Big Sean

Big Sean

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About Big Sean

On the eve of his 2017 release, I Decided., Big Sean told Apple Music something that might as well be his mantra: “Manifest what you want in the universe.” For the rapper born Sean Anderson, the laser focus on what he wanted to manifest—a rise to the top of the rap game through his own single-minded determination—fueled his journey from self-released mixtapes to multiplatinum success. Big Sean’s persistence is as formidable as his sharp-witted lyricism, which rushes by, a mile a minute, in raw introspection and coy punchlines. Anderson started writing poetry as a kid in the ‘90s, and by high school, he was selling self-released CDs. In 2005, he met Kanye West in a radio station parking lot in his Detroit hometown and got his shot: West agreed to listen to him freestyle 16 bars. Those bars led to a contract with West’s GOOD Music label, which released a trio of mixtapes before issuing Big Sean’s debut in 2011. That debut—witty, streetwise, disarmingly honest, and still brazenly self-assured—established him as one of the most flexible rappers of the 2010s, delivering euphoric, hook-driven anthems and menacing intensity on one track, then heartbroken vulnerability on the next. His versatility shined next to singer Jhené Aiko; their self-titled 2016 release, TWENTY88, crackled with chemistry and debuted atop the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. But Big Sean’s fourth, I Decided., took things to another level. Reflecting on his triumphs and wrestling with his demons alongside marquee guests like Eminem and Migos, it was equally soulful and skillful, pensive and playful. For an artist with such unrelenting determination, it was a manifestation of everything he knew he could be all along.

Detroit, MI, United States
March 25, 1988
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