The Story Behind Eminem’s Verse on Big Sean’s “No Favors”
This past Friday (February 3), Big Sean released his fourth studio album, I Decided, which is expected to sell approximately 110k equivalent units in its first week.
On one of the most talked about tracks on the LP, "No Favors," Sean raps side-by-side with fellow Detroit emcee Eminem, who used his verse to call out President Donald Trump, labeling him a "bitch" and promising to ruin his brand.
According to Sean, though, the song almost didn't come together in time to make the album. In an interview with Power 105.1's Angie Martinez, Sean told the back story behind "No Favors."
"I hit up him and Paul [Rosenberg] and Royce. I hit em all up at the same time. I got this song, I sent it to them, and then Em hit me back and was like, 'Yo, this song crazy, I don't think I'll be able to get to it in the time frame you need it, though.' Obviously, he's busy doin his thing. He was talking about 'you one of the most dangerous emcees,' I just thought he was letting me down easy. Two weeks later I woke up, we was puttin the final touches on the album, he sent a verse through just outta nowhere."
Sean's discography is littered with all-star collaborations, including work with Kanye West, Jay Z and Lil Wayne, but, for Sean, Eminem is in a different class. Not because Slim Shady is necessarily a better emcee than Kanye, Jay or Wayne—though, later in the interview, Sean does call Em "one of the greatest of all-time" and "a GOAT"—but because they share a hometown.
"Growing up in the D, you can imagine what that's like," said Sean. "One of the first albums that I was really, like, bangin, relatin too [while] growing up, was Slim Shady LP."
Sean and Em previously worked together on "Detroit vs. Everybody," a posse cut with Danny Brown, Royce da 5'9" and DeJ Loaf, but that song was housed on Shady Records' ShadyXV compilation album. "No Favors," on the other hand, represents their first true collaboration and a once in a lifetime opportunity for Sean to share a track with a local legend he grew up idolizing.
As for who had the better verse on "No Favors," Sean believes he held his own alongside Eminem. "I don't think he bodied me on my own song," said Sean.
By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.