By: Megan Kirk
Detroit rapper and hometown hero Big Sean has partnered with McDonald’s for their McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden Mentors Program. Launched in late November, the online series pairs industry leaders and celebrities across multiple fields with aspiring talent to create opportunities and receive one-on-one guidance to reach the next level.
“I’m into giving back and doing it properly, doing it the right way. Doing it in a way that it makes a difference and not just in a way that looks good,” Big Sean says. “We’ve got to make a real difference and change some peoples lives and give them opportunities to go and do better and go further.”
Up-and-coming Michigan rapper Nyla Lewis has been paired with Big Sean and had the opportunity to ask him industry-leading questions. Lewis, who began rapping at age 13, was surprised by the Detroit rapper with a Zoom call, a computer with professional music editing software and three recording session with Roc Nation.
“Being a mentee is truly grateful and I just want to thank McDonald’s for the opportunity and I respect them elevating the Black community and providing opportunities for the next generation,” Lewis says.
Always looking to give back to his community, Big Sean teamed up with McDonald’s in the hopes of sharing his industry experience and guide the next big thing through the recording process. The added bonus came in knowing Lewis was also from Michigan.
“When they introduced me to Nyla, and I found out she was from the crib and saw what she was doing on her own already, it was like oh yeah this is the type of people, like Nyla, she’s the type of person who could really take this valuable information that I’ve been through and take it to a different place and take it further.” Big Sean says of his mentee.
As McDonald’s continues its mission of celebrating Black excellence and uplifting the community, the mentors program is a part of the company’s bigger platform Black and Positively Golden. Aimed at showcasing Blackness in a positive light, and launched in 2019, the initiative is committed uplifting the community and inspiring new leaders.
“Our Golden Mentors series allows us to continue feeding and fostering the communities we serve by elevating future leaders in pursuit of their passions,” said Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director of Cultural Engagement, McDonald’s USA. “We know our customers are seeking valuable information to help take their dreams to the next level, which is why we are honored to offer resources and give them access to industry leaders, right at their fingertips.”
While still a mentee, Lewis is encouraging others to follow their dreams. Sharing her take on reaching the next level, Lewis believes the key to success is staying focused and dedicated.
“Everything is possible. So, if you just honestly put the time in and work hard good things will definitely come out of that. It’ll fall into place,” Lewis says.
The McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden Mentors Program virtual series, which also features gospel artist Kierra Sheard, journalist Jamilah Lemieux and technology activist Ian Michael Brock, can be viewed on Instagram TV @wearegolden. Big Sean and Nyla Lewis will be featured on an upcoming episode airing December 16.
“I’m truly for real, for real excited and happy to be a part of it,” Big Sean shares.