Big Sean promised that his homecoming concert on Friday night (Nov. 6) at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena would be “a hell of a show.” That turned out to be a gross understatement.
During his one hour and 50 minutes on stage, the rapper put on a veritable all-star hip-hop festival, culminating in a full-cast performance of “Detroit vs. Everybody” from last year’s Shady XV compilation.
Big Sean was joined by Dej Loaf, Royce da 5’9″, Danny Brown and Trick Trick, with the biggest ovation, of course, reserved for Eminem, who sported a white Run-D.M.C. tribute hoodie and absolutely slayed his verse with spitfire precision. He finished with a loving, double middle-finger salute to the arena crowd, which was more than happy to return the gesture.
That was the cream atop a night that saw plenty of other guests join Big Sean for what he told the crowd was “the greatest night of my life.” Lil Wayne trooped on to perform a ferocious medley of “A Milli,” “F–k You” and “Love Me,” along with “How Many Times” and “Deep.”
Dej Loaf made an early show appearance as well for “Try Me,” a bit of “Be Real” and “Back Up Off Me,” while longtime friend Mike Posner joined Big Sean for a verse of “Smoke & Drive” before performing his own “Cooler Then Me” solo. Jhene Aiko rounded out the features, teaming with Big Sean for “Beware” and “I Know.”
By the end of the show — whose proceeds went to his Sean Anderson Foundation charity — Big Sean declared himself “at a loss for words” but told the crowd that “what just happened here is you can be from this city, you can be from anywhere in the world and have your dreams come true. (It’s) that moment when all your dreams in the world come true.”
He finished with a pledge to “keep making this good music … and keep kicking these rappers’ asses on features.”
And if Big Sean has his way, that will come sooner rather than later. The rapper tells Billboard that he’s already working on new material and a follow-up to his third album, Dark Sky Paradise, which came out in late February.
“We’ve definitely been making new music,” Sean says. “I’m feeling great about it. The production sounds a little darker, but Dark Sky Paradise was a little darker for me in some ways than the music I made before, and I feel like this is a little bit of a continuation with that. But there’s something new about it.
It’s nothing like I’ve ever done before, and I don’t know if I’m getting a little more experience with it or whatever, but I’m excited for people to hear it.”
He won’t hazard any guess for a release date, however. “Right now I’ve just been kind of cultivating it and getting it together. I have been working with a few people; I don’t want to put the names out there yet, but they’re gonna be major. I only collaborate with people who it feels right with, nothing forced or out of the pocket.”
Big Sean also features on Justin Bieber‘s upcoming Purpose on the track “No Pressure.” But he adds that “the features are all secondary. The main priority is my music.”