It seems like not even jail cells can keep Juelz Santana away from what has been his life’s true passion. On March 3, the veteran emcee released the 9thfull-length project of his career, #FREESANTANA. Santana – born LaRon Louis James – was arrested in March 2018 after he fled the scene when TSA found a gun in his bag at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Seemingly counting down the days until his rumored summer 2020 release, the rapper’s Twitter page recently posted on behalf of the incarcerated artist, acknowledging the one year anniversary of his incarceration.
The surprisingly cohesive mixtape is packed with star power, featuring the likes of Lil Wayne, 2Chainz, Jeremih, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Dipset cohort Jim Jones, and younger Harlem native Dave East, along with samples of Drake’s number 1 record, “God’s Plan.”
Juelz Santana uses the 36-minute project to touch on a myriad of topics. On records like “23 & 1,” “Do You Believe” and “In My Life,” he raps introspectively about past friendships and relationships, while reflecting on his incarceration. On “Pink Eagle” and “Ez Work,” he spends time reminding listeners that he’s a respected hustler, with plenty of street tales. The project’s outro record is a sample of Jay – Z’s classic record “Dead Presidents.” Titled “The Get Back,” with a feature from A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Santana reflects with a mixture of street tales, lessons and hope for his future post-release.
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