Saucy Santana is the moment. The 28-year-old rapper, who has made waves for his hit songs like “Walk”, “Material Girl,” and “Shisha,” his flamboyant style, and his wildly-entertaining antics, is impossible to miss. Most superstars are. Over the past two years, Saucy Santana—born Rashad Spain—has established himself as someone to watch. Starting off as a makeup artist for the rap duo City Girls, Saucy Santana quickly grew in popularity for his funny online exchanges with rapper Yung Miami, becoming responsible for catchphrases like “Caresha please!” and “What’s Big, Sweetie?” Soon thereafter, Santana began to release his own music, finding mainstream success with the 2020 song, “Walk Em Like A Dog.”
Growing up in Florida, he attributes his sound—a style he describes as “women empowerment” anthems mixed with a little bit of “talking trash” and “not taking no for an answer”—to early-2000’s rap sensations Trina, Jacki-O, and Khia. Unlike many of his sources of inspiration, Santana identifies as gay—a rarity in the world of hip-hop. When rapper Lil Nas X came out as gay in 2019 on the heels of his (now) 16x-platinum single “Old Town Road” it made major headlines across the globe and opened doors for more young, Black, LGBTQ+ rappers like Santana. (The two even have even joined forces on a forthcoming song together called “Down Souf Hoes,” expected to come out later this year).
Santana has since become a leading voice in the LGBTQ+ community, becoming one of the faces of Coach’s annual PRIDE campaign, and landing Teen Vogue and PAPER magazine covers in June. “I’m proud to be iconic to people, or to be making history to people or people seeing me as a future icon or future legend,” he says. “Because I’m opening a door for my community, people of my culture.”
In the video above, the rapper and social media sensation speaks with TIME about his music, his ‘dress’ and his ‘drip’, and what’s next for his career.
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