Santiago Leyva (born October 19, 1988), known by his stage name Fashawn, is an American hip hop recording artist from Fresno, California. He first gained major attention after releasing his debut album Boy Meets World in 2009, which was produced entirely by Exile. The album received critical acclaim and landed him on the cover of XXL Magazine's Top 10 Freshmen issue in 2010. Since then, Fashawn has collaborated with other artists and producers such as Nas, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Evidence, Murs, Aloe Blacc, Blu, The Alchemist, and 9th Wonder. In 2014, Fashawn performed the entrance theme to WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley's rematch against Manny Pacquiao.
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Where I'm from, life's a gamble, grab the dice/'Fore I leave, pray to God, then I grab my Nikes
I guess people would categorize hipster rap just by how people look, skinny jeans and fashion rap. I was never that. In my music I never put the emphasis on clothes.
I always loved rapping ever since Snoop said "1-2-3-4," I was repeating lines, but I didn't start writing my own lyrics until I was twelve.
In my community everyone seems to listen or have an interest in what I have to say, what I'm wearing, or what I'm doing. They just follow what I do, I don't tell them to. I just try to lead by example.
They tell me 'find God' like I don't know where He at. And if He lost, then why we followin' Him? Just acknowledge the fact that a Father exists, And a Devil's alive...I'm just caught in the mix.
I don't think my music really provokes that kind of energy that makes people want to grab AKs and rally through the streets. I don't think my music is gangsta in that sense.
It's important for me to try to find new ways to express myself, but at the same time, have integrity, and still be me, and not lose myself in the midst of this crazy Rap that I'm in. It's important, it's critical, to just try things out. I think, mainly, it's just me being fearless, and not being afraid to conquer anything that comes in my path, I guess.