Chicago rapper Fredo Santana, who like his 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.