Rising-star rapper keeps vision

2011-06-23T00:00:00Z Rising-star rapper keeps visionBy Cathalena E. Burch Cburch@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star

Here's the price of finally being famous: exhaustion.

Up-and-coming Detroit rapper Big Sean zips across the country in a tour bus with five other guys and plays to sold-out amphitheaters with one of rap's rising stars.

And in between shows with Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean - aka Sean Anderson - sneaks off for a radio show in another city to promote his debut album, "Finally Famous," due out Tuesday.

"I'm super-tired. I'm exhausted," he admitted during a phone call last Friday from Greensboro, N.C., where he was doing one of those radio shows.

"Finally Famous" has been two years in the making and comes after a pair of mix tapes of the same name that Anderson has released since Kanye West signed him to Good Music in 2007.

The album has been as much an evolution as Anderson himself, who met West at a Detroit radio station in 2005. He rapped for the impresario then slipped him a demo tape. Two years later, West came through with a record deal.

Anderson was supposed to release "Finally Famous" last year, but the record "changed so much. ... A lot of songs didn't make it. A lot of songs I used for other things like mix tapes and stuff like that."

"It's been a crazy journey. It got frustrating sometimes, but sometimes times are just frustrating," the 23-year-old reasoned. "You work through it. As long as you keep that vision you have that you believe everything will work out perfect, it will be fine. It always does, you know."

The album got a big buzz push this spring when shoemaker Addidas licensed the song "I Do It" for its ad campaign with Derrick Rose. The first single, "My Last" featuring Chris Brown, is adding to the buzz as it blazes up the charts. It was at No. 4 on Billboard's Hip Hop/Rap charts this week, poised to become a No. 1 hit.

"That would be great," Anderson said. "I'm glad that I was able to have a song that broke through on radio that people liked. That's all I really could ask for, and that's what I really was missing."

Anderson said "Almost Famous" is a soundtrack to his life. He raps on it about partying, girls and attaining his goals in the spirit of the Detroit rappers who came before him, including J Dilla and Eminem.

"Some (raps) are really meaningful. Some are very inspirational. Some are meaningless more so. Some are just about partying and having fun," he said. "You listen to it and you can hear a story of a kid who realized what he wanted to do in life and started doing it, started living his dreams. It's true to me in every sense."

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