2018 has been a depressing year of celebrity passing’s, but none have hit as hard as the young passing’s of the “Trapper of the Century”. Fredo Santana was a cultural icon that was best known for his musical ability behind the microphone. As one of the more prominent rappers and artists to come out of Chicago’s Drill Rap scene, Santana was a monster behind his work, a true CEO of his own Savage Squad Records, and the father to thousands of artists that would come up since his rise in 2011.
His latest 2017 release Fredo Kruger 2 has not only some of the coldest, illustrative pieces for the cover which prominently displays Santana as the nightmare controller himself. But, the music behind the record is some of Santana’s best to date with a focus on creating a twisted and destructive turn towards the dark side. Opening with the iconic “Been Savage”, Santana which brightens quickly before dashing off into the frigid, windy nights. “Nigga say that he want beef, I’mma show him how that mac feel. Disrespect the gang, you get killed that’s what’s happening. Funeral service, momma’s crying, shit tragic” Santana explains between the bursts of 808’s percussion and snare claps. Fredo Kruger 2 and all of Santana’s music has this aura behind it that can make even the smallest of people feel 20 feet tall. The confidence that follows along behind the harsh percussion and boss-esque lyrics is important in the monument that Santana was and his influence in both tunes and style.
As he then moves on to “Kill U on Camera” and it is clear that Santana will be quick to state his motives and emotions behind the clearheaded, almost relaxed movements. “I stay on the road, like I drive for Uber. You can’t hang with me, cause you ain’t a shooter” Santana explains, making it almost impossible not to crack a smile behind the adlibs in the background and even the incredibly clever lyrical workings that he creates. In a sadistic world such as Chicago Rap, everything from Kanye West to Lil Durk can come up. Santana holds his own league that insists on being original and creative within himself. While the beat selections can be one of the attention grabbing factors of these rather willful performances, Santana can balance the punches with the production and push to the front with only a microphone and vocals.
Drill might just run in the family however as Santana moves to “Never Had A Job” where he recruits one of the largest artists of a generation who just happens to also be his cousin. Chief Keef dives headfirst and has no problem adapting to Santana’s style of pushing vivid descriptions with glorified percussion and flashy piano chords. Chief Keef is actually called upon several times in following tracks where each performance is a tornado tag-team of one-two punches that feels more as an army than just simply two Chicago natives.
With an overwhelming amount of people that wanted a piece of Santana, he managed to create music that could appeal to the hip-hop head and drill artist aficionado. From the sunny suburbs to the deceitful downtowns, Santana was a national treasure that left behind a legacy and bright future for more than just music with Fredo Kruger 2.