Chicago rapper Fredo Santana, who the cousin to fellow rapper Chief Keef, passed away at the young age of 27.
Chicago rapper Fredo Santana, who like his elder cousin Chief Keef performed in the “drill” style, died Friday in Los Angeles at age 27. The Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office confirmed the death Saturday but provided no further details.
Santana, whose legal name is Derrick Coleman, released gritty, autobiographical rap songs that took an unflinching look at a life very different from that of the city’s famed Save Money crew.
Santana enjoyed his biggest year in terms of popularity in 2013, which was also the year of his sole album release, “Trappin’ Ain’t Dead,” though he also put out nine mixtapes. The recording debuted on iTunes, and included cameos from Kendrick Lamar and Keef.
“2006 when I first started popping pills,” Santana sang on his 2017 track “Been Savage,” the combo of trap and drill that brought the rapper to a local fame, even as the national spotlight eluded him in a way that matched Chicago peers such as Keef and Chance the Rapper.
October was the rapper’s first significant health scare. A friend found him in the midst of a seizure. The subsequent hospitalization would delay release of a new mixtape. In an Instagram status update from the hospital, Santana wrote: “Been in here since Friday. Doctor say … kidney failure an liver failure. I’m getting back to normal. Sorry to all my fans turbo bandana will not be dropping tomorrow due to my health issues. Thanks for everyone who prayed. … I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy.”
After that incident, Santana vowed to seek help, and began speaking out about the dangers of drug abuse. A December Instagram Live video showed the rapper looking healthy, at one point saying, “Hope you been staying away from that lean. … Do I look like I been sippin’ lean?”
The rapper leaves behind an 8-month-old son.