The Houston rapper and new Taylor Gang signee breaks down the magic behind his new mixtape 'Sauce Eskobar': "The method is to drip it, spill it, and to splash it."
Photos by 412Turbo, courtesy of SosaMann
In the city of Houston, Texas, TSF can be an acronym for any of the following: The Sauce Factory, The Sauce Familia, or The Sauce Family. TSF’s roster is extensive, but its biggest stars—at the frontline of the Sauce movement—are the Sauce Twinz, Rizzoo Rizzoo the Flavor God Keeping Things Hot, and SosaMann, a.k.a. Big Sosa the One and Only, who, fresh off signing a deal with Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang entertainment, recently found himself in New York City promoting his latest project Sauce Eskobar.
Sauce was brewed in Houston, an enormous and regionally divided city, where musical movements have often followed the contours of the divide between North and South. At times, this regionalism has led to violence, and Texas artists such as Slim Thug, ESG, and Pimp C have addressed the discord musically, attempting to mediate the conflict. But more recently, TSF has seen its Sauce spume over and erode any remaining division: “We brought the North and the South, the East and the West, every part, and every side together, where everybody is just saying they’re from Splashtown,” SosaMann declared.
TSF coalesced because “everyone was starting to get on their rap shit,” SosaMann told me when we sat down to chat. “Everybody had their own group; I had D.B.G., the Twinz had Sauce, and Rizzoo Rizzoo had Moe Gang.” Jointly, they decided to merge into one group and “everybody brought the Sauce together, because”—he paused—“Sauce. You can’t deny it. Everybody wants Sauce.”
As a music genre, Sauce contains high amounts of mischievousness, and SosaMann’s songs are especially disruptive. Like a vintage cigarette advertisement, he interweaves menacing content and cheerful lyrics into playful templates, excitedly stacking syllables on top of each other to craft openhearted yet grimy songs. On Sauce Eskobar standout “Just Want to Win” he recites, “get you buried for a couple of dollars / I don’t worry / Hakuna Matata,” while on “#WTDD,” he riffs, “I got shoes made out of Pterodactyl / stop fronting / you’re an actor / I can tell you are cappin’ / tabernacle.” The tension in the music creates a chilling effect, even as the energy remains high.
“I am thinking about these lines and I’m trying to twine them together and make people think, 'man that is dope how he put it like that!'” SosaMann explained. “'How can he get “Hakuna Matata” out of “get you buried for a couple dollars”?' I think and talk to myself and know I’m not going to like this until it is right and I know somebody else is going to feel the same way when they hear it.”
Though Sauce does not appear to be 100 percent philosophically deconstructable, a euphoric SosaMann, to the extent possible, provided an exceptionally thorough manifesto when we sat down together. Throughout our dialogue, SosaMann was caught in the spirit of the Sauce. Feeling the splash, he beat me to my first question with a Saucy outburst of “OUUUIIIEEE!” as we began to chat. He fought through this blissful state to participate in the discussion that follows.
Noisey: You recently signed to Wiz Khalifa’s entertainment company, Taylor Gang. What's the story behind that?
SosaMann: It just all happened over time. I’ve been knowing Wiz since 2009. At first we were friends. I was a fan of his music. He came to Houston and—shout out to Trae Tha Truth—Trae took me to go meet Wiz one day. I just kept in contact with him. My music started popping, and they came (back) to Houston and he saw the whole movement and how everything was going and that’s when he started looking at my music and how it grew. He liked it and could send me down the right path with what I’m doing.
As time went on, they became my brothers and people I had major love for. So it was only right to go with Taylor Gang. I’m TSF, and we are independent ourselves and young dudes doing what we are doing, so I might as well go with a dude I can put trust into, who will treat me like a brother and someone that is 100 percent real all the way around the board.
Sauce seems hard to define. So I want to know what Sauce is not.
Sauce is not swag. It is not something you are scared to be doing or talking about. Sauce is freedom, and that’s the basic definition because when we talk about it we feel free. We like to move. We like to be us. And we like to be ourselves. We don’t care about what people think or what people have to say. It doesn’t matter if we are doing good or bad; we just want you to see us. What we are doing is not bad. The people might feel like it is bad because we might be loud and like people to see us, but hey that’s what we are in this for. I’m in here entertaining and at this point in time I’m going to give you something to look at and that’s the Sauce, that’s the Flavor.
Is there a method to the Sauce?
The method is to drip it, spill it, and to splash it.
When is it appropriate to use the word splash?
It depends on what you are doing at the time. If you aren’t splashing then don’t use that word.
What about dripping?
It is inappropriate to use the word dripping when you are talking about dancing. Dripping is not dancing. It is a lifestyle. It is part of our religion. Dripping is what I am doing right now. I am just dripping in Sauce. I got it all on me. That’s what dripping is.
What about spill?
Spill is for example, I walk in this room and do something to make everybody look and wonder, “who is that?” Like if you have a cup of water and it spilled over, it would go everywhere, and everybody would be looking at me and trying to get out the way. But with my spill, you can’t clean it up no matter how many napkins or towels you got. You can’t clean this up.
How about Sauce?
Sauce is what I’m spilling, it is what I’m dripped in. It is what splashed.
When was Sauce born?
Sauce was been born. We had to bring it out.
In your song “Splash 4 The Kash” off of your latest project Sauce Eskobar, you say, “see the Sauce is a religion / matter of fact a lifestyle / diamond-bling-blow!” Explain the religion and lifestyle aspect.
The religion is the dripping, and spilling, and splashing. We live by our own culture, which is a Houston-based culture, which everyone has been using. Houston been had a huge impact on the whole industry and rap game. Houston been had Sauce; Screw and Fat Pat and them cats been talking about big Rolexes and big Benzes, and fancy clothes which were in style at that point in time. We are showing you from a newer side, that this is what’s going on. We are just putting it out there with the Sauce. We are putting the light back on our town for something new.
Are there politics in Sauce?
There’s poli-drips. That’s just how we do it, but our poli-drips ain’t the same as politics.
I am going to place on you a rhetorical question you’ve put on us: “What that drip do?”
I can definitely answer that. It is a way of greeting a person when you walk up to somebody, like, “hey what that drip do?” Instead of saying anything else as far as, “what’s up” or “hello” or anything else. You know what I’m saying? It’s really like, “what do you have going on?” Or “I like your shoes;” “I like what you have going on;” “that’s what that drip do right there;” “that’s Sauce;” or “that’s drippy.” That’s what it is.
I want to talk about Sauce music theory. I’ve seen live footage of you recording and while recording you look like you’ve been possessed by a Sauce spirit. Tell me about this zone.
(Laughs) I mean we just have Sauce attacks, that’s all. Once you feel it and the producer or the engineer gives you the flavor that they have for you to marinate in and you add your seasonings to it, you just go in there and it’s like the Holy Ghost. It is the Saucy ghost. It is going to take over and you are going to start having Sauce attacks and start giving the people what they want to hear.
After these Sauce attacks, sometimes you do this reassuring humorous thing. What is that?
It’s just letting you know there is something inside of me. I’m not doing it. It’s something inside of me that’s taking over, like “yeah that’s it! I got it right! And now I can walk out of here and be happy.”
In many of your songs, your bars don’t sound like conventional raps. The cadences are adversarial. They sound like comebacks or responses to something. Who are you coming back at?
I’m just talking my Sauce. When I rap—when I do what I do—I like to talk to myself a lot for the simple fact that I know what I tell myself ain’t going to be wrong. So I’m definitely not fixing to tell you nothing wrong to send you down the wrong path in life. That’s what I mean when I say something takes over me and I’m conversating with myself.
Unlike general song construction containing hooks and verses, in many of your songs such as “Nervous,” “Whoa,” and “Just Wanna Win,” you have a word serving as the nucleus of the song and attach significance to these words using specific statements. It is very unique.
I’m telling folks what’s going on with me. On “Nervous,” I say “I came up quick and fast / you got me nervous.” Sometimes I’ll just be sitting back thinking to myself that a lot of success is quickly approaching me now that I’m putting real work in for it. Sometimes that makes me nervous. Sometimes when I am sitting back counting all this cash it makes me nervous; how did I get this? Where I am from, if you’ve got a lot and people see you have a lot and they don’t have it, they will want it, and that kind of makes me nervous.
Another one of my favorite upcoming artists out of Houston, aside from you, is Bleeda. I noticed he was on your Instagram and was wondering if we could expect any collaborations from y’all.
Man! Shout out to Bleeda! Yes. You can definitely expect something from me and Bleeda. I came up on Bleeda’s music too. He’s like my uncle. We are from the same hood. We are from Braeswood. I grew up around him. I’d drive around in a car with him or with my people we would play Bleeda’s music and I became a fan of it.
On your song “Right Back,” you mention that you’ve taken some losses.
A loss to myself was how long I’ve been doing rap as a hobby but not really taking it seriously. See what I’m saying? The loss is, if I was taking it seriously and doing the shit I was supposed to do, I would be at a further point in my career than I am now. Now I’m getting it all back right now. I am working harder for all the time that I lost in the years I wasn’t doing anything; so I am going extra hard right now.
Is there anything else you wanted to share?
I am SosaMann with two Ns, and I am not a Sauce Twin, if anyone was thinking that. I love my Twinz. They are my Sauce Twinz, but I am SosaMann and if you want to put SosaMann on a show put SosaMann.
Douglas Doneson is lost in the Sauce but never lost in the sauce. Follow him on Twitter.