LaRon Louis James (born February 18, 1982), better known by his stage name Juelz Santana, is an American hip hop recording artist, producer, actor and member of East Coast hip hop group The Diplomats. He appeared on Cam'ron's 2002 singles, "Oh Boy" and "Hey Ma". In 2003, his debut album From Me to U was released by Roc-A-Fella Records; his next album What the Game's Been Missing! contained the top-ten single "There It Go (The Whistle Song)". He is currently working on his long awaited third studio album Born to Lose, Built to Win set to be released in 2013.
1983-2001: Early life and early career edit:
LaRon James was born in New York City and raised in the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem. He is of Dominican and African American descent. He began rapping at the age of five and at age twelve started duo Draft Pick, which was signed to Priority Records. In 2000, at the age of 18, he made a guest performance on a track on Cam'ron's album S.D.E. and eventually joined The Diplomats.
2002-2004: From Me To U edit:
After the signing of The Diplomats, also known as Dipset, to Roc-a-Fella Records in 2002, there was an influence of mixtapes, features on other artists' records, television and radio interviews, in which Juelz achieved mainstream recognition not previously gained through the various Diplomat mixtapes, and his solo mixtape Final Destination, that was sold in late 2002. After being featured on fellow Diplomat member Cam'ron's two singles, "Hey Ma" and "Oh Boy". Juelz started working on his debut album. In the summer of 2003, Santana released his debut album, From Me To U, which peaked at #8 in the Billboard 200. "Dipset (Santana's Town)" peaked #70 in the U.S. Billboard.
2005-2006: What the Game's Been Missing! edit:
What the Game's Been Missing! followed in 2005 with the singles "Mic Check", "There It Go (The Whistle Song)", "Oh Yes", "Clockwork," "Shottas", and "Make It Work For Ya" Feat. Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne. "There It Go" reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts; "Oh Yes" reached #56 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Rap charts. "Mic Check" reached 35 in the Billboard Hot 100. Both this album and single "There It Go" were certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Santana also featured in Chris Brown's "Run it" in 2005.
2007-present: Skull Gang, Dipset reunion and Born to Lose, Built to Win edit:
Since 2007, Santana has been recording material for his third album, Born to Lose, Built to Win. Shortly after recording began, Santana released a promo single, "The Second Coming", produced by Just Blaze. After a two-year hiatus, he released a new song, "Days of Our Lives", with two accompanying music videos featuring cameos from Skull Gang. In late 2009 he released "Mixin' Up the Medicine" featuring Yelawolf.
In 2010, he released "Back to the Crib" featuring Chris Brown. In April 2010, Cam'ron and Jim Jones announced they had ended their feud. In June 2010, the Dipset reunion began with a teaser titled "Under Construction" and a street single, "Salute" produced by Araabmuzik. The song features Jones, Cam'ron and Santana all rapping alongside each other again. The remix features new Diplomat artist Vado with a verse added. Since the reunion it is not yet known if or when Sanatana will release the album. But it is known that he is working on a new album with The Diplomats. Recently Santana tweeted "I will give people that people wants Reagan Era in the studio" so that means that we can wait a new album for 2011.
In late 2012 Santana stated he is still working on his third studio album Born to Lose, Built to Win and that it's set to be released in 2013, succeeding his newly announced mixtapes God Will'n and God Will'n Vol. 2. Santana also announced that fellow American rapper and longtime friend Lil Wayne would executive produce Born to Lose, Built to Win. It was announced on December 21, 2012, that God Will'n would be released on January 14, 2013. The first single off God Will'n is "Soft" which features Fabolous, Rick Ross and Meek Mill. Other features on the mixtape include Wale, Jadakiss, Lloyd Banks, Yo Gotti, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, and Future. Santana has shot music videos for every song on the tape. Less than a month after the release of God Will'n Santana announced he would release a new mixtape featuring him rapping over other artists beats titled All We Got Is Us. The mixtape will release on April 29 and God Will'n 2 will be released in a couple months. Born to Lose, Built to Win is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Personal life edit:
Juelz Santana has 3 children. He has a son LaRon Louis James, Jr., born on October 24, 2003, from a previous relationship. He has a son Juelz Santana James, born on September 6, 2010, and daughter Bella Monroe James, born on July 21, 2012 with his girlfriend Kimbella Vanderhee. Juelz also appears on VH1's reality show, Love & Hip Hop. Juelz Santana was born LaRon Louis James to an African American father and a Dominican mother.
Legal Issues edit:
In January 2011 Juelz Santana's "Santana's World" Recording Studio located in Bergenfield, New Jersey was raided, after a 10-month investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutors Office and Gang Unit. They discovered two loaded 9mm handguns, boxes of ammunition and 17 dime bags of marijuana.
Santana was arrested February 2, 2011, and charged with possession of a firearm, possession of a handgun without a permit, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. Santana posted $125,000 bail. He is represented by prominent defense lawyers Brian J. Neary and S. Emile Lisboa. He has yet to face trial on the charges.
On March 22, 2011, Juelz Santana missed a performance at Chris Brown's record release party for his album F.A.M.E.; New York Police stopped the rapper and searched him for guns and drugs. While no one was arrested, Santana was not allowed to enter the building during the search. This caused him to miss his entire performance with Chris Brown. Juelz' lawyer Joe Wunstop told The New York Post that police stopped Santana because members of his entourage "might be affiliated, friends bring friends and he's really friendly" In November 2011 he was charged with making terrorist threats and disorderly conduct.
On January 25, 2013, Juelz Santana was sentenced to two years probation for threatening to kill his neighbor after his neighbor intervened and called the police when he heard Juelz assaulting his then girlfriend.