Last week, Big Sean returned with his epic and long-awaited new album Detroit 2, featuring Post Malone, Eminem, Travis Scott, the late Nipsey Hussle, and many more. On Tuesday, the Motor City-bred rapper supported the effort by performing one of its standout tracks, “Harder Than My Demons, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
But it was more than just your standard turn at the mic — Big Sean used his airtime to convey a whole story about hardship and redemption. Broadcasting from a remote studio, the MC began his performance on a set made to look like a retro suburban living room, filled with old friends. The background then went completely black, with the exception of two figures verbally fighting in the distance behind Big Sean. To close, a large spotlight was shined down on the rapper, like a message from a higher power.
The mini narrative mirrored similar themes found on Detroit 2, as Big Sean later told Fallon. According to him, the new album came together after confronting his mental health issues. “I felt broken inside, I felt like I hit a wall,” he recounted his feelings of being “burned out”. To bounce back, he sought therapy and took a break from music to better assess his life. The time away eventually led him right back to the studio, but with a rejuvenated spirit.
“We all come to a point in our life where we have to come back to our passion,” said Big Sean. “When you do something for over 10 years… you lose some of that passion. You have to learn how to relight it.”
Elsewhere in his short chat with Fallon, the rapper discussed how Dave Chappelle ended up on his album (hint: it had something to do with his father). He also talked about what it was like working with Stevie Wonder, whom he described as “the greatest singer and songwriter of all time. It’s not even a question.”
Watch the performance and interview segments below.