18-year-old Chicago MC Tony Santana is way beyond his years. Formerly known as Anthony Okocha, Tony is inspired by conscious rappers such as Mos Def, Common, Blu, and the like, but as the “Soundcloud Era” hit, Tony decided to fuse his love of early hip-hop with this new “turn up” mentality. As he grew older, he and his family became victims of institutional racism, and his mindset changed.
Because of his new mentality, the recording was put on hold. Tony began to see constant themes in hip-hop that contradicted his truth such as the glorification of violence, sexism, and hyper-masculinity. Trying to not perpetuate things that were detrimental to society, detoured Tony from rap. He soon realized that this conflict in itself was something that he could show in the music.
Now 18, Santana has released his newest project ‘Northside Flexin. The title is a Chicago term for fabricating a particular story or experience, but it also means boasting about certain individual possessions glorifying materialism, frequent sexual activity, and pretty much living a rockstar lifestyle. With ‘Northside Flexin’ Tony hopes to show the multi-faceted nature of the black body in America. He wants young people that look like him to know that they can be both a scholar and a rapper, a doctor and an artist. With upbeat production from CJthekid, K Swisha, Aubry, Cormill, Santana delivers with confidence while still incorporating his honest lyrics.