Happy Birthday, Juelz Santana!
Born LaRon Louis James in 1982, he started rapping at a young age in his Harlem, NY neighborhood. Fans got an early listen of Juelz's rhymes when he appeared on fellow Harlemite Cam'ron's 2000 album, S.D.E., at the age of 18 and subsequently signed with The Diplomats.
Juelz has had a very strong presence on all three albums that the Diplomats have put out, and he's held his own as a steady solo artist in hip-hop for years. He's released two solo albums and a slew of acclaimed mixtapes, including 2003's LP, From Me to U, and 2005's What the Game's Been Missing. It was on What the Game's Been Missing that mainstream America was really introduced to Juelz's style, thanks to his highest charting solo single, "There It Go (The Whistle Song)," which reached a peak position of No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Outside of the work with Dipset and his solo projects, Juelz Santana has collaborated with some of hip-hop's biggest names from Chris Brown to Rick Ross, and released his last mixtape, God Will'n, in 2013. Juelz has also dipped into the world of television, making regular appearances on VH1's Love & Hip Hop: New York.
After a bit of a haitus, Juelz, Cam'ron, Jim Jones and Freeky Zekey linked up once again as The Diplomats at the end of 2017. After a number of live performances and the announcement that they're working on a documentary, the Harlem rap crew dropped their latest album, Diplomatic Ties, at the tail-end of 2018 to much critical acclaim.
Unfortunately for Juelz, he ran into a bunch of legal trouble in 2018, and has recently been sentenced to 27 months behind bars stemming from gun charges following an incident at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Through all of that, however, the silver lining for the Harlem MC is the fact that he married his longtime girlfriend, Kimbella, last month in a lavish ceremony full of family and friends. The couple has two children together, 8-year-old Juelz Santana James and 6-year-old Bella Monroe James.
Happy Birthday, Juelz, hold ya head!
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