Big Sean Rocks 2024 NFL Draft Kickoff

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INDIO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 22: Big Sean performs at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 22, 2022 in Indio, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella)

In Detroit, the 89th annual NFL Draft was not just about football; it was a celebration of the city’s rich cultural tapestry, with past, present, and future stars from both the gridiron and the music world converging to honor Detroit’s musical heritage.

Rappers Eminem and Big Sean, alongside Motown legend Smokey Robinson, ensured that attendees of the draft festivities didn’t forget Detroit’s profound influence on the music industry. Eminem, in particular, added an extra layer of excitement to the event by announcing his upcoming album, “The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grace),” during the draft broadcast. This surprise announcement ignited anticipation among fans eagerly awaiting the next chapter in Eminem’s storied career.

Meanwhile, Big Sean took center stage as the opener for the nightly NFL Draft Concert Series. Backed by a dynamic ensemble consisting of a DJ, drummer, and keyboard player, Big Sean delivered a riveting performance that captivated the audience. Sporting a Detroit Lions jersey emblazoned with the number 97, paying homage to local hero Aiden Hutchinson, Big Sean’s presence electrified the crowd both inside the opulent Draft Theater and in the bustling public area outside, which boasted a record-setting attendance of over 275,000 fans.

Reflecting on his Detroit roots, Big Sean expressed gratitude for the opportunity to perform in his hometown once again, reminiscing about his early days recording music in local studios. He delighted fans by performing a mix of his greatest hits, spanning from his debut album “Finally Famous” to his latest single “Precision.” Additionally, he paid tribute to his collaborations with fellow artists like Kanye West and Drake, showcasing the diversity and depth of his musical catalog.

Amidst the excitement, Big Sean also took a moment to acknowledge the significance of the NFL Draft, offering words of encouragement to the aspiring athletes destined for greatness. He proudly declared his allegiance to the Detroit Lions, expressing confidence in the team’s future success.

The evening culminated with Eminem’s appearance alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, where they turned the traditional boos aimed at Goodell into cheers of excitement. Eminem’s passionate declaration of support for the Detroit Lions further energized the crowd, as current and former team stars graced the stage to thunderous applause.

As the festivities continued through the weekend, including performances by the Detroit Youth Choir and Andrew Bazzi, the NFL Draft became more than just a sporting event—it became a celebration of Detroit’s vibrant cultural legacy, uniting fans from all walks of life in a shared appreciation for music, football, and the spirit of the Motor City.