Big Sean just released the video for “Single Again,” his second single of 2019, and the clip has racked up more than 3.15 million views in just three days. The track features ex-girlfriend Jhene Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign, celebrating the notion of independence and freedom from relationships.
The Lawrence Lamont-directed visual simultaneously arrives as a short film featuring standout celebrity appearances from fellow Detroit Instagram comedian HaHa Davis, and actress and singer Ryan Destiny (also from Detroit) alongside real-life actor boyfriend Keith Powers.
The six-minute visual is equipped with many hidden messages (the cons of social media, cheating allegations, not taking things for granted), but the theme of Detroit is one that’s immediately apparent.
Speaking with Variety, Destiny says, “The fact that it was based in Detroit and had so much of Detroit in it meant a lot. And it meant a lot that Sean and Lawrence thought of me for this video — being from Detroit is something we share and are proud of.”
During the video, Destiny is seen with a baby bump. “When I tried on the [fake] pregnant belly for the first time, we cracked up because it literally did nothing for me,” she laughs. “It was so flat that we had to stuff a bunch of clothes into the stomach, so… that secret’s out!”
While we can only assume Destiny’s and Powers’ relationship is underlined by Sean and Aiko’s, the 31-year-old MC did not hesitate in letting the world know his unwavering love for her. After the “Triggered” singer promoted the song to her Twitter page, Sean made sure to publicly reply with his love and appreciation.
Variety caught up with Sean on the set of his debut acting role “Twenties” to discuss how “Single Again” came together, his Detroit roots, and having A$AP Rocky on his forthcoming album.
“Single Again” already looks like a hit.
It’s a fire song to me. The album has so many layers and vibes, that’s just one of them.
What did it mean to have your ex, Jhene Aiko, on it?
Regardless, she’s probably my most frequent collaborator. At that point, all the stuff we’ve been through, it’s unconditional love. I even consider her family, not my ex. I still know how special it is to get her on a song, I don’t take it for granted. And Ty Dolla $ign, for real. He’s really another one who I respect. I don’t know if people all the way see Ty’s true talent, he’s one of the most musical, soulful musicians. He did the vocoder on there, all the backgrounds too. Both of them helped me… because I’m singing a lot. [smiles] They were backing me up, so I appreciate that support.
What was the dynamic like in the studio?
It was easy! I did it two different days with each artist. I was with Ty$ doing a song for his album, then I played him “Single Again.” He’s like “Aw man, I love this song, lemme add something.” Same thing I was in the studio with Jhene, we were playing stuff back and forth. I was like, “You should hop on this,” and she did. The music should speak louder than everything else.
Were you worried at all about the “Single Again” concept? That’s a powerful statement.
Nah, not at all. It’s just something people go through. It ain’t nothing too crazy. When I played it for my dad the first time, he was like, “Yeah! An old playa like me can really relate. It’s good to hear this in a rap song. All the rap songs I hear are degrading or putting people down.” But he’s like, “It’s cool to hear you rap about how you need to work on yourself. I thought that was a real good maturity.” “Thanks dad!”
What was the best part of the video shoot?
Just being in the heart of Detroit. I was one street over from where I grew up on. You can tell the spirit of Detroit is in that video.
I heard you’re paying homage to Blade Icewood (who was fatally shot) with that dance in the video.
That’s an OG dance! Shout out Street Lord Juan, shout out Blade Icewood, OGs in our city who were local superstars. Blade got murdered about 14 years ago. That’s one of his dances he used to do: The “Boss up and get this money” dance. I always be hittin’ it in most of my videos when I get a chance.
Can you give us one exclusive on your upcoming album? Is there a name?
I’m not gonna give you that! [laughs] I’ma have some people on there. I’ll give you an exclusive, I got a fire song I did with [A$AP] Rocky. I really am feeling for my guy right now, my dawg. I really hope things work out in his favor, he’s been over there [in Sweden, awaiting trial on assault charges] for too long. I’m praying for him.
What are your thoughts on Trump trying to support him? Because Lil Yachty was not having it.
Whatever it takes to get him out is how I feel. I don’t want to get into the politics of things, but whatever it takes to get my bro out.