Fredo Santana, rapper and one of the pioneers of Chicago’s drill movement, has died at the age of 27.
Glory Boyz Entertainment issued a statement to Billboard: “Everyone at Glory Boyz Entertainment is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Fredo. He was not only a talented rapper but family to everyone and a true star who was taken too soon. We are all proud of everything he was able to accomplish in his life and he will truly be missed. At this time we ask for privacy and prayers for his family and friends.”
TMZ reports that Santana died Friday night (Jan. 19) as the result of a seizure.
Santana, born Derrick Coleman, suffered serious health problems throughout last year, and was hospitalized for liver and kidney failure in October. Houston rapper Maxo Kream was the first to break the news with an Instagram post, followed by close associates like Young Chop and Lil Durk.
Santana’s name was cemented into the minds of rap fans through his younger cousin Chief Keef’s 2012 breakout hit “I Don’t Like,” in which Keef made an inimitable mention of Santana in his verse: “Fredo in the cut/ That’s a scary sight.” The song, later remixed by Kanye West, catapulted Keef and Santana’s Glory Boyz Entertainment squad, drill music, and new trends in Chicago rap more broadly into the national spotlight.
After releasing his debut 2012 mixtape It’s A Scary Sight, Santana released his anticipated debut album, Trappin Ain’t Dead, in 2013, which included a high-profile feature from Kendrick Lamar on the single “Jealous.” It also included appearances from Santana’s other close associates including Chief Keef, SD, and Gino Marley, with whom he released a collaborative mixtape the same year. The album debuted Santana’s own imprint, Savage Squad Records.
Santana released music regularly up until his final release from last year, Fredo Kruger 2. At the time of his death, fans were expecting the release of a collaborative mixtape with Chief Keef called Turbo Bandanna, the release of which Santana claimed was postponed by his hospital stay, and Walking Legend 2, another solo project. Santana’s son, Legend, was born in June of last year.
Friends and associates took to Twitter to share their memories and condolences, including Drake, in whose 2013 video for “Hold On, We’re Going Home” Santana appeared prominently.
Rest In Peace..