It's a brisk afternoon in downtown Manhattan as the Worldwide Plaza -- known for being home to prestigious law firms such as Cravath and Swaine & Moore -- is now synonymous with innumerable musical acts from Def Jam.
On the 28th floor, one could be befuddled by the myriad of photos of musical talents such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and many more. While one would be enamored by the successful faces gracing the walls of Def Jam, others would be besotted with the bevy of classics being played through the speakers from the lobby. As Jay-Z's "All Around the World" echoes through the speakers, you feel this song is perfect for the man of the hour: Big Sean.
Ironically, Sean is no where to be found. After an arduous 21 interviews, Sean appears to be Casper-like. Invisible from his home away from home, Def Jam. But you see, Sean wasn't entirely ghost. At the Grey Goose Rising Icon party, held in the in the vibrant city of New York, Sean -- sporting a Detroit Red Wings fitted -- is seen flaunting his new drink, dubbed "The Big Sean".
The lemonade, cranberry, and orange juice-flavored combination is mixed with Grey Goose. The perfect drink to describe the equally colorful rapper. With a double-time flow, in unison with his sparkling wordplay, Sean has become one of the few new attention-grabbing rappers on the scene. But, before Sean was anywhere close to being "Big Sean," he was simply a telemarketer trying to make his dream become a reality.
"Man. I was a telemarketer. That sh** was weak as f***. I would sell sh** on the phone, and make $120 a week," the rapper admits.
When the man -- recognized as the creator of the "Supa-Dupa Flow" -- wasn't in the office making calls, he was working with other young voracious rappers on the come up. For nearly two years, he fought his way onto the scene, earning his chops in Detroit through numerous radio freestyles.
"I was grinding for like a year straight, doing this radio show called "The Friday Night Cipher" where we would come together and battle," Sean explains. "Whoever won the battles got to rap on-air. There were six winners. The six winners would get to rap on-air after the battle, and spit like two verses on the radio."
For a year straight, every Friday, Sean would head to the local Detroit station, in hopes of bolstering his status in his city. Throughout that time, he had established a strong relationship with the station's staff and would soon receive a tip that would alter his life from then on out.
"Kanye was promoting his album on a Saturday morning, and my homie called me and was like, 'You listening to the radio?' I was cashing my check at the bank. My homie called me like, 'Yo. Kanye at the station. If you want, you could come spit for him. If you rap, he'll sign you.' "
Without hesitation or even cashing his check, Sean quickly headed to the radio station, and there he would meet with Kanye. After Sean dropped a few bars for the Chicago rap star and later sending his new music (weeks later), Ye made it official and brought Sean to his G.O.O.D. Music label.
But, it was a grind from there. After signing, Sean worked diligently on creating a buzzing through the release of his mixtapes -- Finally Famous and Finally Famous 2. On the tapes and leaked tracks, shades of a young Kanye was imminent in Sean's delivery. However, what had brought attention to Sean was his remarkable flow, which he had dubbed the "Supa-Dupa Flow." With this flow, he drew intrigue from many rappers, and even found himself lending it to many other big name rappers such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, and even Ludacris.
If you ask Sean, personally he feels his flow topples everyone else's.
"I think I did it the best 'cause I made it up," Sean boasts. "But, Drake did it real good too. And then, there were some motherf***ers who just did it real bad" -- before he would utter out his next word, Sean's eyes open in amazement as his manager, Kevin Liles, walked in the Grey Goose event embracing him with admiration.
With a formidable support group coming in the form of Kanye West and Liles, you would think Sean would be set for life. Still, his mentor, Mr. West was always pushing him to the brink, in hopes of the young MC, one day, reaching his potential.
"[Kanye is] a critic. He used to always tell me to step it up and get better, because he saw the potential in me. But lately, he's been telling me like, 'Yeah man. You're the best man. Your sh** is crazy," he says.
It seems Sean is nearing his potential today. He was recognized as one of XXL's 2010 Freshman Class, and shined brightly during the 2010 BET Awards when he and his G.O.O.D. Music family participated in cypher sessions throughout the event. Sean impressed people to say the least.
While beginning to break through with bigger looks, Sean remained focused on his debut album, Finally Famous, which finally hit stores in late June, debuting at #3 with over 87,000 copies sold in its first week. His first single, "My Last" featuring Chris Brown, showcases the vivacious rapper flamboyantly flowing over Brown's melodic delivery, instantly making the song a radio smash.
Months after the release, Sean is Finally Famous ... and continuing to bolster his resume. His album's second single, "I Do It", was recently feature in NBA's star Derrick Rose's Adidas commercial.
The once-aspiring Detroit rapper is living his dream, and it's safe to say he'll be here for years to come.