It turns out that Big Sean is a way more complex individual than I initially suspected. I guess that’s my fault for feeding into rapper stereotypes and pre-judging, but after being in attendance at his #CRWN interview at SXSW, I’ve gained an entirely new perspective on him – and on life in general.
You might think that an emcee whose top song is called “I Don’t F*** with You” wouldn’t have a largely positive outlook on life, but if that’s the case then – like me – you’d be wrong. Here are 3 major things that Big Sean taught me during his #CRWN interview with Elliot Wilson.
Photo by Dwayne Brown
1. If you put something out into the atmosphere, you must fulfill it.
This is one of the first gems that Big Sean dropped on the audience. “I don’t put anything out into the atmosphere that I cannot fulfill,” he stated. “I said I wanted to be a rapper, and I did that.” He went on to discuss how not fulfilling these proclamations can come back to you in a negative way, and he’s right. Being flaky is an easy thing to do; naturally it’s much easier than working hard to accomplish your dreams and your hopes and your wishes. But constantly saying that you’re going to do things that you never do is going to take a toll on your self-esteem and it’s going to change your mentality, and that’s what Big Sean was trying to bring home to his audience. That one really resonated with me because I’m definitely guilty of this, and he hit the nail on the head: if you say you’re going to do it, then DO IT. This kind of mentality will open doors that you never even thought were there.
2. Women are the backbone of everything.
No shit, right? I know you’re probably scratching your head at this one right now. This is coming from a man who started a verse with, “HOE, SHUT THE – FUCK – UP”, but despite Big Sean’s contradicting rap persona, he is well aware of the important role that women play in society. In “Blessings” Big Sean raps, “My grandma just died I’m the man of the house”, and for many people that was a confusing statement. During the interview Big Sean explained that his grandmother was both the financial and emotional support for his entire family.
“Where I’m from grandmas and moms and women were the men of the house too.”
We all clutched our hearts as he relayed to us that she was the sole reason that he was sitting in front of us on that day, saying, “She was the reason that I was able to go to private school when I was younger, she was the reason that I didn’t get caught up in the streets like that, she was the reason that I had a car when I turned 16.” He went on to say how men are often thought to be the bread-winners and the family support, but that’s not always the case. And I appreciate a prominent figure in the rap community stepping up and saying that, since that’s a notion that we don’t often hear.
3. Keep anybody or anything negative far, far away from you.
Negative energy and negative vibes will literally drain you, sometimes without you even realizing it. The current state of Hip Hop – sure, and other genres – is surrounded by a lot of negativity: rappers often brag about how they’ll take your girl, and they’ll belittle you (the fan) for not having their money, and they’ll tell women that their natural bodies aren’t beautiful. Hearing those messages and singing/rapping along to them day in and day out can have a horrible effect on an individual. Even outside of the music realm we deal with negative bosses, coworkers, family and friends. We deal with people telling us that we can’t do this or that all the time. A prominent part of Big Sean’s interview was about staying positive and more importantly spreading positivity. In response to being asked whether or not he plays into what the blogs/media is saying about him he responded, “I don’t fuck with any of that,” and we went on to discuss how we often don’t see how many negative factors are impacting our lives. He stressed how important it is to realize what those factors are and why we should move as far away from them as possible. This piece of advice should be an obvious one, but take a second a really think about everybody who’s influencing your life right now – good and bad.
After the Q+A, Big Sean stuck around and took selfies with essentially the entire audience, individually, and had to be physically pulled off stage by his team after trying to make sure that he got to ever single person – which was really a testament to his character.
All-in-all the entire experience was a pleasant surprise. It made me realize that I probably stereotype rappers (and people in general) too much and that you should never judge a book by it’s cover (duh). Shout out to Big Sean for spreading the positive vibes.
Video shot & edited by Dwayne Brown.
Peep the full article originally on OogeeWoogee.