Who is Saucy Santana?
This viral social media star continues to make waves in the music industry and beyond.
Saucy Santana, whose real name is Rashad Michael Harris, has had a meteoric rise since he made his musical debut in 2020. He’s had multiple social media hits, he’s graced the Rolling Loud stage in Miami alongside the City Girls, and he’s collaborated with some big names in the music industry. Most recently, Santana collaborated with Madonna on the release of “Material Gworrllllllll!” a remix of his viral 2020 “Material Girl” track.
Saucy Santana’s style of feel-good, clubby, sex-positive rap is highly influenced by his Florida upbringing. Santana grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, before moving to Florida when he was 10. Speaking to UrbanBridgez, Santana discussed how his music is influenced by the Florida hip-hop he grew up with, saying, “It’s artists like Tampa Tony who make me embrace my Florida music and culture.”
But you certainly don’t need to be a Floridian to appreciate Santana’s music. His songs continue to reach massive audiences online. His latest single, “Booty,” has been praised by many and deemed the “song of the summer” for 2022.
Though his journey to stardom only just took off, Saucy Santana is already making a big name for himself. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this trailblazing rapper and his climb to success.
He began his career as a makeup artist for the hip-hop group City Girls.
Before Santana made his musical debut, he was a makeup artist for celebrity clients like City Girls.
“I used to be a makeup artist prior to rap. My best friend, Tyrus, is Young Miami’s blood cousin,” Santana said in a Grammy Awards interview. “They had already started rapping and would do shows in North Florida. We would hang out with them, and eventually, I would do their makeup when they came to North Florida. We built a strong bond, a brother-sisterhood, a real friendship, just by working together.”
After establishing his career as a makeup artist, Santana began dabbling in music in 2019 — not taking it seriously, initially. In July of that year, he released his debut single “Walk Em Like a Dog,” which was streamed over 1 million times in one week.
He had recurring appearances on the third season of "Love & Hip Hop: Miami."
Santana was a reappearing guest star on the hit reality show Love & Hip Hop: Miami. And while he only made four appearances on the show, he still managed to be involved in his fair share of drama. One explosive beef was between Santana and Miami Tip, who accused Santana of lying about being a victim of an LGBTQ+ hate crime.
Despite the drama, Santana was a fan favorite on the show. The added spotlight gave Santana even more popularity and buzz, boosting his social standing and elevating his musical career.
His 2020 single "Walk" went viral on TikTok.
Santana’s 2020 single “Walk” quickly became a viral sensation, resulting in the #walkchallenge and #letmeseeyouwalk on TikTok. Thousands of social media users uploaded videos of themselves strutting down fictional runways to Santana’s “Walk,” including several celebrities. The single earned him a nod of approval from Nicki Minaj.
“Me and Nicki, we always had a little communication back and forth. She was following me on Twitter, or she’ll mention me on [IG] Live or some s**t like that, so I always knew that she noticed me and that she was paying attention,” Santana said in an interview with Revolt. “Just for her to do the challenge — and she was on Clubhouse, and I think somebody asked her what song would she remix, and she said my name.”
He released his debut album, "Keep It Playa," in 2021.
Saucy Santana dropped his debut studio album, ‘Keep It Playa,’ in 2021. The 16-track project featured other rappers such as City Girls, Kali, BeatKing and Rubi Rose.
“This project is the next episode of the Saucy experience,” Santana said in a statement accompanying the release.
He has become a leading voice in the LGBTQ+ community.
As an openly gay rapper, Santana has been very vocal about the obstacles gay rappers face in a heterosexual hip-hop landscape. A trailblazer for fellow LGBTQ+ rappers and fans alike, Santana strives to bring positive awareness and impact to the queer community.
He was on the cover of Teen Vogue and Paper magazine in June, and he became one of several faces for Coach’s annual Pride campaign as well.
“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,” Santana told Time. “Because I’m opening a door for my community, people of my culture.”
Santana often encourages other queer artists to keep it pushing and know that their time is coming.
“One thing about music: a hit is a hit. So regardless of if somebody is albino, polka dot, gay, lesbian, if it’s a hit record, it’s a hit record, and that’s something that you can’t deny. So us as LGBT people need to just keep producing this good undeniable music,” Santana told Forbes. “I’ve found myself in rooms that I never would’ve imagined.”