Fashawn

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Fashawn
Fashawn performing in 2013. Photo by Andy Gonzalez.
Background information
Birth name Santiago Leyva
Also known as Fash, The Phenom, The F
Born (1988-10-27) October 27, 1988 (age 25)
Origin Fresno, California, USA
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, emcee
Years active 2006–present
Labels The IAN Group (current), One Records
Associated acts Planet Asia, Evidence, Murs, The Alchemist, Exile, Blu, J Cole
Website www.fashawn.ca

Santiago Leyva (born October 27, 1988), better known as Fashawn or Fash, is an American rapper 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's Top 10 Freshmen issue in 2010.[1] Fashawn has collaborated with other rappers and producers such as J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Evidence, Murs, Planet Asia, Blu, The Alchemist, and 9th Wonder. Most recently in 2014, Fashawn performed the entrance theme to WBO welterweight champion (at the time) Timothy Bradley's rematch against Manny Pacquiao,[2] and was introduced by Nas to a sold-out crowd at SXSW where he performed material from his upcoming sophomore album The Ecology.[3]

Biography[edit]

Early life and musical beginnings[edit]

Fashawn was born in Fresno, California, where he had a rough childhood due to his father being incarcerated for a long period of time, while his single mother also dealt with a drug addiction. At eight years of age, Fashawn and his sister were both placed in a group home for sometime, before their Uncle Roy decided to take them into his custody as a father figure. Fashawn recalls writing his first rhyme at eight years old, and became fully engrossed in writing by the year 2000. In 2006, Fashawn released his first mixtape Grizzly City, catching the attention of fellow Fresno emcee Planet Asia who invited him to go on the road with him. Knowing the opportunity that presented him, Fashawn dropped out of school and pursued his dream. From 2007 to 2008, he established his presence throughout the Central California hip-hop scene, working with manager Aren Hekimian and releasing multiple mixtapes including The Phenom, Grizzly City 2, The Phenom 2, Higher Learning, and One Shot One Kill, which was put out by Orisue Clothing. One Shot One Kill was well-received by both fans and hip-hop websites, including 2DopeBoyz and DatPiff, gaining him more attention and momentum as an upcoming artist.

2009-2012: Boy Meets World, XXL cover, This Generation[edit]

In 2009, Fashawn performed throughout the United States with various hip-hop acts, including separate tours with Ghostface Killah and The Grouch. On September 24, 2009, he released a project produced entirely by The Alchemist titled The Antidote to get fans hyped up for his debut solo album.

On October 22, 2009, Fashawn released his first full-length solo album titled Boy Meets World produced entirely by Exile. The album received critical acclaim, and Fashawn was praised for his ability to articulate the inner struggles and dreams of a young kid growing up in a tough environment. XXL Magazine gave the album an XL rating, concluding that Boy Meets World "is a strong debut from such a young MC, and it resonates a lot more than the work of some rappers decades his senior.".[4] In March 2010, Fashawn graced the cover of XXL's Top 10 Freshmen issue, standing alongside Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole, Big Sean, Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock, Freddie Gibbs, and others. This represented a prestigious benchmark for upcoming rappers who demonstrated great potential and success.

Betwen 2010 to 2011, Fashawn continued to embark on various tours with Wiz Khalifa, Talib Kweli, and Brother Ali. He also performed at the Paid Dues and Rock The Bells festivals alongside Blu and Exile. On February 16, 2011, he released a mixtape called Higher Learning Vol. 2, which spawned two videos, "Down That Road" and "Big Dreams" produced by J. Cole. Fashawn also created his own strain of medical marijuana which he coined Grizzly City Kush.

On September 25, 2012, Fashawn and underground hip-hop legend Murs released a collaborative album called This Generation. The album was produced entirely by Beatnick and K-Salaam. Fashawn and Murs performed many tracks together at various shows to help promote the album, including Rock The Bells 2012. On November 17, 2012, Fashawn organized a hip-hop festival in his hometown of Fresno, California called Grizzly Fest 2012, which featured performances by himself, Murs, Husalah, Strong Arm Steady and many local talent and skateboarders.[5] On November 20, 2012, he released his eleventh mixtape Champagne and Styrofoam Cups which included the song "Medicine Man" featuring Wiz Khalifa.

2013-present: Support from Nas, Pacquiao vs. Bradley II, The Ecology[edit]

In 2013, Fashawn continued to have a notable presence in various musical and mainstream outlets. He performed at various major hip-hop festivals such as Paid Dues, Rock the Bells, and Hip Hop Kemp where he joined Kendrick Lamar on stage for a duo freestyle session.[6] On November 6, 2013, Fashawn released a video for a new song called "The Beginning", produced by Evidence and directed by both Evidence and Punit Dhesi. On December 9, 2013, Fashawn's artistry was the focus feature in a web episode of OTW Perspectives by Vans.[7]

On March 24, 2014, rap icon Nas brought out Fashawn during the Mass Appeal showcase at SXSW 2014 in Austin, Texas, where Fashawn performed a new song "Fuck the World" in front of the sold-out crowd. During a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session in 2014, Nas mentioned Fashawn as one of two contemporary artists that had recently caught his ear (the other artist being Bishop Nehru).[8]

On April 12, 2014, during the infamous WBO welterweight title rematch Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the champion Timothy Bradley appointed Fashawn to lead him into the ring while performing "Champion" produced by Exile. "What I like about this is that it is real hip-hop," Bradley said in regards to Fashawn's big performance. "It is about heart and character, not about partying it up in a club or all that kind of stuff that so many records are about."

Currently, Fashawn is scheduled to release his long-anticipated second full-length solo album The Ecology in 2014. In an April 2014 interview, Fashawn stated, "The Ecology has been a concept that started at least five years ago for me. I took the time to really work on this project because I knew that it would be important not just for my career, but for hip-hop. There could be no better time for all these blessings to be coming my way, and I'm just so happy to say that The Ecology will be coming out this year."[9]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Collaboration Albums[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

  • Grizzly City Vol. 1 (2006)
  • The Phenom Vol. 1 (2007)
  • Grizzly City Vol. 2 (2007)
  • The Phenom Vol. 2 (2008)
  • One Shot One Kill (2008) (presented by Mick Boogie and Terry Urban)
  • Higher Learning Vol. 1 (2008)
  • Ode To Illmatic (2010) (presented by DJ Green Lantern)
  • Grizzly City Vol. 3 (2010) (presented by DJ Skee)
  • Higher Learning Vol.2 (2011)
  • Champagne and Styrofoam Cups (2012)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • "Life Is Too Short" from Mick Boogie's The Honor Roll
  • "Because I'm Black" from Leaders of the new School's Back 2 the Basics
  • "Buyer's Guide" from Mick Boogie & DJ Treat's Leaders of the New Cool
  • "Going Back to Cali" from Mick Boogie & Terry Urban's tribute Unbelievable: The Notorious Edition
  • "Game Goofy" from Planet Asia's Jewelry Box Sessions (also featuring Diego Redd)
  • "Let Go (My Life)" from Soul Assassins' Intermission
  • "I Ain't Running" from Krondon's Let Em Live
  • "7:30" from Chace Infinite's' I Would Have Killed This Mixtape (produced by DJ Khalil)
  • "Recognize" from Evidence's The Layover Mixtape (also featuring Chace Infinite)
  • "The Far Left" from Evidence's The Layover EP (also featuring The Alchemist)
  • "Arcade Fly (remix)" from U-N-I's Before There Was Love (also featuring Wildabeast, 6th Sense, Buff1 and Donny Goines)
  • "Beautiful Day (remix)" from U-N-I's: Before There Was love (also featuring Big Pooh, Evidence, Aloe Blacc, Kes Kaos, Mickey Factz and Theo)
  • "Pulp Fiction Part 1" from U-N-I's A Love Supreme
  • "Allready" from the Grouch's Three Eyes Off the Time (also featuring Mistah F.A.B.)
  • "Questions" from Strong Arm Steady's In Search of Stoney Jackson (also featuring Planet Asia)
  • "The Coast" from Statik Selektah's 100 Proof (The Hangover) (also featuring Evidence and Kali)
  • "Dream Sequence" from Blame One's Mr. Science Presents Leaks & Gemz (also featuring Exile)
  • "Bootleg Liquor" from Balance's I Do It for Hip Hop (also featuring Thurzday and Mistah F.A.B.)
  • "Aces High" from Rakaa's Crown Of Thorns (also featuring Evidence and Defari)
  • "Wassup Wassup" from Gangrene's (The Alchemist & Oh No) Gutter Water (also featuring Evidence)
  • "Kinetic World" from Kero One's Kinetic World
  • "Plead The Fifth" from Zion I & The Grouch's Heroes In The Healing Of The Nation (also featuring Codany Holiday & Casual)
  • "Same Folks" from Evidence's Cats & Dogs
  • "Hearing The Melody" from 9th Wonder's The Wonder Years (also featuring Skyzoo & King Mez)
  • "Fuck Rappers" from Planet Asia's Black Belt Theatre (also featuring Willie The Kid)
  • "Change" from Sepalot's Chasing Clouds
  • "So Real" from Devin Mile's Finding My Own
  • "Mr. Polite" from Notes To Self It Used To Be Dark (Recoil)
  • "Mt. Money" with Wiz Khalifa
  • "Highs and Lows" from Chasm's This Is How We Never Die (also featuring Solo & David Dallas)
  • "Jeune Prince" from Joke's Tokyo
  • "Icarus" from Bodi's The Fall of Atlas

Music Videos[edit]

As main artist[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Title Year Director(s)
"F.A.S.H.A.W.N." 2008 Kuttin Kury
"Our Way"
(featuring Evidence)
2009 Punit Dhesi
"Sunny CA"
"Life As A Shorty"
"Samsonite Man"
(featuring Blu)
2010 Punit Dhesi
"The Ecology/The Score"
(featuring Planet Asia)
"Bart Simpson" Jon Rezonable
"Ride & Smokin"
(featuring Night and Dirty Money)
"Pass The Cohiba"
"Down That Road"
(featuring Sam Hook)
2011 Punit Dhesi
"Big Dreams"
"Skating Down The Block" 2012 Mikhail Sarkosh
"Generation F"
"Papers(Remix)" Mikhail Sarkhosh
"One More Try(G.C.C.A.)"
(featuring Omar Aura)
"Diamonds And Girls"
(featuring K-Young)
Sele
"The Beginning" 2013 Evidence and Punit Dhesi

As featured artist[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Title Year Director(s)
"Come On Baby (Remix)"
(Planet Asia featuring Fashawn)
2007 Raffi M.
"We Taking Over (Remix)"
(Diego Redd, Planet Asia,Fashawn,& Shake Da Mayor)
J. Levine
"The Far Left"
(Evidence featuring The Alchemist & Fashawn)
2008 Punit Dhesi
"Pulp Fiction Part 1"
(U-N-I featuring Fashawn)
2009 Fredo Tovar & Scott Fleishman
"Same Folks"
(Evidence featuring Fashawn)
2011 Punit Dhesi
"1000 Palm Trees"
(Omar Aura featuring Fashawn)
Punit Dhesi & Omar Aura
"Slash Gordon"
(Murs and Fashawn)
2012 Todd Angkasuwan
"This Generation"
(Murs and Fashawn)
Fredo Tovar & Scott Fleishman
"64 Impala"
(Murs and Fashawn)
Punit Dhesi

References[edit]

External links[edit]