Warren “Wawa” Snipe is a deaf rapper and recording artist who will perform at this year’s Super Bowl.
The Washington, D.C. native will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” in American Sign Language ahead of Super Bowl 55 on February 7 in Tampa, Florida, which will air on CBS. Snipe will perform alongside R&B singer H.E.R. on “America the Beautiful” and country singer Eric Church and R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan on the national anthem, according to WUSA 9.
The musician, who has produced two albums, describes his genre as “Dip Hop,” meaning “Hip Hop through deaf eyes,” his website says.
“His rendering of Dip Hop explores Hip Hop in a way where the focus is taking on challenges and educating people about deaf musicians in the hearing world,” the page reads.
Snipe started his music career in 2005 and continues to strive to inspire others through his work, according to his biography.
Here’s what you need to know about Warren “Wawa” Snipe:
1. Snipe Resides in the Washington, D.C. Area
Snipe currently hails from the Washington, D.C. area, according to his biography on his website.
“Hailing from the landscapes of the DC / MD / VA area, Acclaimed Hip Hop Recording Artist, WAWA, has been hitting the ground running with music with insatiable drive since he first picked up the mic in 2005 and began writing and rhyming at an unstoppable pace,” the website says.
However, the aspiring musician was raised in the “inner-city ghetto” of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gallaudet University disclosed.
“To get him away from gang influence and street violence, his mother sent him to stay with his godparents in San Marino from ages 13 to 16,” the University continued. He later attended Gallaudet University and graduated in 1994.
In 2003, Snipe became an admissions counselor and recruiter for the university, according to the school’s Library Guide to Deaf Biographies and Index to Deaf Periodicals.
2. His 2020 Single ‘Loud’ References the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic
Snipe said he wanted to offer a “positive” distraction from the turmoil and anxieties stemming from the year, the outlet reported.
“So, I redirected things a bit. I wouldn’t say I glossed things over, but rather, I addressed it. So things could be seen from a different view,” he said.
“It’s more positive: What can we do during this time? Will you allow these situations to take control? Or will you keep going? Are you a survivor? Or are you going to stay ‘dead’, and do nothing? Which are you choosing? Well you let it control you, or will you control it? So it’s like oh, okay, there are different sides to that.”
3. Snipe’s 2016 Album ‘Deaf: So What?!’ Encourages People to ‘Understand’ Music Without ‘Hearing’
According to Snipe’s website, his 2016 Album “Deaf: So What?!” “explores the pursuit of proving that a disadvantage can be its polar opposite.” The work seeks to inspire people to approach music “without the sense of hearing.”
The sophomore album features 15 songs with downloadable lyrics.
They can be purchased individually for $1.29 on his website.
4. Snipe Is Also an Actor
Snipe has a history of acting, in which he performed and acted in plays with the Center Stage of Baltimore in Maryland, Gallaudet University said.
He also landed roles in several moves, including Black Lightning (2017), If You Could Hear My Own Tune (2011) and Dr. Hand (2005), according to his IMDb page.
Gallaudet University disclosed that Snipe is a “certified level-1 stunt artist doing high falls, fights and shootings.”
5. Snipe Is a Founding Member of the Wild Zappers
Snipe is one of the founding members of the Wild Zappers, an all-male deaf dance company founded in 1989, according to the Wild Zappers website. The group, based in Prince George’s County, Maryland, performs sign poetry, jazz, hip-hop and modern dance.
The Wild Zappers tours both nationally and globally.
According to the group’s website:
The Wild Zappers have appeared at Gallaudet University, the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, Miss Deaf DC, Black Family Reunion, DC Black Expo, Miss Deaf Maryland, and numerous government agencies. Around the country, they have performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem; Imagination Celebration in Forth Worth, Texas; Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida; and Deaf festivals in many states. The troupe has also toured Japan, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands, and visited Brisbane, Australia for the World Federation of the Deaf.