Juelz Santana

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About Juelz Santana

Few artists in rap can play both the sidekick and the superstar like Juelz Santana. The New York-raised MC (born LaRon Louis James in 1982) first came into The Big Apple spotlight when he joined The Diplomats in 1999. During his early days with the group, alongside Cam’ron, Jim Jones, and Freekey Zekey, Santana helped reimagine New York City hip-hop after its Golden Age era. Whereas rappers who appeared after The Notorious B.I.G. and Nas were often indebted to these stylistic forebears, MCs like Santana and Cam’ron took a thrillingly new approach to the genre with their sample-heavy soul beats and uproarious one-liners. Santana first proved his mettle on a national stage as a guest star on Cam’ron’s 2002 smash hit, Come Home with Me. On the album’s Just Blaze-produced single “Oh Boy,” Santana introduces his unpredictably herky-jerky flow, the perfect foil to Cam’ron’s smooth delivery. As a solo artist on “There It Go (The Whistle Song),” from 2005’s What the Game’s Been Missing!, he bridges the gap between eccentric stylist and pop star, creating an effortless radio jam with enough of his personality to capture his unique POV on rap. Regardless of whether he’s lending Cam’ron an assist or carrying the weight as a solo star, Juelz Santana always delivers an unreplicable style of rap.

Harlem, NY, United States
February 18, 1982

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