BabySantana hasn’t even started high school yet, and is already established as an up-and-comer in hip-hop’s new wave.
Having already worked with other contemporaries like SSGKobe, Lil Tecca and KA$HDAMI, the un-signed Santana still feels like he is just getting started. He makes it a point to stay humble and down to earth until he reaches the pinnacle of rap — and at age 14, he has all the time he needs to achieve that.
Growing up in Columbus, Georgia, BabySantana and his older brother used to work at a bread factory, where he would save up money to buy equipment to make songs — along with financial help from his supportive mother. He would record his songs in a small closet in his house, while engineering, mixing and mastering all his songs on Audacity.
Santana grew up being heavily inspired by the Chicago rap scene led by Chief Keef and the late Fredo Santana, who inspired his rap name, along with BabyTron. So much so, that in August 2020, he dropped the mixtape Planet Sosa.
Fast forward a few years later, and Tana is now the one inspiring young artists. Charting three songs over 1 million plays on Spotify and receiving co-signs from the likes of Cole Bennett and Tory Lanez, Tana continues to excel in every facet of the game at such a young age. Alongside frequent collaborators in producer Maajins and teenage rising star Slump6s — who he had to overcome a momentary beef with — the sky is the limit for the 14-year-old phenom.
Early on, he and Slump6s were part of a rap group called 1500, which has since dissolved. But, they still share a strong bond, which they liken to the relationship of XXXTENTACION and Ski Mask the Slump God.
Artists that BabySantana molds his sound around include XXXTENTACION, SoFaygo, Autumn!, and Ken Car$on. He aims to create his own sub-genres in rap such as “yell rage” and “moshpit rage” based on this increasingly popular sound he and his colleagues continue to utilize.
Viral tracks like “Antisocial” with Slump6s, its remix “Antisocial 2” adding SSGKobe, Yung Fazo and Xhulooo, as well as “No Hook” with yvngxchris exemplify this sound, with hard-hitting production and Tana’s unique flow.
Before hitting the studio in Los Angeles, BabySantana took the time to sit down with OGM host Hakeem Rowe to discuss his future collaborations, his relationships with Lil Tecca and Slump6s, his distinctive sound and more in his Our Generation Music exclusive.
HK: Where are you from and how old are you?
BS: I’m from Georgia, this small town called Columbus. I’m 14 years old.
HK: How did you get the name BabySantana?
BS: So there’s this group called ShittyBoyz and there’s this rapper in there named BabyTron. So I got “Baby” from there and I got “Santana” from Fredo Santana. I just put it together, BabySantana.
HK: When was the first time you recorded music?
BS: In the last 60 days I’ve been to four states. These last 60 days are my first time ever going to a studio. I’ve always been self-engineered. I don’t have any songs out that were made in a studio.
HK: Do you ever get overwhelmed by the success and people loving you?
BS: My goal is to not celebrate until I get above. Don’t celebrate until I know I reached my peak. Every time I would hit a million on any platform, or even a hundred thousand, I don’t really celebrate. It’s just a normal day. I don’t want to celebrate until I’m really at the top. I don’t want o cocky, no ego, none of that.
HK: Who were your influences?
BS: When I was young I was listening to 2 Chainz a lot. Lil Wayne. It was always Spanish music that my step-dad would play a lot. He would play the rappers like Pitbull and all of them. I grew up listening to them and now I guess I usually listen to myself to see how I can improve. I also like KA$HDAMI, SoFaygo, ssgkobe, Ken Car$on, Lil Tecca.
HK: You’ve been getting a lot of praises. Cole (Bennett), Tory Lanez, Guwop, Lil Tecca. What does that feel like?
BS: Although it is like really huge in my inspirations noticing me and I get to go and meet them and stuff, I still want to be chill and down to earth. I don’t want to be the cocky dude. I want to be tight and fuck with everybody.
HK: Your twin Lil Tecca. How did you guys meet? Everybody think you guys are like cousins.
BS: Everybody thinks that. I consider him a brother. I had a music video out called “Made It.” Really bad bruh. The song is good but the video is really bad. I didn’t know what I was doing or who to hit up for videos back then. Tecca came across the video on his recommended. That was like a year ago. He hit me up a few months after seeing it, he was just watching me and seeing how I was as a person. He fucked with me, he hit me up, we FaceTimed a few days later. I really went upstairs crying to my mom like, ‘This is such a big deal. This is Tecca he’s in my dms.’ I knew shit was gonna go crazy from there.
HK: How did you find your sound?
BS: One day, me and Maajins (producer for BabySantana, Autumn! And Slump6s) were up until 3 am cooking and he was looking at loops in his email. This dude named CGM sent us a crazy loop. We hopped on it and made a beat. That came out to be “Antisocial.” I really call that my sound. I like to think of it as “rage” because of the instruments used in it. But more like Ken Car$on rage than Trippie Redd rage. Like “yell rage.”
HK: How did you and Slump6s meet?
BS: I’m gonna keep it real we did not like each other at first. Before I was really rapping, it was beef. Like bad. That’s because the fans were trying to make us beef. We got cool eventually out of the random. Wrapped it up. We made our first few songs, it was aight. Then we made “Antisocial” and it was history. We came up with our own genre. I call it “moshpit rage.” It’s my trademark now.
HK: There’s now a second installment of “Antisocial.” Yung Fazo, SSGKobe, Xhulooo. How did you know to put all those guys on there?
BS: “Antisocial 2” was supposed to be me, Kobe, and Slump. And $NOT. We couldn’t make it work because $NOT’s flow is his distinct sound. We didn’t want him to switch it up for this certain type of stuff. So I was like, ‘I’ll hit up Xhu.’ Xhulooo got on it. I hit up Fazo. They got on it and flipped it back same day.
HK: Do you ever feel like your age plays a factor in your success?
BS: A lot of people tell me my age doesn’t matter. Think about it there’s people older than me that haven’t made it this far. I’m so blessed, I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for my friends and everyone who helped me get put on. I did not do it by myself.