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Big Sean surprises Grand Rapids rapper with virtual mentoring

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Big Sean has had a busy year, with a chart-topping new album, "Detroit 2," and guest appearances for Megan Thee Stallion, Jack Harlow, Ty Dolla $ign and others.

But the rapper recently took time out to share some of his experiences with up-and-coming Grand Rapids artist Nyla Lewis for the McDonald's Black & Positively Golden Mentors program.

Sean, the second mentor in the program, chatted with Lewis during a virtual exchange that can be seen starting Wednesday, Dec. 16, via @wearegolden on IGTV and Instagram. "When I got approached by McDonald's, I heard 'em out (and) once I sat with the team I saw how much they wanted to be a change in someone's life," Sean, who operates the charitable Sean Anderson Foundation with his mother, said via Zoom earlier in the week. "The fact they wanted to be so involved and uplifting the black community, I respect that. A lot of big corporations aren't like that...I'm for real excited and happy to be part of it.

"Then when they introduced me to Nyla and I found out she was from the crib and saw what she was doing already...she's the type of person who can take this valuable information I've been through and take it to a different place."

During the virtual session Lewis, 19, also received a computer equipped with music editing software as well as another meeting with representatives of Jay Z's Roc Nation management and marketing firm.

"It's definitely a good thing," Lewis said during the same Zoom call. "Everything is possible. If you just honestly put the time in, you work hard...good things will definitely come from that. It'll fall into place."

Sean added that his primary advice to Lewis and other aspiring artists is to follow their own instincts and be true to their creative vision. "When you're right in your heart, when you're doing things for the right reason, you're gonna get your opportunity, you're gonna get that time to prove yourself -- whatever way that may be," he explains. "It's a marathon. It's not overnight. I could be overnight for some people...but it's a marathon. Whatever path you're on, it's your path."

More information about the program can be found at blackandpositivelygolden.com.

Sean has also continued to make new music since the Sept. 4 release of "Detroit 2," and he said he's looking forward to moving forward into 2021.

"In a year like this...when you go through these moments you...got to wonder, 'Is this a cocoon? Are we ready to come out of it -- bigger and brighter and greater and an elevated version of ourselves?'

"We'll never have a time like this again, probably. Maybe the reason (this happened) is to go explore inner space a little bit, to do things you always wanted to do, the changes you wanted to make in your life. Maybe this is the time to do that."

Web Site: www.blackandpositivelygolden.cm

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