By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by Rob Markman
G.O.O.D. Music’s latest Cruel Summer single “Clique” premiered in full on Thursday after a 30-sec snippet leaked earlier in the week, and Big Sean admits that he was shocked to find out that Jay-Z and Kanye West both ended up on the track with him.
The Detroit rapper explained that he originally recorded his portion of the song in London for Kanye West, and hadn’t heard much about it until a recent phone call informed him that both Jay and Kanye would be included on it.”I did the chorus in London to the beat and ‘Ye liked it or whatever [but] I was the first one to do my verse. So I did my verse first, sent it back to him, and didn’t hear anything back.
The next time he bumped into 2 Chainz, the Atlanta rapper gave him a thumbs up on the track, but there was still no update from Kanye himself. “Then I get a call a little bit later after that, and somebody told me that Hov is on the record and I was like, ‘damn,’ ” he continued. “They were like Hov and ‘Ye hopped on it, so I’m thinking, ‘Ah, they’re probably gonna take my verse off even though I laced it’ — you know, the Throne, Kanye and Jay … but then I get the call like, ‘Nah, it’s you Kanye and Jay-Z.'”
Big Sean has worked closely with Kanye West for some time now, and his debut album included collaborations with everyone from Rick Ross to Chris Brown, but this was something extra special. “I remember the first thing I thought was, ‘Damn, I’m excited as hell,” and then I was like, ‘Damn, I wish I ain’t have to do my verse first,” he added, laughing. “But I think it’s well-represented and it’s on the G.O.O.D. Music album and it’s on my next album too.”
The Hit-Boy-produced track is heavy on drums and finds all three rappers bragging about the strength of their clique, with Jay-Z spitting, “Yeah I’m talking ‘Ye, yeah I’m talking Rih, yeah I’m talking Bey/ n—a, I’m talking me/ yeah, boss sh– I ain’t talking Kelis.” Can’t argue with that.
“It was an honor to be on that song with those dudes,” Sean said, recalling another memorable moment that took place last weekend in Philadelphia. “When we [were] walking off the stage at Made in America in Philly, and we were walking to the dressing room, Kanye was like, ‘Man, I’m glad you rapped for me at that radio station,’ and I said, ‘Sh– man, me too.’ ” The 24-year-old was referencing his 2005 encounter with West outside of a Detroit radio station that eventually led to his record deal.
Big Sean is currently working on his sophomore album, but he dropped his Detroit mixtape earlier this week to tide fans over until its release.