See more: The Best of 2012: The Year in Music
Detroit Rapper 'Far Along' in Finishing Sophomore Album, Hopes to Hook Eminem for Collab ... Video Coming for First Single 'Guap'
Big Sean says he's "pretty far along" with his sophomore album, "Hall of Fame," but he's still comfortable with his decision to scotch a planned December release and push the follow-up to 2011's "Finally Famous" into 2013.
"I really wanted to take my time with it," the Detroit rapper tells Billboard. "It was sounding good, and I wanted to give it the proper roll-out, the proper videos, the proper set-up. I feel like I needed a little more time to do it how I wanted."
DAY IN THE LIFE: BIG SEAN
Big Sean -- whose recent "Detroit" mixtape has been downloaded more than a million times -- has been recording mostly in Los Angeles with producers such as KeY [cq] Wayne, No I.D. and others, with G.O.O.D. Music mentor Kanye West serving as executive producer. The album's is "very classic," according to Big Sean. "I don't use a lot of weird, weird instruments. There's definitely a lot of just great, classic musical sounds like pianos and strings, elements like that. There are some songs on there that are very serious, some that are more lighthearted, some are party songs, some are very deep."
And though he's dropped the planned subtitle "Memoirs of a Detroit Player," Big Sean promises that the album will have a personal tone. "It tells my stories," he explains. "You're gonna get what I've learned, things that I've done, situations I've gone through and all of that. I think it's going to definitely define me as an artist. So you're definitely gonna get memoirs of a Detroit player -- I just feel like that was way too long for (the title)."
After a 2012 that included a pair of singles -- "Mercy" and "Clique" -- on G.O.O.D. Music's "Cruel Summer" album and a feature on Justin Bieber's recent hit "As Long as You Love Me" -- Big Sean has launched the "Hall of Fame" campaign with the new single, "Guap," a "feel-good song" he calls "a testament to anybody who just clocks in and works that time, those hours, and you get your paycheck. ('Guap') needs to be the anthem for that moment."
He shot a video for the track in Detroit and plans to have it out soon. He collaborated with Nas on another song for "Hall of Fame" -- its original title of "Jesus Piece" is being changed, he notes -- while rumors abound that Eminem is slated to be featured on the album as well.
"I don't know, man; we've got to wait and see," Big Sean says. "Eminem reached out a long time ago. I'm really cool with Royce da 5'9" and (Eminem) just reached out basically letting me know he's got love for me and he respects what I've got going on, and then he invited me to the studio to just come kick it and vibe. But his schedule's crazy, and mine is too. I'm pretty sure we're gonna make that happen, either on this album or another album. He's one of my heroes; I've always looked up to him, especially coming out Detroit, so to have him on anything I do would be a total honor, man."
Big Sean will also be part of G.O.O.D. Music's "Cruel Winter" compilation, and he just announced the launch of his Sean Michael Anderson Foundation, a charity that will focus on education and school-based initiatives in Detroit. More information will be revealed during early 2013, he says.