Check out the essential tracks playlist chronicling the career of Harlem Hall of Famer and Dipset legend Juelz Santana.
There are several extremely famous rap collectives the industry and surrounding culture as a whole credit for making major advances in the art of hip hop and setting the standard for what a proper rap crew looks like. There’s the very honorable Wu-Tang Clan, the original weed rappers of Cypress Hill, the Southern rap pioneers Of Outkast and of course, there is arguably the greatest rap act to come from New York, The Diplomats, also known as Dipset. And from that iconic collective to come from Harlem is one of the game’s most respected and stylish lyricists, Juelz Santana.
Born LaRon Louis James, Santana began rapping at the age of five and started a rap duo by the age of 12 called Draft Pick, which was signed to priority records. By the time he was 22 in 2000 he had continued building his skillset as a rapper and appeared on Cam’ron‘s sophomore album S.D.E and later joined The Diplomats and simultaneously became a part of one of the most celebrated era’s of hip hop.
Shortly thereafter The Diplomats were signed to Roc-a-Fella records and Santana began working on his album and making a name for himself in the mainstream media through a slew of interviews and guest appearances on other artists tracks including Cam’ron’s two hit singles “Hey Ma” and “Oh Boy.” By 2003 Juelz Santana had released his debut album From Me To U and Dipset had the streets on lock. In 2005 the rapper released his sophomore album What The Game’s Been Missing and once again set the streets on fire with the body of work. But soon things would become increasingly complicated and the years that followed were riddled with problems including the breakup of The Diplomats, legal trouble for Juelz Santana that stemmed from a studio raid by police in 2011, and a dire shortage of music from Santana between the years of 2007 up until most recently.
Now, with the sweet fragrance of a Dipset reunion stagnant in the air and a tidal wave of new music from Juelz Santana himself, it looks like the world may experience another Harlem renaissance led by the man himself, soon. But while we wait for it all to develop, check out this essential tracks playlist highlighting some of Juelz Santana’s greatest hits.