Big Seanrecently held it down on Joe Budden’s Pull Up, marking his first major interview since a self-imposed hiatus from both music and media. “I am nervous to sit and talk, I haven’t done it in years,” admits Big Sean, in the conversation’s opening moments. His fans are well aware that the Detroit rapper’s hiatus extended to music, leaving some wondering as to whether everything was okay behind the scenes. It doesn’t take long for Sean to hint at symptoms of depression, including the loss of passion for his craft. “I didn’t feel like myself,” explains Sean. “I’m sure a lot of people go through this…I’ve been rapping since I was eleven years old. I realized I didn’t have the same passion I had when I was eleven when I wrote my first rap or when I put out my mixtapes.”
Mike Windle/Getty Images
“I was thinking it was a passion for music, but when I started working on the music I realized it wasn’t for that,” explains Sean. “I didn’t have the passion for life anymore. I wasn’t taking time out to enjoy myself, to live. It was like, this industry was like you gotta stay on they necks. I write all my stuff, I don’t have people sending me records. I have to think of that. It’s hard to think of that when all your experiences are the same — essentially like, you sit in the studio, you do a show, you do this, do that. I didn’t take time to live life between those moments and the balance caught up to me.”
“I had no choice,” he continues. “Why would I want to step away from something that’s been my dream? I realized I had to take care of myself first.” He says that hitting thirty-years-old was a major turning point for him, citing it as the moment things hit the wall. “I woke up every day and was over life. Literally. I just moved into Slash’s old house from Guns N Roses. This is my dream house. I spent a year remodeling. Point is, I got in there and felt the worst I ever felt…This is a clear example of me getting one of the things I always wanted and it not affecting how I’m feeling.”
“It was scary cause I just got a gun too,” reveals Sean. When Budden asks why he needed a gun at that point in his career, Sean keeps it real. “Cause people are crazy. You gotta protect yourself. I looked at it not only as protection, but I like going to the gun range. It’s therapeutic sometimes. I haven’t been lately cause I’ve been in the studio, but it’s something I wanted to do…I’d walk around with it sometimes, feeling just over it. I’m not going to lie. My relationship at the time with my family was completely disconnected.” He admits to telling his mother he wanted some distance from her, a decision that surprised him. Ultimately, he turned to therapy to right the course, a decision that has since proved beneficial in lifting him from the darkness. Check it out below, with conversations on Sean’s mental health and depression sparking around the six-minute mark.