Check How It Happened: Fashawn

Shout out to the underdogs in the game who are from an unrecognized hood and are making it on pure raw talent, no gimmicks; because there aren’t many well-known rappers from Fresno. As an independent hip-hop artist being compared to Nas, you’d have to have dope lyrical skills to live up to the hype and Fashawn seems to be doing it well. Fashawn is making a name for himself by touring and winning people over city by city. For those that have taken the time out to watch him perform and listen to his lyricism, many would say that he’s hard to ignore. His creativity and flow makes him a powerful contender as one of the most anticipated rappers in the game. It’s no wonder he was named The Phenom by a local California DJ.

  • Fashawn was born Santiago Leyva in Fresno, California on October 27, 1988.
  • He grew up in the 3420 building on 1st Street in Fresno, which is tattooed on his wrist.
  • Fashawn has been rapping since he was 12 years old.
  • He gave himself the name Fashawn because his real name, Santiago, is a Spanish name and no one believed that his name was actually Santiago in school.
  • Fashawn went to McLane High School and dropped out because he didn’t have enough credits to graduate so he decided to focus solely on his music career.
  • Fashawn met his manager Aren when he was about 15 years old.
  • He describes his sound of music as bridging old school and new school hip hop.
  • Fashawn calls himself Bart Simpson as a representation of rappers being as well-known as the cartoon character and it signifies his love of skating.
  • At 17 years old, he released his first mixtape in 2006 called Grizzly City.
  • After the release of Grizzly City, Planet Asia invited Fashawn to tour with him.
  • In 2007, he released The Phenom Vol. 1 mixtape and Grizzly City Vol. 2 mixtape.
  • In 2008, Fashawn met Exile and they had an instant rapport with each other and Exile started sending him beats via email.
  • In 2008, he worked on the One Shot One Kill mixtape with Mick Boogie and Terry Urban and on the Higher Learning mixtape for and
  • In 2008, he also released The Phenom Vol. 2.
  • In 2009, Fashawn released The Antidote mixtape and his debut album called Boy Meets World.
  • Fashawn has toured with Brother Ali, Ghostface Killah, Wiz Khalifa, Blu & Exile, and Mistah Fab.
  • Around the time Fashawn found out he was about to have a daughter, he got a call from New York offering him a record deal.
  • Fashawn is signed to an independent record label called One Records.
  • He has collaborated with Dilated Peoples, Alchemist, Exile, Blu, Planet Asia, and U-n-i.
  • In 2010, he was featured in XXL as part of the Freshmen 10.
  • Fashawn released Ode to Illmatic on June 11, 2010 in tribute to Nas and he also released the mixtape Grizzly City Vol. 3.
  • In February 2011 he released the mixtape Higher Learning Vol. 2.
  • His sophomore album The Ecology is set to be released sometime in late 2011.

In an interview with Parlé Magazine, Fashawn’s advice to for upcoming artists: “Make sure you’re making the kind of music you want to make. Work hard and keep a strong team around you and you’ll go far.”




Fashawn Talks To 90.5 KSJS[yframe url=’’]


Fashawn – Streets Of Fresno[yframe url=’’]


Fashawn – Life As A Shorty ft. J. Mitchell[yframe url=’’]


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