Big Sean, one of the most popular artists in hip-hop since his debut album in 2011 “Finally Famous,” returned to his home state to perform at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center on November 20th, bringing his North American tour to a close. On Dec. 2nd, he will start the leg of his European tour until Dec. 18th.
Although the convocation center has the capacity to hold 9,500 people, the event wasn’t sold out. The remainder of the unsold tickets were available at the door for sale. Still fans came in support of the Detroit native whose album “Hall of Fame” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard rap charts, selling over 109,000 copies according to the Nielsen Soundscan. Big Sean was also accompanied by special guests J-Drew, Darrin Mclaren, Tony Trice and Icewear Vezzo who served as opening acts for the show.
EMU student Gabrielle Burgess Smith attended her first rap concert, which was something new for her to add to her college experience. On the other hand, she was surprised to see opening act J-Drew in a rap environment with his Christian background which took her by surprise.
“The Big Sean concert was overall good,” Smith said. “I am used to attending neo-soul or R&B concerts so it was a new experience for me. I was familiar with who J-Drew was because he is the son of Detroit’s pastor Bishop J. Drew Sheard. I am so used to him doing Christian music that it was a shock to see him rapping secular! Personally, I think he should stick to beat making. I didn’t care for the opening acts entirely, I came to see Big Sean!”
Kia Hughes, a native of Ypsilanti on the other hand enjoyed seeing the rapper but thought there were many shortcomings with the length of the show and the quality of the opening acts.
“Honestly Big Sean did good,” Hughes said. “I just wished that he had a longer set [and] the opening acts were not my cup of tea. The only one I knew was J-Drew Sheard and he didn’t do that well to me. Overall, I liked the show but it could have been better. The Big Sean, Pusha T and Wale show back in 2010 was way better!”
She also mentioned her disappointment with the lack of a celebrity guest that was advertised on concert fliers and how the sound issues ruined the experience.
“I’ve been to many Eastern concerts and the sounds has always been good. This time it was horrible. I couldn’t understand a word the acts were saying.”
Big Sean won the Best New Artist award at the 2012 BET Awards, GQ’s 2012 Hottest Rookie award and was nominated for two Grammy’s for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his feature on Kanye West’s “Mercy” with Pusha T and 2 Chainz. He was also nominated for the Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and the BET Hip Hop Awards where he was won for nine awards including CD of the Year for “Finally Famous” and Best Mixtape for “Detroit.”
If you attended the concert, what were your thoughts?
Follow Ashley G. Terrell on Twitter @AshleyGTerrell