Big Sean Talks Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” Verse, Spirituality & Working With NO I.D. Again

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Big Sean released his sophomore album, Hall Of Fame last week and the project debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 72,000 copies in its first week. He is enjoying a lot of crossover success. Sean went from a regular teenager in Detroit rapping on the streets to rapping on songs with Jay-Z. I truly admire Sean’s humbleness because he didn’t let fame get the best of him. He is also very spiritual. Dazed Digital caught up with the G.O.O.D Music rapper last week. In an interview, Sean talked about Kendrick Lamar’sControl” verse, his mindset going from Finally Famous to Hall Of Fame, spirituality and working with NO I.D. again. Below are some highlights:

Did you have any idea that “Control” would spiral out of control the way it did?

I kind of had an idea because I did the song, then I hit up Jay Elec, and then I hit up Kendrick and Kendrick was like, “Let me hear what you got to it.” So I sent him my verse and then he loved it, and then he sent me his verse and when I heard it, my reaction to it was like, I thought it was kind of funny but then I was kind of like, “Man, is this dude serious?” But then when I listened to it again, I was like, “Oh this is tight,” because it reminded me of like, wrestling or sports, you know what I’m saying? Because clearly me and Kendrick are friends, clearly a lot of us are friends, but at the end of the day, just like he thinks he’s the best and Jay Z thinks he’s the best and I think I’m the best and Drake thinks he’s the best and Kanye thinks he’s the best, that’s what we do it for! To be the best! We’ll go out on the court and score 30 points on each other, but afterwards, we’ll go get some drinks and I think that’s what makes it awesome. I think people shouldn’t take it too, too serious. The last time we took shit like that too serious, we lost two of the best rappers. That’s weak.

How did your mindset change from going in to Finally Famous to now going into Hall of Fame?

One of the things I wanted to get across on this album that I feel like I didn’t get across on the last one was that I’m a real spiritual dude. I’m somebody who believes in manifesting what you want. I live like a hippy and I just want to share with people how I made it happen, and maybe they can take from my story and apply it to their own.

In working with No I.D. again, his production on this album sounds so different from his production on Finally Famous. How did you tap into that side of No I.D.?

No I.D. has never made a song like “You Don’t Know,” and even his more familiar-sounding production like “First Chain,” it’s still, I feel like, some of his best work. Some of his best, most soulful beats are on this album. “Sierra Leone” I feel like is a great hip-hop beat that him and James Poyser from The Roots, him and James collab’d on that beat. It’s an honor to work with these great musicians, man. No I.D. even did the “Control” beat, which I thought was really fresh. What a fucking tragedy that it couldn’t be on my album because I love that song and we’d been trying to clear that sample. The thing I hate most about fucking albums, man, is that you have to try and clear every sample or you have to clear every artist or you have to clear all this stuff and it’s just like… At least for rap, because rap has to do with so much sampling, you know.

Read the full interview over at Dazed Digital.

Photos Credits: Yusuke Miyagawa

Spotted: Dazed Digital

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.

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