In an interview with VladTV, singer and producer Mike Posner detailed meeting Kanye West through Big Sean. Explaining the circumstances in which Kanye first listened to his music, Posner says the feedback “broke my heart and inspired me.”
“I had been living in New York,” he said. “I had just finished my freshman year at Duke University. I was working at Def Jux for El-P. I was his intern then so I was like doing his cat litter, taking out his trash. Shout outs to him, when he heard my music he was like ‘Bro you’re gonna blow up.’ So I was back in Michigan and Sean calls me. He thought I was in New York. He goes, ‘Hey man, come to Glow and the Dark tour ‘cause Hov’s gonna be there and I could probably introduce you to these guys if you wanna go.’ I was like ‘Yeah I wanna go but I’m back home.’ He was like, ‘Damn.’ I was like, ‘Well I should probably fly back huh?’ He was like, ‘Yeah you should.’
“So I booked a flight,” he continued. “I didn’t have like money or anything at the time but I booked the flight [with] just like a little out of my savings. We went to the show—or no we went to the studio first. Sean was like, ‘Just wait here in the lounge and then we’ll go to the show.’ I knew Kanye was in the studio and Sean was in there. I could hear them listening to music, listening to Sean’s stuff. I heard Sean play a song we had done together called ‘Who Knows’ that I had produced and sung the hook on. And I’m just in this lounge wilding out ‘cause I knew if Kanye really liked it this could change my whole life. So they walk out the studio, we go to the elevator. Sean’s like, ‘Kanye this is Mike.’ He’s like ‘Cool man. Nice to meet you.’ [Sean’s] like, ‘He did the song that you just heard.’ He was like, ‘Okay.’ Nobody’s really saying anything, so I was like, ‘Did you like it?’ He was like, ‘Nah, not really man...Maybe it could be on someone else’s album like Lupe but it’s not right for Sean.’"
Describing his own internal response to the criticism, Sean says the comments made him want to get back in the studio.
“It simultaneously broke my heart and inspired me,” he said. “I had to ride the elevator down with these guys and the whole time I just couldn’t wait to go back in the studio. I tell that story a lot because it wasn’t something I had to think about. My heart just knew I had more music in me. I just wanted to show him. I wasn’t mad at him. I met him before he’s always like a nice guy. It inspired me so much.”
“The second part of the story, I obviously got signed and had a couple big songs,” he said. “I saw him two years later at an awards show. [Someone] was like, ‘Kanye you remember Mike Posner.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, Mike Posner. Man, I just want to tell you I really like some of your songs.’ He didn’t remember the first part of the story. I was like, ‘Bro, really?’ He was like, ‘Yeah.’ I tried to retell this story to him. He was like, ‘Man, that’s incredible.’”