when popular producers take young, unknown MCs under their wing and
unleash them on the industry, the results make Hip-Hop history. Puffy
did it for Biggie, Dre did it for Eminem, and Large Professor did it
for Nas. In 2007, enter Sean Kingston, the first artist to be
signed by super-producer Jonathan J.R. Rotem (50 Cent, Brittney
Spears, The Game). At the prime age of 17, Kingston (born Sean
Anderson) is anything but your average teen rapper. His boasting
bravado, street-smart swagger, and high profile collaborations will
have even the most seasoned listener fooled.
Combining his various musical stylings into one undeniable sound,
Kingston is currently grinding to prepare his yet-untitled debut album
for a third-quarter release. AllHipHop.com recently caught up with the
prodigy to discuss his come-up, what people can expect from the album,
and why Sean Kingston says hes going to be around for a minute.
AllHipHop.com: So you were born in Miami and raised in Jamaica. What
was it like transitioning from Miami to Jamaica at such a young age?
Sean Kingston: It was very harsh, just the whole moving situation. But
it was fun overall, Jamaica is my second home. I love Jamaica. Thats
the place to be, man, its a beautiful island. I was young at the time,
but it influenced me a lot. Now I do my whole Reggae-rap thing, it
blessed me in my music so it was a good situation.
AllHipHop.com: Now your first single Colors has you alongside
heavyweights The Game and Rick Ross. Was it natural to jump in the
studio with them right out the gate?
Sean Kingston: J.R. [Rotem] has a lot of connections with these guys;
he did Doctors Advocate for Game, Push It for Rick Ross. So when I
inked he deal and got with J.R. he got me to deal with these dudes
cause he liked what I came up with. So we in the studio one day vibing
with the track, and we was like, This is it, this is the track, its
crazy. Then I came up with the hook, and he was like Wow, colors.
Thats kind of catchy. But thats [commonly associated with a classic song by] Ice-T, [and] L.A. so we gotta get a West Coast rapper on it.
And we had to choose between Snoop and Game. Snoop was overseas
performing at the time, and Game is one of my favorites. I was like
thatd be dope to get Game on there. So we got Game in the studio, he
was vibing to the track, so we did it ASAP. And it came out to be hot.
Rick Ross did his verse and it was just a great situation. Theyre both
like my older brothers, know what Im saying? Game calls me his
protégé, so thats my n***a. Shouts out to Game.
AllHipHop.com: Are you guys doing a video for the song anytime soon?
Sean Kingston: Naw, the whole idea of Colors is just a street
lifestyle record. Where we going with it is like, What colors do you
bleed? Its like every flag in this country got a different color, so
its more than just a record we sampled from Ice-T, its like a street
culture record. So to answer your question, no were not shooting a
video for it. My first big single that we are shooting a video for, and
Sonys getting behind it is Beautiful Girl Its very crazy right now.
AllHipHop.com: From what Ive heard, you grew up listening to your
moms favorite rapper Slick Rick, and Ice Cube. Who else has influenced
you to make the music that youre doing today?
Sean Kingston: Lauryn Hill. Im a big, big big big, big fan of Lauryn
Hill. Growing up with the whole Fugees movement and whaever, it just
really influenced me. Just the vibe of the music, I really look up to
that. And shes just a real powerful writer, and I like people that
make real music. Its a whole real recognize real type of situation,
shes a real person making real music. And thats like me. She makes
music to inspire other people and make them feel good and be like
Lets go do this, lets go do that. What Im trying to do, Im trying
to inspire other kids, other teenagers around the country to do what I
AllHipHop.com: So you shopped the deal, got the joint venture between
Epic and J.R.s Beluga Heights label for the new album. The business
relationship is obviously good, but so far whats the situation in the
studio between you guys?<
Sean Kingston: Man, I dont have no words to describe it. We have
chemistry thats out this world. All the beats he makes just for me. He
wont make em be like, Sean, listen to it. He makes it just for me,
and the beats are phenomenal, next level type stuff. So hes bringing
next level, and Im bringing next level, its just out the world. And
thats what were trying to make. Im not trying to follow Jay-Z. Well,
thats one of my favorite artists, but Im not trying to follow. Im
trying to be Sean Kingston and just be me and make great music.
AllHipHop.com: No doubt. Now J.R. is producing a bunch of tracks, but
youve also got some other big name producers working on the album
Sean Kingston: Yeah man. We got DJ Khaled, we got The Runners, we got
Just Blaze, DJ Clue, Cool & Dre. Were making real music.
AllHipHop.com: How far along are you in the recording and track selection process?
Sean Kingston: We gonna cut five more tracks, right now we sttin on at
least a good 30 tracks. We been recording out the ass, just every day,
recording. And I love being in the studio, I just like the whole
environment. When Im not doing nothing I love to write, just be in my
room vibing and writing. So once we have the 35 tracks, we gonna sit
back and analyze them, pick the best 15 or 16 and just call it a wrap.
AllHipHop.com: Being only 17, and with success right out the gate,
people must be making expectations for you as far as filling a certain
spot in the game
Sean Kingston: Yeah man, Ive been doing interviews with other people
and theyre like, Oh youre young, do you think people are gonna look
at you like Bow Wow, or Romeo or one of these young dudes in the
industry? But I dont see that. Im a fan of Bow Wow, I think hes
good at what he does, but Im Sean Kingston. Im me, I write all my own
music. My music comes from me, my heart and my soul. I write all my own
music, so thats one. Two, I do music for everybody. Right now, I gave
myself my own name, Sean Kingston the Teen President. When I do music,
I want all the teenagers to look up to me and be like Yo, this kid is
dope. But I want to make music for grown people to vibe to. So Im
trying to make music and great albums, and have longevity, not just
drop the single and just bounce. Im tryin to be here for a minute.
AllHipHop.com: So Epic came with deal that you signed, but what were
the other labels throwing at you? Any gimmicks as far as a young guy
coming in the game with hype?
Sean Kingston: Not really, I didnt have no problems. When I was
shopping the demo with Beluga Heights, it was like a bidding war going
on with all these labels trying to holler at me. Capitol, Warner
Brothers, Def Jam, Universal, all these labels. But I really sat down
with Epic and felt they vibe, like they whole staff over there is
great. I feel comfortable, I feel at home, they see the vision we see.
They believe in me, they believe in the product, they believe in
everything we bringing to the table. Theyve given me my own creative
space, so I did the deal with Sony and theyve been treating me good.
All the other labels is good and they do what they do, but I as an
artist felt like Sony was the one that would carry me to where I needed
AllHipHop.com: So are there plans for upcoming shows that people can check for you at?
Sean Kingston: Yeah, Ill be doing the Hot 97 Next To Blow concert in
New York City, so everyone in New York City can check me out there,
Ima shut it down right quick. And Im supposed to be on this MTV tour,
Im not sure yet, but Im gonna do a lot of promotions and do mad
shows. So look out for the album, its coming out this summer. We dont
have a name for the album yet, but itll be out this summer for sure,
for sure. Look out for my first single Beautiful Girls, its just
crazy. If you need any more information, look out for
MySpace.com/SeanKingston, and like I said Ima be here forever, so
lookout for the kid.