Big Sean Opens Up About The Depression That Nearly Caused Him To Retire From Rapping

Big Sean’s Rap hiatus is over as the Detroit, Michigan MC recently was a guest on Joe Budden’s Pull Up. In his first interview of 2020, the G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam artist spoke about dealing with depression, losing passion for rapping, and closing himself off to his family. This came after Budden had criticized Sean for allegedly exploiting mental health issues. The two subsequently spoke, leading Joe to recant his comments on his podcast. Now, the two artists talked at length to reveal the realism behind Sean’s hiatus.

“I am nervous to sit and talk, I haven’t done it in years,” Big Sean says in the conversation’s opening moments. “I didn’t feel like myself. I’m sure a lot of people go through this. I’ve been rapping since I was 11 years old. I realized [that] 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.”

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Anxiety and depression disorders alone affect nearly 40 million people every year, and no celebrity is exempt from this number. “I didn’t have the passion for life anymore,” Sean shares with Budden, who has rapped and spoken about his own battles with depression. “I write all my stuff, I don’t have people sending me records. I have to think about 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.”

The platinum, two-time #1 artist continues, “I realized I had to take care of myself first. I woke up every day and was over life. Literally.” At the age of 30, which is a milestone for many Black men, the change was life-altering for him. “I moved into Slash from Guns N’ Roses’ old house. This is my dream house. I spent a year remodeling. [The] 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.”

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Things got scary for Big Sean in a real way. “My relationship at the time with my family was completely disconnected.” He would later share with Joe Budden that he told his mother he wanted some distance from her, a decision that even surprised him. It proved to be a choice most beneficial in lifting him up from his dark place of hopelessness.

Elsewhere in the interview, Big Sean refuted reports that he had been beefing with “Control” and “Holy Key” collaborator Kendrick Lamar. “One of the people that, especially after Nipsey [Hussle] died, was important for me to connect with was Kendrick [Lamar],” Sean says. “Me and Kendrick got a history…a relationship as peers. When this whole Big Sean [vs.] Kendrick beef was going on, it was something I wish I would have spoken up [about].” Sean refutes that “No More Interviews” or “Me, Myself, and I” were subliminally aimed at the Compton, California superstar.

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“So then I remember going online and seeing like, ‘Oh, is he talking about Kendrick?’ ‘Cause I’m talking about people who rap fast. … I wasn’t beefing with nobody. I’m just rapping n***a. It wasn’t like a specific person, or else I would’ve said his name.”