'My First Advance Was $15K' — Big Sean Tells The Story Of How He Signed To G.O.O.D. Music
Photo Credit: Michael Hickey

'My First Advance Was $15K' — Big Sean Tells The Story Of How He Signed To G.O.O.D. Music

One visit to the radio station and full belief in himself led Big Sean to the opportunity of a lifetime.

Humble Beginnings

In 2020, the Detroit rapper recalled how a weekly competition led him to his deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music during the early 2000s.

“I used to do a show when I was 16,” said Big Sean during a previous Instagram Live with Fat Joe. “Every Friday I would go there after school and participate where you had to battle rap to win, but then after you battle rapped, you got a chance to rap on-air on [the] radio every week.”

Thanks to the weekly activity that took place during the summer before his senior year in high school, Big Sean perfected his craft. However, little did he know he would be one phone call away from landing the moment that would change his life forever.

“I remember I was a telemarketer and I was cashing my $130 check and my homie called me like, ‘Ye down at the station, he promoting his album, dawg. If he heard you, bro — he’d sign you, bro.'”

The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

Thanks to the call that Kanye West was in the building to promote “Late Registration,” an eager Big Sean headed down to his local radio station with hopes of making his music dreams come true.

His Big Break

With nothing to lose, Big Sean made his way over to the station and, thanks to having spent the previous evening in the studio, the “Live This Life” emcee was able to walk in —noting that he left his phone. Going to the station led him to spit a few verses for West.

“I had already had my CDs that I had pressed up and been selling around school. So, I already had a CD to give him, I was ready,” he continued. “So, I got a chance to rap for him as he was walking out [of] the station and he was like, ‘Man I’m running late, you gotta rap while I’m walking.'”

The weekly Friday cyphers came in handy because Big Sean shared that it was thanks to those moments that he was able to perform under pressure in front of not only one of his favorite rappers but one of the hottest emcees in the game at the time.

The Waiting Game

“That was the initial meeting of it,” Big Sean explained, noting that his record deal didn’t come directly after his encounter with West. “It took two years after that though. There was a lot of ups and downs that I went through. A lot of depression. A lot of me having to rely on my faith, but that was the initial meeting point.”

 

He added, “And it just goes to show that when you live in your purpose — I was just doing that show because that was what I loved to do and it was crazy how all of that led up to that moment.”

Furthermore, Big Sean explained that although his advance for the G.O.O.D. Music was $15,000, he received a chance that was worth more than the money.

 

 

“He [Kanye West] gave me an opportunity that changed my life, bro,” Big Sean expressed. “That’s why no matter what, it’s like, a lot of people get mad at things like, ‘Oh, but he didn’t give me a fair this, or this right amount of money here and this and that,’ but one of the things he gave me was an opportunity and that’s something that money can’t always buy.”

It took four years after the initial meeting with Kanye West for Big Sean to release his debut album, “Finally Famous.”

In between that time, he managed to graduate high school with a 3.7 GPA. Now, he’s an inspiration to other rappers in the game, just as West was to him.

Big Sean's Net Worth

Today, Celebrity Net Worth reports that Big Sean is worth an estimated $26 million.