Big Sean ready for Lions halftime show, new music

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

It’s been about three weeks since Big Sean’s big concert at Joe Louis Arena, which climaxed with him bringing out Eminem, Royce da 5’9”, Dej Loaf, Danny Brown and Trick Trick to perform the Motor City anthem “Detroit Vs. Everybody.”

And it’s been about two weeks since he came down from the night.

“It took a couple of days,” Sean said Wednesday. “It was a very monumental moment for me, especially down there at Joe Louis, especially because Eminem and the whole city came out, you know?

“But that’s the energy I needed,” he says, “especially at this time of year.”

Big Sean is already “going in heavy on new music,” he says, and was inside a Metro Detroit recording studio Wednesday afternoon working on tracks.

But first up, is his performance at halftime of Thursday’s Detroit Lions game, which will be broadcast nationwide as families watch football before enjoying their Thanksgiving meal.

Sean will perform “One Man Can Change the World,” the inspirational hit from his 2015 album “Dark Sky Paradise,” as well as one other song that fits the theme of Thanksgiving day.

His focus going into the performance, he says, is capturing the spirit of the holiday.

“I’m just trying to keep it clean and get the point across, because I really feel like that’s what a show like this is about,” he says, seated inside a suite at Detroit’s MGM Grand before heading to Ford Field for rehearsal. “It’s about people gathered around with their family. It’s not about the light show, it’s not about the tricks, it’s really about the meaning and the message of the song and of the day. It’s about giving thanks.”

Sean was contacted about performing at the game several months ago, around the time he booked the Joe Louis Arena show. He was supposed to announce the performance on stage at Joe Louis, but got so wrapped up in the energy of the evening that “I completely forgot,” he says.

Sean has plenty to be thankful for this year, as 2015 has been a career year for the rapper that saw him net his first No. 1 album and reach a new level of respectability in the rap world.

What is he thankful for? “The list goes on and on,” he says.

“I’m thankful for my health, I’m thankful for the people around me, I’m thankful for the people who support me, my fans, I’m thankful for my parents, I’m thankful just for the ability that I have, that God gave me. I really feel like I’ve got angels and so many guardians around helping me, I really do.

“My life has been so crazy,” he says. “I’ve seen so many crazy things, I’ve been through so many crazy things, and none of it was never promised. So I give thanks for that every day, really. Because damn, I could still be at my mom’s house on Northlawn. But I’m not.”

Next up, the rapper is hoping to snag a couple of Grammy nominations when the list of nominees is announced Dec. 7. Sean was nominated for a pair of awards in 2013 for “Mercy,” which he shared with Kanye West, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, but he’s hoping to figure into a few of the categories for “Dark Sky Paradise.”

If he’s not nominated this year, “I wont take offense to it,” he says. But does he feel like he should be? “I should be!” he says, with a laugh and a conviction that lets you know he’s serious.

“I feel like I’m going to get a Grammy one way or another before it’s all said and done, hopefully it will be this year,” Sean says. “I remember one time, I was daydreaming, and I saw myself holding a Grammy, and it felt too real not to happen.”