The Chicago-based rapper Fredo Santana, a pioneer of the drill music scene, is dead at the young age of 27, according to TMZ.
What was rapper’s cause of death? How did he die?
Santana died from a fatal seizure, TMZ reported. “Santana had been hospitalized recently for liver and kidney problems he’d been battling for months,” TMZ reported on January 20, 2018. “The rapper had talked openly about his lean addiction … as we’ve reported way too many times, lean can trigger seizures.” Fredo Santana was a cousin of Chief Keef, reported TMZ, which added that Santana “was at his L.A. home Friday. We’re told his girlfriend came over at around 11:30 PM and found him dead on the floor” on Friday, January 19, 2018.
Despite the TMZ report, officials have not yet confirmed Fredo Santana’s cause of death. CNN reported that the coroner and a family member have confirmed that Fredo died. The rapper “died at his residence in the Reseda neighborhood around 11 p.m. Friday” January 19, reported CNN.
Fredo’s death was also confirmed on social media by friends and fellow rappers, who offered tributes to him. According to the Mirror, those included his close friend record producer and rapper Maxo Kream who posted a photo of Fredo Santana on Instagram, writing, “Damn man I’m lost for words right now I’m cryin my ass off Fredo I love yu B***h RIP a real Savage.” According to Vibe, “Artists and friends like Drake and Lil B have paid their respects to the rapper on social media.” His work with Drake and Migos was well-known.
XXL Mag reported that Fredo Santana may have suffered from kidney failure. “It appears the MC may have suffered from kidney failure leading to his death. Last October, Fredo went to the emergency room after suffering from kidney and liver failure, a possible result of his lean usage, and shared the experience with fans on social media,” the site reported, quoting him as saying recently on Instagram, “Been in here since Friday doctor say… had kidney failure an liver failure. Thanks for everyone who prayed… I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy.”
According to Complex, that hospitalization was in October: “In October, Santana (born Derrick Coleman) was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure, a health issue that may have been caused by an abuse of drugs, including lean.”
On social media, people paid tribute to the influence of Chicago rappers and mourned the loss of too many, too soon. Fredo Santana’s real name was Derrick Coleman.
What is a lean addiction? It’s an addiction to prescription cough syrup. In 2015, Elite Daily reported that lean was “killing both rappers and the culture of hip-hop,” writing, “Houston legends like DJ Screw, Bun B and Pimp C made the addictive drink (otherwise known as lean or sizzurp) popular during the 2000s. They usually mixed theirs with Sprite and Jolly Ranchers. The origins of the drink go as far back as the 70s in the Fifth Ward, Third Ward and South Park neighborhoods of Houston.”
The cough syrup is mixed with soda to make the drink. It’s known as “lean,” “sizzurp,” “drank,” “purp,” “barre,” or simply “syrup,” according to Splinter.
According to HotNewHipHop, “Fredo first broke through in 2012 alongside Chicago peers Chief Keef, Lil Reese, and Lil Durk, the first wave of rappers to define Drill, a confrontational and highly influential form of street rap.” The site listed his projects as including “It’s A Scary Site, Fredo Kruger, Trappin’ Ain’t Dead and Walking Legend. Last year, he released Fredo Krueger 2, and was in the process of recording a new tape called Walking Legend 2 and a joint tape with Chief Keef called Turbo Bandana.”
According to Complex, “Santana—alongside Chief Keef (his cousin), Lil Reese, and other Chicago acts—helped usher in the drill music scene in 2012, a style of rap that has since spread in influence. He also founded his own label, Savage Squad, where he released his debut album Trappin’ Ain’t Dead in 2013 and followed that with a string of mixtapes, the most recent being Fredo Kruger 2 in 2017.”
On social media, he frequently posted photos of himself smoking and enjoying a rapper lifestyle. However, he had recently posted photos of his family.
Fredo Santana was also a new father, who leaves behind an 8-month-old son. His son’s name is Legend, according to Vibe.