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Rapper Rod Wave to give away free gas in his hometown St. Petersburg

The rap star said he will give away $25,000 worth of gas starting at noon on April 9 at a St. Petersburg station.
Rod Wave, shown here performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa in 2021, has said he will give away $25,000 worth of gas in St. Petersburg April 9.
Rod Wave, shown here performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa in 2021, has said he will give away $25,000 worth of gas in St. Petersburg April 9. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Apr. 1|Updated Apr. 1

St. Petersburg native and rising rap star Rod Wave, whose real name is Rodarius Green, has announced on Instagram that he will be giving away $25,000 worth of free gas in his hometown next week.

The rapper, who has been enjoying the success of his third studio album SoulFly, posted a video on Instagram in which a trip to the gas station cost him $100. Wave vented about how expensive it was and said he plans to provide $25,000 worth of free gas starting at noon on April 9 at the Sunoco station at 5100 34th St. S near the Sunshine Skyway bridge exit in St. Petersburg.

“St. Pete, 727, I’m giving away free gas April 9 at the Sunoco on 34th right before you get on the bridge,” the Lakewood High School alum said in the video. “April 9, I’m giving away $25,000 in free gas. So April 9, 12 o’clock, pull up and get you some free gas, get you a free full tank.”

St. Petersburg police spokesman Ken Knight said officers will be working traffic duty for the expected crowds that day. A worker at the gas station referred questions to the station’s manager and confirmed the event is happening at noon that day.

“We will be there as long as the event is going on,” Knight said of the traffic detail. “It is probably going to be quite a crowd.”

The Rags2Riches artist kicked off 2022 with the solemn Cold December and By Your Side on Jan. 17, as part of his $15 million deal with Alamo Records and Sony Music Entertainment. In February, he posted that he was joined in the studio by rap superstar Future while working on what appears to be his next album, though he has also recently indicated he has soured on the music business.

Related: How Rod Wave made it from St. Petersburg to music stardom

Rod Wave captured the music world’s attention in 2021 when SoulFly displaced Justin Bieber’s Justice as the No. 1 album in the country, according to Billboard. He did NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and went on a 40-city tour behind SoulFly.

Though the R&B-rap hybrid releases in January were well-received, he has indicated he is considering stepping away from performing. He took to Instagram Live in late January to let fans know he is getting tired of being in gossip columns and doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention.

“This is not really me. ... I hate attention, man. I can’t get on the internet without seeing my face or name,” he said in the video. “It’s kinda like you sell your soul, bro.”

He said he only released Cold December to meet his contract requirements.

“I was in a $15 million deal contract that I was trying to close on and they was like, ‘They need that song,’” he said. “That’s the only reason why I dropped that.”

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