The Natural Evolution of Mariah Carey | “Santr” by RealXman & Kevin JZ Prodigy


Ashe Burr, Writer/Volunteer

All I wanted for the holidays this year was a homoerotic song about Santa Claus. I mean, come on — We all know Santa is a DILF, and with all of the songs about wanting to get into Santa’s sack flying around holiday radio stations, like “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt or “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson 5 and the seemingly infinite number of covers each song has, we could absolutely use a version that adds a bit of fruitiness to the holiday song cake that we get fed every single year. Clearly, Kevin JZ Prodigy decided to give this gift early. 

But who exactly is this giver of gifts named Kevin JZ Prodigy? Prodigy is a fixture of the Philadelphia ballroom scene, having gotten his start in the scene as a competitor in the vogue fem category at balls affiliated with the House of Prodigy. As of 2022 though, his chants and music have been the biggest focus of attention on him. It all started back in March, when a TikTok featuring a group of high schoolers voguing in their library, featuring his chant “BAM BAM SHAWAM ORIGINAL,” went viral. This marked the beginning of Prodigy’s rise to contemporary fame. He then followed this up by joining Billy Porter and several other icons of the Ballroom scene at the BET Awards in June. This would eventually result in his voice being featured in “PURE/HONEY” off Beyoncé’s newest album, Renaissance, chanting the intro to the song alongside fellow ballroom chanter, Kevin Aviance.

While both of the Kevins’ chants were taken from songs that were released prior, their inclusion definitely was important to Beyoncé, as the twenty seconds of just the Kevins’ chanting was used to tease the album. And right before the release of “Santr,” another one of Prodigy’s chants went viral. This one, “HERE COMES THE hURRICANE LEGENDARY KATRINA,” was a tribute to the fem queen performer Katrina Ebony. 2022 was the year of Kevin JZ Prodigy, but he isn’t the only one on this track. RealXman, the stage name of Brandon Hale, is a rapper who finds new ways to add his flair to the music he releases. He features his voice to the verses of the song, letting Prodigy chant over the chorus, while also giving him a verse of his own. The combination of these LGBTQIA2S+ artists lends itself quite nicely to the homoerotic overtones of this song. 

Melding the Ballroom background of Prodigy with Xman’s rapping background created a beat in which both artists are able to showcase their chops in a way that is the most natural to them. And what would be a queer holiday song without a reference to Mariah Carey, who recently lost her trademark bid for the title of “Queen of Christmas”. 

“At the end of each and every year /

Mariah says ‘Come for me if you dare.’”

Much like the annual defrosting of Carey comes with the end of Halloween, “Santr” I hope will become the next song to join the unspoken annals of wintertime traditions for the rest of time.