Big Sean Spans His Stacked Career in 'Tiny Desk Concert'

Delivering one of the longest setlists in ‘Tiny Desk’ history and premiering a brand-new track.

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Big Sean – or as NPR Music referred to him as “The Detroit Don” – popped out to the NPR HQ to deliver an expansive Tiny Desk Concert. Equipped with a full strings and horns section and one of the longest setlists in Tiny Desk history, Sean Don makes stops at all of the monumental moments throughout his discography – Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Dark Sky Paradise and I Decided – flexing his evolution and adaptability as an artist.

The rapper kicks it off with “Memories” before transitioning into his sophomore album Hall of Fame‘s intro track, “Nothing is Stopping You.”

“I remember when my second album dropped, it didn’t do as well as my first album. People were like ‘Sophomore slump, it’s over for him,’ and counting me out like crazy, and then I locked in and made my third album, Dark Sky Paradise which was one of my biggest albums,” he begins before getting into “Blessings.”

“Don’t let people place their curses on you for who they want you to be or who they think you are. Whether you’re at the top of the game or a dark place at the bottom, there’s always a path to get to where you gotta go. Anything you go through, you grow through.”

 

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After performing one of his favorites, “Light,” he reflects more on his career trajectory.

“I am a blog-era, mixtape rapper,” he starts. “I got blessed with the Ye cosign and had to build my fan base organically. There were no playlists or streaming like that. I want to shout out all my peers who are still in that era doing their thing. It’s not easy to make it out of there.”

The Detroit rapper then pivots to classics “My Last,” “Marvin & Chardonnay,” “All Me” and “Beware.”

He also used the Tiny Desk to premiere his new song “On Up,” a dedication to him and Jhené Aiko‘s son Noah, what the rapper refers to as “their greatest collaboration” – though he does perform “I Know” as well.  View the full 14-track setlist below.

Setlist:

“Memories”
“Nothing Is Stopping You”
“Blessings”
“Play No Games”
“Light”
“My Last”
“Marvin & Chardonnay”
“All Me”
“Beware”
“I Know”
“Bounce Back”
“One Man Can Change The World”
“On Up”
“I Don’t F*** With You”

His parting gift to the Tiny Desk? His infamous Detroit Tigers/J Dilla baseball cap.

Stream the full performance above.

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