Big Sean Tells Vulture About Kanye’s Recording Process


Last night at Gotham Hall, Diesel threw a party for their new scent. They got Common and Olivia Munn to co-host, and Vado, Big Sean, Donnis, and the Rapture to perform. It was a strange night!

Big Sean — the young Detroit rapper who got signed to G.O.O.D. Music after freestyling for Kanye in a radio station parking lot — took the stage second, brilliantly kicking off his mini-set by asking the crowd to "make some noise if you love your family." Very crafty, Big Sean! The Michigander was preceded by Atlanta upstart Donnis and followed by Dipset affiliate Vado, and all three gamely did their best within the aesthetically pleasing but acoustically challenged Gotham Hall, which swallowed every other word said. The real entertainment, then, came through Olivia Munn's co-hosting tactics. Thanks to a few technical mistakes and the fact that the show was being taped for an MTV2 broadcast, Munn and Common had to repeat several of their artist intros, which gave Munn plenty of opportunities to quixotically lambaste the audience into spirited noise-making (“Cheer, motherfuckers, cheer!” etc.) Things wrapped up with a fantastic, all-artist freestyle over the Rapture's “Get Myself Into It,” but even that was overshadowed by Munn's hilariously thinly veiled irritation.

Before the music got under way, Vulture caught up with Big Sean and asked him about the process behind the G.O.O.D. Friday music series. “Kanye records all over the place, but the one I did was in New York,“ he told us. “Usually there's a lot going on in the studio — you know, drinks, or you'll fuck around and see Kobe Bryant. Whole bunch of people like that. And he basically [plays the beat and then] tells you, "Man, go record your verse." He's got all the studios in different rooms, and people are in there knocking it out. That verse, I did on the spot. I don't write, I do it in my head. That one probably took about 50 takes. You don't hear [the finished track] until it's done.” And how is one summoned to these top secret drinks-and–Kobe Bryant–featuring Kanye recording sessions? “He doesn't have a phone. He e-mails.”