This headbanging, fast-paced track finds Sean venting a lot of angry feelings about a girl that messed with him. The song was released soon after the rapper called off his engagement to Glee star Naya Rivera, but he insisted to MTV News the song isn't about her.
"The funny thing about 'I Don't F--- With You' is I actually wrote that while I was in a relationship," he said. "I wrote that when I was with my ex. And then obviously when a few things went down, I went back and changed a couple of words. But mainly the song was already there."
Sean told Billboard magazine it's a song that he believes many people can relate to. "I feel like it's an anthem for everybody," he noted. "It's an anthem in every way shape and form, if you don't f--k with somebody from your past, right now, or the other way around, somebody doesn't f--k with you."
Production credits are shared by DJ Mustard, Kanye West, DJ Dahi and Key Wane. Mustard was asked by The Boombox
if he minds the split credit. "Nah, not at all," he replied. "I'm all about making big records. So if it takes 20 people to make a hit record or if it takes 10… Sometimes it only takes one but whatever is gonna make the record sound better than it did, I'm down for it."
Mustard had created the entire beat before the others added to it. "The beat was pretty much done," he said. I guess Kanye came in with a beat at the end and he did his 'Kanye thing' to it, to make it bigger than what it was and we just really came out…"
"Well," he paused, "Dahi was on it, Key Wane added a sample to it and it came out as a really good record."
Bay Area rapper E-40 spits the second verse. He is a founding member of the rap group The Click, and the founder of Sick Wid It Records. E-40 was one of Big Sean's favorite rappers when he was growing up. The Detroit MC recalled to HighSnobiety
: "My older brother used to play his music for me all the time back when I was a shorty… I was like seven years old, eight years old listening to E-40, Tupac, Snoop [Dogg] and [Notorious] B.I.G.… It was great man, you could only imagine how it took my appreciation for him even further – he sounded better than he's ever sounded."
The football-themed music video was directed by Lawrence Lamont and portrays Big Sean as a quarterback during a football game. The clip contains notable cameos by DJ Mustard as the running back, Kanye West as the coach, Teyana Taylor as the head cheerleader and E-40 as the suited-up commentator. Internet sensations Simone Shepherd and Khalil Underwood feature as well.
Sports fans slammed Big Sean for the video as it was filled with inaccuracies, such as wide receivers and quarterbacks wearing the wrong numbers on their jerseys and swigging Red Bulls on the sidelines instead of Gatorade or water.
This was Big Sean's third #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, following his 2011 song "Marvin & Chardonnay
" and his Cruel Summer
collaboration with Kanye West, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, "Mercy
The song stayed at the summit for eight weeks, Sean's biggest hit on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally. "It's the non tangible rap element that made it a hit," Def Jam executive No I.D. told Billboard
magazine. "The fact that everyone feels like that about somebody. If you're not a rap fan, you can still understand and relate to it, out of the gate. It was a record I pushed and fought for and everyone else in the building felt the same way."
Justin Bieber actually had DJ Mustard's beat for this song first. The producer told MTV News how Big Sean ended up recording the tune. "We all just didn't communicate; nobody communicated with my team," he explained to MTV News. "[There's] not no hard feelings or anything like that. It's not a beef or no crazy s--t like that, but we didn't communicate. I was excited about the record."
"When I got in with Sean, Sean had already picked the record," Mustard added. "I'm like, 'Dang, Justin got this record.' And I always kept telling my management like, 'Yo, they got this record,' and everybody was like, 'Well, we reaching, and nobody else is reaching out to us. So what do you wanna do?'"
"And I was like, you know what, just give it to Sean, because me and Sean got a relationship," he concluded. "And I ended up doing four songs on Sean's album."
After denying the track was about his ex-girlfriend Naya Rivera, Sean finally admitted to Complex magazine that their breakup was at least, in part, the inspiration for the song. The majority of the cut, he explained, was written while the two were still together. However, the final verse, especially the line, "And every day I wake up celebrating s--t, why? Cause I just dodged a bullet from a crazy bitch," are celebrating his escape from the relationship.