Big Sean Talks Being Broke, Building His Buzz, & Crying To His Mom

I hear you started rhyming at the age of 11 because of the school you went to?
Yeah man. That school was weird. It was the Detroit Waldorf school. There’s some everywhere. There’s one in New York. I even saw one in Hawaii. First of all, you had to make all your text books. They would give you the information, but they would make you write all the information down and draw pictures along with it. It was a dope ass way of learning man. You really had to learn it because you had to write it and draw pictures along with it.

We took German and Spanish from kindergarten to eighth grade. We had to play three different instruments. Every morning we would come in and do a morning verse, which is like a poem. And then we would have to do our own poem we made up. We had to write our own poetry all the time. It was a heavily artistic school.

I can draw pretty good too, but I never really got into it. And, obviously, I forgot a lot of the German and Spanish that I learned. But one thing that sticks with me was the poetry and being able to rhyme very easily and be clever. I was exposed to that at a young age not even knowing what it was doing to me.

What was your first rhyme for?
When I was eleven there was a song I had with this group I was in called the Young Boys. We did this whole abstinence thing where I was writing about no sex and no drugs. A lot of people were clowning me for it, but it was just some shit that I did when I was young. This is before I had sex and smoked weed. People be like, “Man when you were 12 years old you were rapping about not having sex and not smoking weed.” That’s cause I wasn’t having sex and smoking!

And probably five years from now my raps might be super fucking serious because that’s where I’ll be in my life. It just all depends on what you were going through. [I was going through] very positive stuff like that and I was just having fun as a kid. Of course, that changed though. [Laughs.]

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