly a treasure to this world and everyone she came in contact with. She's the reason why I'm so passionate about giving back. Her spirit will live through her family. We miss and love u so much Grandma!
His Grandmother Was Also One Of The First Female Police Officers
“After school she became a police officer in Detroit, which at the time was very rare for women to be officers in Detroit,” he told us on Instagram.
He’s A Business Man
“I was gonna major in advertising,” he told Sway’s Universe. “Maybe business management or something.”
Dark Sky Paradise Was Recorded From Home
“Dark Sky Paradise sounded different from anything I’ve ever done, because the process was different,” he told The Covetour. “This album got to be recorded in my house—I built a studio in my house—I just had everybody be a part of the process. I recorded 96% of the album in my house. I had John Legend here, Kanye, Ariana Grande, Jhené [Aiko], you know, Ty Dolla $ign, so on and so forth.”
Family Helped Sean Make Dark Sky Paradise
“I had my brother in the studio with me, my dad, my aunties, my little cousin, my nieces,” Sean said during his CRWN interview. “I was recording the verse for ‘Deep’ with my little niece in the room and my couple little nephews and that made me even want to go harder it made me more hungry. I went a couple of times with them being there. When I look at her face, and my nephews, they just make we wanna do the very best.”
Big Sean Makes Music For You To Relate To
“I’m just trying to get across that I’m here for the long run, that I want to get across that — I want to push the envelope of lyricism,” the rapper told NPR. “I want to keep trying different rhyme schemes out, and hopefully that inspires other people to try stuff and just keep moving forward instead of doing what’s already been done, you know. Making music that means something to, not just myself, but to my listeners. Making music that just reflects the times that I go through, the ups and downs I go through, because people going through similar ups and downs. Maybe even completely different ups and downs, but even so, sometimes they could relate to yours.”
Fame Changed Sean
“Maybe, it changed me for the better,” he told Larry King Now. “I’m definitely not the same person I was. I’m definitely a better version of the old me.”
This Is Big Sean’s Father
This Is Big Sean’s Brother
This Is Big Sean’s Mother
This Is A New Family Portrait
Lil Wayne Surprised Sean With “Deep” Shoutout
“I’m not signed to Lil Wayne,” Big Sean told AOL Build. “So, for another artist like that to big up another rapper, I really appreciated him putting his ego aside. And when I talked to him he was just like ‘Yo, I really meant that. I’m just really impressed by you. Just how you are as a person. Your rap, your ability. And he was like ‘I called that a long time ago. I think you was gonna be one of the greats.’ So, that was just cool to hear that from him. Because I don’t make any money with Lil Wayne. Aside from the features we’re on.”
Big Sean Freestyles On Camera As A 14-Year-Old
Big Sean (Then Young Sean) Battled In High School
He Used Tuition Money For Studio Time
“My grandma saved up her whole life for college money, tuition,” he told The Breakfast Club. “I was blowing it on studio sessions.”
He Enjoys Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly
“It’s like a whole different vibe,” Sean said during a CRWN interview. “I appreciate people’s different perspectives. Just the musicality is just completely different. The same goes for everybody—Kendrick’s, Cole’s. It’s like everybody put their own flavor to it. We all bring something different to the table.”
Big Sean Watches Dragon Ball Z
He Also Likes Pokemon (But Not As Much As Dragon Ball Z)
Kanye West Discovered Him
“He put out mixtapes,” he said as per MTV. “His story for me was I heard him rap, he killed it and he got signed.”
But Kanye Nearly Walked Away From Him
“Kanye shook my hand and started walking away,” Sean said, according to MTV. “My friend was like, ‘You gotta go for it.’ So I tapped him on the shoulder and was like, ‘I’m an aspiring MC. I do this show every Friday. Can I rap for you?’ He was like, ‘No. I gotta go.’ I’m like, ‘Man, please — you’re my hero. Let me rap for you? Just let me spit for you.'”
Big Sean Was A Telemarketer
“One summer — it was junior year, going into senior year — I had this weak job,” Sean said, according to MTV. “No offense to telemarketers, but I was a telemarketer making $100 a week. … I was cashing my check one Saturday, and it was for $100.”
Big Sean Became a Principal (For A Day)
Sean became the principal of Bates Academy in Detroit…for a day.
He’s Cool With Fall Out Boy
And Spike Lee
Big Sean Believes There Are Too Many Fakes
“It ain’t too many real people out here, man,” he told The Breakfast Club.
He Isn’t Afraid To Just Be
“This last year has been a big turning point for me just as a person, for my career too,” he told The Covetour. “I just kind of like took what my mom told me a long time ago. To take it to the next level, you gotta get your mind right. You gotta go on your instincts, go with your gut. I’m not afraid to just be.”