Loading...
Festivals

Fashawn Wanted to Be Pastor, but His Destiny Was Rapping

Comments (0)

By

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 4:30 AM

click to enlarge Fashawn, unshaven - REBECCA HAITHCOAT
  • Rebecca Haithcoat
  • Fashawn, unshaven
See also: Our review of Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival 2012

In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, a young shepherd, Santiago, attends seminary but longs to travel. He embarks on a quest to find a hidden treasure and ends up meeting an alchemist, who teaches him that the treasure really is the journey itself.

Fashawn once lived in a trailer behind a church and wanted to be a pastor. His first label, One, was owned by a Buddhist. He has a song called "Samsonite Man" about his yearning to travel. And of course, his real name is Santiago and one of his closest collaborators is the producer The Alchemist. "Your name has to do with your destiny, your whole existence," Fashawn says, sitting on a Starbucks patio in Glendale's Little Armenia.

Born Santiago Leyva in Fresno, the 23-year-old rapper is, right now, high. He's an ideal poster boy for tomorrow's Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival in San Bernardino, even if his popularity lags behind other performers like Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y. In fact, seeing that he jokingly asking if Starbucks serves Jack Daniels, ruminates on the mystical qualities of a name, and looks like he's wearing house shoes, he's kind of like the Dude, man.

His belief in destiny has probably helped him along in the past two years. After releasing Boy Meets World -- his first album, produced entirely by production wizard Exile -- in late 2009, Fashawn was on the cover of XXL and named the "Most Artistic" of its new crop of freshmen. Though he caused a stir when he dropped Ode to Illmatic, his reworking of Nas' classic, his peers like Khalifa, J.Cole and Big Sean graduated from blog rappers to mainstream radio fixtures, while he drifted off most people's radars.

Fashawn wants to be a star, but not for the reasons rappers usually rap about. "I didn't even buy this chain I'm wearing. I don't buy chains," he says. "I really want to bring awareness to certain things I care about -- our community, politics. That's what celebrity status is for. It's a bigger purpose than being on the cover of magazines."

Related Content

Related

Now Trending

  • Henry Rollins: Fuck Suicide

    Days after Robin Williams died, I kept seeing his face on the Internet. His death seemed to have a momentum of its own. It went from a sad death of a famous person to “a nation mourns” pitch, which I didn’t quite understand. Sites such as Huffington Post swim in...
    1034
  • Check Out This Biggie Smalls Butane Torch

    In the past few years, a lot of serious potheads have switched from smoking marijuana to vaping concentrates like wax, which require the kind of heat that only can come from a butane torch. Unlike regular lighters, butane torches are fairly large and awkward. So a company called Errlybird is...
  • Henry Rollins: American Bigotry Is Alive in Ferguson

    While most of America gets on with its business, Ferguson, Missouri, burns in archaic flames of exasperating, unresolved anger, for all to see. Once again, the world watches America roil in the mortifying echo of Jim Crow law brutality. Meanwhile, U.S. firepower explodes bodies of ISIS militia thousands of miles...
    4
Los Angeles Concert Tickets