Johnny Nunez, WireImage
"I had a lot to learn," Sean continued before allowing his songs to permeate the air. "I had my first mixtape out and I thought I was the hottest s---. I got my deal and it was more than a dream come true. When I was in the fifth grade, when people would say, 'I want to be lawyers, doctors when I grow up,' this is a true story, I would say 'I want to be a rapper signed to Def Jam.' I swear I would say that. Then the teacher looked at me like 'Oh, no!' It's crazy 'cause the same teacher wants me to come back and speak to the school. I'm a believer, always follow your heart."
Moving into 'Finally Famous,' Sean, who shed some tears over his achievement, used the added assist of a projection screen to showcase mesmerizing images -- rouge-covered lips moving about and 'The Warriors' battle scenes -- while his tunes played. The Detroit native rapped along to every track, from the bass heavy, No I.D.-produced 'I Do It' ("I love girls that Albanian, Caucasian... / My d--- is titanium..." to the Lupe Fiasco-featured 'Wait for Me' ("Is it too late to try to change the world?/ Is it too late to try to change girls?").
No I.D., sitting front row during the listening, produced a majority of 'Finally Famous.' Tracks like 'So Much More' demonstrated his crisp production and supported Sean's PG-13-rated lyrics: "I wake up to a wet dream/ Every day's a Friday and every day's a sex scene." Then on 'Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay,' which the rhymer revealed would be his next single, Kanye West lends the assist as the younger rap dude's lyrical big brother.
'Ye was tardy to Big Sean's album preview but with good reason. "I'm sorry I'm late," he joked. "I had a thrown to watch." Hinting that he was working on the anticipated joint album, 'Watch the Throne,' with Jay-Z, West took the stage after Sean let his songs, which feature other A-list collaborators such as Pharrell Williams and Wiz Khalifa, settle on receptive ears in the room.
"It's amazing to see the next generation be supported," West explained. "I feel like Sean is so secure now in the hands of amazing people. You know, you hear about the music industry, [people say] 'It's shady,' and all that s--- but it's people in this room that have protected me and helped me, from DJ Enuff making me a Heavy Hitter early on, helping me get the power to be able to help other people and that's all I ever wanted to do since I first got in music. I believe Sean's story is one of the most amazing ever because he literally got signed off of a freestyle to now, and I say it all the time, has the potential to be one of the biggest artists in the world. I feel like he could be like what Beyonce is to R&B; he could be that for rap music. As far as G.O.O.D. Music goes, the swag is all the way up. What we lack in a cheap ass hook ... we make up for in the attention to quality."
First rhyming for Kanye West at Detroit's 102.7 FM in 2005, Big Sean has come a long way since his beginner rap days of searching for a deal. "This album tells a story of a kid who followed his heart," Big Sean continued, "and did what he wanted to do."
That he did.
Check out the tracklist for 'Finally Famous.'
2. 'I Do It'
3. 'My Last' feat. Chris Brown
4. 'Don't Tell Me You Love Me'
5. 'Wait for Me' feat. Lupe Fiasco
6. 'Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay' feat. Kanye West and Roscoe Dash
7. 'Dance (A--)'
8. 'Get It (Donald Trump)' feat. Pharrell
9. 'Memories, Part 2' feat. John Legend
10. 'High' feat. Wiz Khalifa and Chiddy Bang
11. 'Live This Life' feat. The-Dream
12. 'So Much More'
13. 'What Goes Around' (Bonus)
14. 'Celebrity' feat. Dwele (Bonus)
15. 'My House' (Bonus)
16. '100 Keys' feat. Rick Ross and Pusha T (Bonus)