Live preview: Big Sean

A Kanye West protg comes into his own with a long-awaited debut album.



Add +
Big Sean

Big Sean Photograph: Fabian Montique

Big Sean proves that a little bit of pluck and patience can go a long way in hip-hop. As a teenager in 2005, he ditched a summer telemarketing job to finagle his way into an impromptu freestyle session for Kanye West at a Detroit radio station. Despite impressing the mogul, Sean didn't catch his big break immediately; he suffered in unsigned-artist purgatory for two years before inking a deal with West's GOOD Music imprint.

Sean spent his early career building up a repertoire with his "Finally Famous" mixtape trilogy (Vol. 1: The Mixtape; Vol. 2: UKNOWBIGSEAN; and Vol. 3: BIG), and collaborated with a slew of major artists, from Wiz Khalifa to Kid Cudi. Lyrical gymnastics and punch lines turned Sean into a blogosphere darling, while boyish amiability made him one of rap's most likable freshmen.

Big Sean's commercial debut, Finally Famous (released Thursday 28), is a formidable effort steeped in twentysomething charisma. At its best, it's simply fun: a toast to the good life. There's no shortage of celebration on singles "My Last" and "Marvin & Chardonnay," while the club-ready "Dance (A$$)," with its infectious sample of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This," serves sexuality with a wink. Working among heavyweight cameos by Pharrell, Chris Brown and Lupe Fiasco, Sean more than holds his own. The wait was indeed worth it.

Buy music by Big Sean on iTunes

See more Top live shows

Users say