Backbeat: Big Sean Launches 'Rising Icons' Season Three in NYC
Backbeat: Big Sean Launches 'Rising Icons' Season Three in NYC

Big Sean
Big Sean performs at the "Rising Icons" and Grey Goose party Monday night (Oct. 10).

On Monday night (Oct. 10), at NYC's Good Units, "Rising Icons," in partnership with Grey Goose, launched their third season with G.O.O.D. Music artist Big Sean. "Rising Icons" seasons 1 and 2 alumni include J. Cole, Melanie Fiona, Jay Sean, B.o.B and more.

Johnny Nunez roamed the venue snapping photos of celebs in attendance, such as "Rising Icons" season three musicians, Marsha Ambrosius and Miguel (who embark upon their tour on Oct. 13 in Oakland, Calif.), host Kenny Burns, industry insiders Harve Pierre and Michael Kyser, and even model Bai Ling.

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As's founder Nile "LowKey" Ivey and Atlantic Records' President of Urban Music Mike Kyser debated on which rapper was hotter on the streets (2 Chainz or opening performer Future?), XXL's executive editor Jayson Rodriguez showed VIBE senior editor Clover Hope and pics of himself eight years ago, back when an XXL white tee was the must-have item.

Miguel and Marsha Ambrosius enjoying the night at Good Units.

Atlanta rapper Future opened the show with his song, "Tony Montana." In between reciting the chorus, ("Tony Montana" x 3), one question could be heard repeated throughout the room: "Who is this guy?" Future's face is unrecognizable, but his song, "Tony Montana," featuring Drake, isn't. Future (represented by Courtney Lowery, who recently joined Epic Records as Senior Director of Publicity) has two songs on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and one on the Rap Songs chart. "Tony Montana" is No. 36 on R&B/Hip-Hop and No. 23 on Rap Songs, while "Magic," featuring T.I., currently holds the No. 78 slot on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Future is also featured on YC's R&B/Hip-Hop top-10 hit, "Racks," which he performed last night.

From left: "Rising Icons"' Jake Troth, Marsha Ambrosius and host Kenny Burns at the launch party.

"No J. Cole?" VIBE's senior editor Clover Hope asked after Miguel performed his Billboard hit, "All I Want Is You," without the song's featured guest.

Not long after Miguel's short set, Big Sean took the stage in a Red Wings fitted hat and denim jacket with leopard print sleeves. Big Sean hyped the crowd with his hits "Marvin & Chardonnay" and "My Last" from his Rap Albums No. 1, "Finally Famous."

"To be an 'icon,' you have to give 100 percent all the time, even when no one is watching. And Sean is always working," Alexandra Bianchi, Big Sean's Island Def Jam publicist, told

Big Sean closed the set with his latest single, "Dance (A$$)," off "Finally Famous." As the room cleared out, fans walked over to Big Sean, congratulating him on his performance as he hung out in his roped section with his camp and Island Def Jam Music Group's President Steve Bartels.