"I'm working hard, putting in my all to produce an album that I'm satisfied with and an album that will satisfy my fans. My album is based on my life, the streets, and a new life. Put on your seatbelt. It’s gonna be a long ride."
Juelz Santana – Rhymes with the Times
Who knew that the 12 year old writing rhymes on a Harlem street corner would journey to become a much followed and R&B Chart famous rapper? From a teen duet to solo articles, Juelz Santana has been a rising star.
LaRon James was born on February 18, 1982 to a Dominican father and an African American mother in Harlem. He was writing his own rhymes and rapping before he became a teen. At fifteen, Juelz Santana, with his friend Malik, started, his own duo, Draft Pick. They did many gigs around New York and performed at famous Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night, where they won two consecutive weeks. Even after disbanding the duo the two have remained friends.
Juelz Santana – The Beginning
Santana’s cousin managed to introduce Cam’ron, another Harlem Rapper, to his unique rhyme style. Within a week he was in Cam’ron’s studio recording a verse for Cam’ron’s cut Double Up that was on Cam’ron’s second album Sex, Drugs and Entertainment, shortened to SDE. Juelz became a member of DipSet and eventually Vice-President of Cam’ron’s new record label, Diplomat Records. His guest appearances on Cam’ron’s smash hits Oh Boy (nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance) and Hey Ma gained him a lead role on album Diplomatic Immunity’s hit track Dip Set Anthem. Santana’s 2003 release of From Me to U track Dipset (Santana’s Town) made #70 on the R&B/Hip Hop Chart and drew a Grammy Award nomination. The song, Raindrops, shows how Juelz’s experiences are reflected in his creativeness.
The Way to Fame
His 2005 release What the Game’s Been Missing with There it Go!(the Whistle) made #6 on Billboard Hot 100’s and #3 on Hot Rap Tracks in January 2006 and Oh Yes made #56 on Billboard Hot 100’s and #8 on Hot Rap Tracks.
Born to Lose, Built to Win has had some trouble getting released due to disputes among members of Dipset. The differences with friend and partner Cam’ron ended with Juelz being sold to DefJam Records for 2 million dollars. Juelz publically stated that he holds no hard feelings for Cam and would still represent the group. And finally, in 2009, a music video for Days of Our Lives was filmed to support the album which is thought to be released next year. Juelz Santana has also done a music video for Mixin Up the Medicine and was inspired by Bob Dylan’s music video from 1993. Staying busy Jingle Bellz and Christmas Song are but two of the singles that Juelz sings and collaborates on in Jim Jones and Skull Gang Present a Tribute to Band Santa Starring Mike Epps
The list of his accomplishments and the popularity of his style remains evident in the great number of fan websites, blog posts, hits on his homepages, and the popularity of his MySpace site where free music downloads are available.
Santana has had his down times also. He was arrested on weapons and drug possession charges in 2008. He has also admitted to domestic violence issues against the mother of his son LaRon ‘JuJu’ James. There was still another arrest for domestic violence following an argument in August 2009.
Did you know that...
- ...Santana owns a clothing store in Harlem called Santana’s Town
- ...Christmas 2009 Santana teamed with Bengi Jeans to give away fresh denims to his Fans
- ...Raindrops was inspired by his Grandmother