“I think I’m famous enough, I don’t need any more press” —Drake on “Blessed”
Drake swore off interviews with magazine publications after being unhappy with how Rolling Stone handled his cover story early in 2014. That promise has only been broken once when he decided to give The Fader an interview for their 100th issue. At a time in his career when he has the world in his palm, it’s rare to see Drake in the company of journalist. His every move gets plenty of press, but no one is given a chance to press him with questions. Famous enough where he doesn’t need a press run, but it leaves a void of wonderment; interviews help show a different side of an artist, and for the last two years we really only got one side of Drake, the side he allows us to see.
Big Sean is finally famous, he has been for quite some time, but he seems to be fed up with press—this is my assumption since his new single is titled, “No More Interviews.”
Sean isn’t an artist synonymous with bad press, but rumors tend to keep his name in headlines and tabloids—the life of a popular rapper. Just like Drake, “No More Interviews” gives Sean all the power to speak on some of the rumors and speculation without sitting in the hot seat. “No More Interviews” doesn’t replace a great, in-depth interview, but it’s raw with honest. It feels as if he’s venting to the beat, unloading some of the things that were weighing heavily on his mind and on his chest.
Naya Rivera and Kid Cudi are two people that Sean felt necessary to acknowledge. Naya isn’t cited by name, but she fits the description of an ex-lover who wrote a tell-all book. Sean appears in her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, that was released in September. The depiction of him isn’t the prettiest, and is illustrated as a selfish, cheating fiance isn’t the best way to be painted. He doesn’t dig too deeply into the past, but he does state the whole story wasn’t told and promises to never mention her again. Bringing up the fact that the song she inspired went triple Platinum (“I Don’t Fu** WIth You”) is the kind of petty move that would make Drake proud.
Sean is far more direct with Cudi, who called him out a few months ago while the internet speculated what was happening between Sean, Jhené Aiko, and Jhené's former husband Dot Da Genius. He speaks on his relationship with Cudder, bringing up the song “First Chain,” which features both Nas and the Moon Man. It was brotherly love, two members of the G.O.O.D Music family, or so Sean thought. Sean keeps it amicable, he is still praying for Cudi’s health, but he isn’t stressed by another friend becoming an enemy. There’s a clever line about charging their issues to the game, and how it would cost about Twenty88. Sean was able to speak on what happened with Cudi without it being seen as disrespect, so he won’t see the same backlash as Drake, but I’m interested in how Cudi will respond once he gets out of rehab. Looks like he’ll have a lot to say.
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Cudi and Naya were obvious, but it’s the subliminal lyrics that really have the internet in a frenzy. Sean mentions not being impressed by a rapper who spits fast and is hailed as a 'top 5 rap savior.' I love Twista, but I don’t think anyone has ever proclaimed him as the one who would save rap. All signs point to Kendrick Lamar, who has filled 2016 with speedy features and is respected as someone who is saving hip-hop. Sean and Kendrick always seemed to be on good terms—without Sean, we wouldn’t have gotten Kendrick on “Control,” and both artists appeared on DJ Khaled’s “Holy Key.” The last time we assumed Big Sean dissed Kendrick due to some lines in his song "Me, Myself, & I." Sean reached out and let us know that Kendrick was not his target. It’s possible that something could’ve happened behind the scenes, or Big Sean is so ready to claim that crown that he’s prepared to snatch it off Kendrick’s head, regardless, someone has ruffled Sean’s feathers.
Overall, “No More Interviews” is Sean breaking his silence and giving the internet plenty to talk about. It’s a strong offering, one that was followed up with yellow and black merch. A shirt, a hat, and a hoodie that all read, “Don’t Believe Everything You Read.” The hoodie has a brilliant cell phone with a broken screen graphic on the back. If it doesn’t shoot up iTunes charts, the merch will surely move effortlessly.
I thought one release was going to be enough, but Sean decided to pair “No More Interviews” with “Bounce Back.”
“Bounce Back” sounds more like a comeback single, it has an infectious bounce, paired with an even more infectious hook. One thing you can always expect from Big Sean is a ridiculous flow, he’s always finding ways to reinvent his approach. “Bounce Back” has him customizing a new flow that sounds similar to Drake, the way he stretches words like how Mr. Fantastic stretches his arm and legs. When he switches the flow becomes rapid, but he doesn’t lose any charisma. Plenty of lines that will surely take over social media in the coming hours. There's something exciting about hearing Sean rap; there's a passion in each line, he's more determined than ever. For his second offering, he stepped away from the personal and really showcased why we should care that Sean is back. Two strong records in one day, Big Sean fans scored a triple double today.
Big Sean has previously mentioned that his next album is done. A few weeks ago Royce Da 5’9 called Big Sean underrated, a comment that Sean took in stride, replying that people haven’t heard the music that he played for his Detroit brethren. Royce calling an emcee underrated is the pot calling the kettle black, but it’s intriguing that he has heard music from Sean that impressed him enough to send out such a tweet. “No More Interviews” and “Bounce Back” will only amplify the excitement.
Sean is rapping a lot about being Top 5 and this new album will be his chance to prove it.
By Yoh, aka No More Think Pieces, aka @Yoh31.