It’s an undeniable fact that Saucy Santana has heavily influenced TikTok culture.
The rapper took the platform by storm with his popular track “Walk,” which had both influencers and celebrities alike recording their best Naomi Campbell-Esque runway walk.
Following viral challenges such as his one for “Walk,” AfroTech previously reported that Billboard introduced the Song Breaker Chart — its first-ever creator-centered music chart — for artists like Santana who are breaking the mold of what it takes to be considered a star in the industry.
In addition to “Walk,” his choreography for “Here We Go” can still be seen in countless TikTok videos, as well as the phrase “Material Gworl,” which is practically inescapable. Based on these tracks alone, it may be safe to say that Santana is a blueprint for running numbers up on the platform. And what’s more, the rapper credits his success to how he’s always carried himself online — being his genuine self from day one — according to a recent interview with Nylon.
“In 2019, when I did ‘Material Girl,’ I thought it was a good song. And that’s just how we talk in Florida,” he shared with the outlet. “We say girl with a w. And so I’m just like, ‘Material gworl!’ I had just started fresh being a rapper. So I was ready to live the lavish lifestyle, the designer clothes and the Maybachs and all that.”
He continued: “So I made that song, two years later, the song goes viral on TikTok. In 2019, TikTok was out, but TikTok wasn’t as big as it is right now. So I didn’t write that song or make that song like, “This is going to be a viral TikTok song. This is going to be big for me.” I was just in the studio just being authentic.”
Black TikTokers Deserve Better
Santana’s rise to fame, thanks to TikTok, is an admirable journey, but it’s unfortunately not the same for many like him.
AfroTech has shared multiple reports of Black TikTokers constantly not being paid what they rightfully deserve. It has become a continual trend of the platform not giving them a seat at the table.
On Feb. 8, TikTok held a Black History Month-themed event where users would get to chat with rap icon Nicki Minaj. But what was intended to be a moment to amplify the voices of Black creators turned into claims of non-Black TikTokers taking up the space, E! News reports.
Heated from being pushed aside once again, Black TikTokers took to social media to share their disappointment — leading to a response from Minaj.
“I had a really great call, a really great Zoom, with TikTok today. Shoutout to everybody that was on there,” she shared via Instagram Live. “I hear you guys. I heard what y’all were saying and let me see if I can schedule something else for you guys. Trust me, I heard y’all loud and clear.”
While TikTok hasn’t shared a statement yet regarding the event’s aftermath, it’s clear that there should be support for Black creators to thrive like Saucy Santana. He has created a lane for himself, and in order for there to be more successful Black creators on the platform to come, it’s important that they receive an adequate amount of support and flowers for everything they contribute to the culture.