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The fame of Detroit artist Big Sean has been on the rise from hip hop’s underground to mainstream. From signing to Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music label in 2005, then inking a deal with Def Jam, releasing two acclaimed mixtapes, and this year gracing the cover of XXL’s Freshmen 10, it’s pretty safe to say that Big Sean has reached a certain level of fame.

Big Sean’s debut album, “Finally Famous,” is slated for release in late 2010. It is said to feature a plethora of hip hop heavyweights, including Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Mr. Hudson, The-Dream, Drake and Wale, with production from No I.D., Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

With a new mixtape and the debut album on the way, Yo! Raps had the opportunity to catch up with Big Sean and ask him about topics from the new era of Def Jam, the power of Twitter, and some “Supa Dupa Lemonade.”

You were fortunate enough to make the cover of XXL with 9 other freshmen of hip hop. Do you think the new up-n-coming artists today have the ability to take hip hop to the next level?

Well, as a new up-n-coming artist I definitely think we can take it to the next level. I think that’s why we’re here, feel me? I think everything happens for a reason and my reason for being here is to entertain and take music to new heights. I’m not speaking for everybody though, just a select few.

Def Jam has gone through many changes since Jay-Z was President and while veteran artists like LL Cool J and DMX have left, a new batch of artists such as Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and Rihanna have kept the label afloat. Where do you think Big Sean will fit in?

I think I’ll help keep the legacy that Def Jam has going strong. Everybody including labels have been taking a lot of “L’s” and I feel like bringing something fresh and stylish and unique will be positive.

You got your record deal with G.O.O.D. Music by rapping to Kanye West outside a local Detroit radio station. Do you think the industry overlooks artists from the Midwest, especially artists from Detroit because of the “Eminem Factor”?

I think so but I also think artists everywhere get overlooked! Not just in Detroit, or just the Midwest. If it’s supposed to happen it will happen. That’s what I believe at least. Whether you’re in Atlanta or Idaho! If it’s you’re time, it’s your time.

You set Twitter on fire last month when you released “Supa Dupa Lemonade.” What type of reception have you received from fans and critics alike since its release?

Major, major love! A lot of people love that freestyle. I didn’t expect that much hype off of it, but I’m glad it did what it did. If people like that, just wait till my next mixtape and better yet my album! Gonna really set it off on both of those!

How do you feel about the concept of new artists signing to independent labels vs. a major label? What do you feel would be the pros and cons of signing “major” or “indie”?

I think signing to a major, you have certain connections that you may not be able to get with an indie label. But indie labels are really coming up, and some of the indies are grinding way harder then the majors. It really depends on the artist I believe too. Some indie bands and artists are way bigger then some artists and bands signed to majors.

I have been up on your music since I heard your mixtape, “Finally Famous Vol. 1,” in 2007. From “Getcha Some” to “Supa Dupa Lemonade,” you’ve made some pretty dope music. In your opinion, do you have a personal favorite record?

Man, I hate “Finally Famous Vol. 1.” I hate “Getcha Some” [laughs]. I hate all my old ass shit with a passion. “Uknowbigsean” was good to me. “Desire, Want & Need” is one of my favorites on that tape. So is “Intro” and a couple other songs but my new music is better then all my old shit. “Supa Dupa Lemonade” is definitely one of my favorites! I like all the newer stuff that I have been recording.

With you being affiliated with Kanye West, you have to have numerous artists/producers at your disposal. If you could work with anyone in the industry (any genre) who would it be? Why?

Fortunately, I’ve worked with most of the people that I want to work with but there is still a few that I want to collaborate with like Jay-Z, Eminem, Beyonce, Mayor Hawthorne.

Will there be any special guest appearances on your debut album or will it be more focused on showcasing you as an artist?

It will be mainly focused on showcasing me as an artist, but we got Kanye on there a couple times, Pharrell, Drake…not too many features though.

Do you have a sold release date yet for your album, “Finally Famous,” yet?

Not yet but we will release it very soon…this year for sure though.

Last year, you were featured on Wale’s “Back To The Feature” mixtape and in your verse you mentioned seeing Diddy in the streets and when you began to introduce yourself he turned around and knew you already. What has been your biggest star struck moment in the industry?

That was definitely one of them. Meeting Beyonce was crazy. Meeting Jay-Z was another, Pharell too. I have a whole bunch, but when I met Diddy it really shocked me when he was like, “Big Sean, I know who you are n*gga I be on your blog”. I was like, “Damn, that’s crazy!”

Besides your new mixtape, “Finally Famous Vol. 3,” are their anything new Big Sean will be involved with that fans should be on the lookout for?

Yeah, a couple more things but I can’t spill the beans. It fucks up the surprise factor [laughs].

How can fans contact you? Twitter? Facebook?

My website is www.uknowbigsean.com, that’s my blog, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and everything I think is cool. My Twitter is @big_sean. For booking or management hit up Mike Brinkley at mikebrinks@gmail.com or Gumbo at elpotterff@gmail.com. Remember to check out www.uknowbigsean.com to stay up to date on me!

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