It's been seven years since Juelz Santana released his sophomore album, What The Game's Been Missing On Def Jam Records.
Since then, a lot has changed for the Harlem rapper. As a member of the mighty Diplomats crew, Santana broke out with a bevy of mixtapes and hit singles. However with the temporary breakup and reunion of the Diplomats and personal issues, Hip-Hop Wired asked Santana the all-important question for his recent comeback mixtape, God Will'n. Why?
"I feel like I was wasting a lot of time I couldn't get back. A lot of people wanted me. I didn't even understand the reason why I wasn't giving the people what they wanted," Juelz tells Hip-Hop Wired. "I tell people my studio got shut down, these aren't excuses, but these are things that took place to where it kind of like, I needed to have it come back to me. One of my best dudes died, dropped dead right in the middle of my studio," begins the rapper.
"A week after that my studio got raided by the police. I lost hard drives that had music I had been recording for three years that I planned on putting out. So I was like 'what next?" Plus I had a kid, so I was like I need to relax, I didn't get time to spend with my first child. So when this one was born I was like 'let me chill out right now and spend a little bit of time.' And at the end of the day it was time to go. I got people that depend on me and a lot of people that is just good energy around me. The good energy around me just brought it out. This is what I was supposed to be doing this is what I was born to do."
Although life got in the way for Juelz as far as his road to superstardom, Santana realizes that a lot of his musical hiatus was self-imposed. "I would get calls from good people like Baby would call me and be like 'whats good bro, you supposed to right here with [Lil] Wayne,' Santana explains. "But I understood, I was never one to get mad. I knew if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing I'd be there."
With a slew of new projects ready to drop starting on Monday with the release of God Will'n, Santana is as focused as he's been in years and, in his words, is ready to reclaim the spot he left.
"Me, I know how to do certain things I just stay in tune with what I feel like I need to be in tune with to make the music that was quality. I've always been a rapper and now where lyrics are kind of like taken into consideration a bit more. I always thought I was a little bit ahead of my time," Santana boldly states. "I always said that it's going to take people to get what's so far ahead, you dig? So at the end of the day maybe the time is just catching up. I just think it's perfect timing now. I listen to a lot of things and I hear people, and it's just bread off of me. I know I can listen to a song and say if it is wack or not, I know what I'm doing."
Juelz Santana's mixtape, God Will'n, will drop on Monday, January 14th.