The highly anticipated mixtape caused the mixtape site DatPiff to crash upon the mixtapes eventual release. Detroit was viewed 1.5 million times on the day of release and was downloaded close to 700,000 - with 500,000 downloads within three hours. It has been downloaded over a million times.
Sean first announced the mixtape on August 20, 2012 via Twitter and a YouTube video titled "Big Sean Mixtape Announcement 1972".  Big Sean released three song previews in the shape of short music videos as promotion before the mixtape release; "How It Feel" on August 21, "24 Karats of Gold" on August 28 and "RWT" on September 4. Sean paid for the expenses of the videos himself. The title of the mixtape pays homage to Sean's hometown of Detroit.