From Detroit to G.O.O.D. Music, Big Sean has certainly made a name of himself. The rapper was discovered by label boss Kanye West when hr overheard him freestyling at a radio station, and after that, the rest is history. Big Sean is a six-time Grammy nominee and makes his presence known on guest-heavy features. Sean has made a lot of progress and has stayed consistent in his music since his debut Finally Famous as his last album scored him a Grammy nom for his song with the late Nipsey Hussle. As for the future of Big Sean’s career, we just have to sit back and watch him work.
Take a look at 10 of his best songs ranked:
"Hate Our Love" is a love ballad performed by Michigan natives Queen Naija and Big Sean as the two talk about others being jealous of their love and "praying on [their] downfall." Queen Naija was eager to work with Big Sean on the track: “What I’d like for people to take away from ‘Hate Our Love’ is don’t let anybody come in between anything or anyone that you love,” Queen Naija said of the track per Complex. “I’m so excited to finally collaborate with Big Sean on a record…it’s been a dream of mine for a while now. With both of us being from Detroit, it felt like the perfect match up and I hope everyone loves the song! The song features a sample of Bobby Glenn’s 1970s song “Sounds Like A Love Song.”
In this song, Big Sean gives thanks for all of his blessings, which he particularly shouts out his wealth due to his rap career. The official album release only contains a feature from Drake. Kanye West raps the last verse on an extended version which is the album's third single. Drake's notable hook, "Way up, I feel blessed," steals the show. Sean previously collaborated with Drake on his song "All Me" along with 2 Chainz. The song currently sits at four-times certified platinum by the RIAA.
The soulful ballad finds a person realizing their true potential and impact on others' lives." One Man Can Change The World" is a very personal song for the rapper after the loss of his grandmother. "So, right before she passed, I wrote this song. A major part of the song is about her. She never got a chance to hear it. It's just an emotional thing." "It's just a song that comes straight 100 percent from the heart," Sean continued. "I hope people can enjoy it. And I really appreciate John Legend and Kanye West being a part of that." "One Man Can Change The World" was the first song the Detroit native was nominated for a Grammy for a song where he wasn't a guest feature. Big Sean was nominated alongside labelmates Kanye West and John Legend, for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Big Sean is no stranger to making remarkable verses amongst other talented rappers. The guest-heavy song features verses by Migos member Quavo, Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Yo Gotti while Desiigner and Travi$ Scott croon the hook. "Champions" is described as a celebratory rap anthem that just makes fans feel as though they are the best of the best. The song was first previewed on Big Sean and Ian Conner’s Snapchat and almost instantaneously released on the radio once Ye dropped the song on Twitter. The "no artwork" look was the beginning of Ye's minimalistic art style. Pusha-T questioned Ye about it, "[I asked him] what’s the artwork? He was like, there’s no artwork. That was the extreme theme, and our first way of implementing what we were discussing about the stark and minimal, art where the primary focus is on the music." The track is certified platinum by the RIAA.
"Mercy" is the first song from the G.O.O.D. Music album that features some of Ye's artists. Ye taps in Big Sean and Pusha-T along with Def Jam rapper 2 Chainz on the final verse. The song begins with a sample from the late Fuzzy Jones' intro for Super Beagle's "Dust A Soundboy." Sean told Genius that he freestyled the first four lines backstage on the Watch the Throne tour and Ye immediately approved, "Man that's it! You should say that.'" The song title is in reference to the Lamborghini Murciélago Italian sports car that was manufactured by the automotive company up until 2010. G.O.O.D. Music gained two nominations for their efforts "Best Rap Song" and "Best Rap Performance" at the 2013 Grammy Awards. "Mercy" also gave Big Sean his second No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The song currently sits at six-times certified platinum by the RIAA.
"Marvin & Chardonnay" is Big Sean's third single from his debut album 'Finally Famous." The track is a sex ode describing what to make a perfect night: some sensual tunes from Marvin Gaye and a bottle of chardonnay. The song gave Big Sean his first No. 1 but he credits everything to his label boss Kanye: "He gave me the beat, Roscoe was already on it," he said per Billboard. "He was in Paris, I was in LA and he hit me and was like like, 'yo, you should put this on your album.' It was perfect. It was a key necessity for it. We wrote our verses over the phone and just knocked it out."
"I Don't F--- With You" is one of Big Sean's most popular songs and for many reasons. The uptempo and catchy hook has you singing it to anyone who might have pissed you off. "I feel like it's an anthem for everybody," he told Billboard. "It's an anthem in every way shape and form, if you don't f--- with somebody from your past, right now, or the other way around, somebody doesn't f--- with you." When Big Sean recorded the record when he was in a relationship with the late Naya Rivera. He cleared up rumors that the song was all about her and that their relationship was only somewhat a part of the inspiration behind the track. "The funny thing about 'I Don't F--- With You' is I actually wrote that while I was in a relationship," he told MTV News. "I wrote that when I was with my ex. And then obviously when a few things went down, I went back and changed a couple of words. But mainly the song was already there." "I Don't F--- With You" gave Big Sean his third No. 1 behind his 2011 hit "Marvin & Chardonnay" and his 2012 Cruel Summer collab "Mercy" with Kanye, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz.
"Beware" features a guest appearance from rapper Lil Wayne and singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko on the hook. On the track, Big Sean raps about how his ex-girlfriend couldn't deal with other girls wanting him so he ended the relationship and now has to deal with the consequences of a woman scorned. The song was well-received by fans and is three-times certified platinum by the RIAA. The song contains an interpolation of The Four Tops' 1973 hit single "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got."
The Detroit rapper calls "Bounce Back" the "underdog anthem." "The underdog has been through that, the underdog has took L's, bounced back, came back harder like a champion. I remember my manager told me, 'You know what happens to the underdog? It eventually turns into the big dog.' That always stuck with me, just that mentality," he said to Genius. "Overall, the hook is a team feelin'. I wanted football teams, basketball teams, people in the gym, people who lost they money in Vegas to feel like that, to feel like, Alright, we comin back stronger." The song features label boss Kanye West on the back vocals rapping "We're the real ones." The track follows the theme for the project 'I Decided' which purpose is to uplift and come back harder than before but the rapper emphasized that he didn't want to exaggerate the message, "You don't want to overdo it. I'm not trying to sit here and preach to people," the rapper told Entertainment Weekly. "You can get [a message] across with a song like 'Bounce Back.' We've all bounced back from something before, so that fits my story perfect, but you never would have known that from hearing it by itself." "Bounce Back" was nominated for "Best Rap Performance" at the 2018 Grammy Awards.
After the death of the legendary rapper Nipsey Hussle, Big Sean released "Deep Reverence." In the song, both rappers talk about the struggles of growing up and coming up in the industry. The Detroit native gets personal and raps about his anxiety and that girlfriend's miscarriage triggered his depression. He doesn't name her but fans believe he's referring to Jhené Aiko who he has been dating on and off since 2016. He also reflects on Nipsey's death and how it prompted him to call Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar and squash their beef. "One of the people that, especially after Nipsey died was important for me to connect with was Kendrick," he said per NME. "Me and Kendrick got a history of songs... When this whole Big Sean, Kendrick beef was going on, it was something I wish I would have spoken up about because there was nothing." "Deep Reverence" was nominated for "Best Rap Performance" at the 2021 Grammy Awards.