By Rahman J. Dukes
Juelz Santana is back and ready to put his best foot forward in the rap game following a near three year hiatus that almost derailed the Harlem MC’s career. Back around 2007 Juelz along with Lil Wayne were the hottest ticket on the next wave of Hip-Hop superstars. Aside from the fact the two were musically inclined, Weezy and Els (as Wayne calls him) were close friends who began crafting a full length LP together titled I Can’t Feel My Face. The two slaughtered the mixtape game with countless apperances and even supported each other while out on the road (Juelz was a special guest at the Lil Wayne show where he was arrested on gun possession charges and was also briefly detained himself.) With the announcement of their joint album heads were sent into a Twilight Zone over excitement. Only thing is, the album never surfaced.
Lil Wayne would soon embark on a marathon like trek securing the number one spot on MTV News’s critically acclaimed Hottest MCs In The Game program, then the following year smashing rap history with the highly anticipated 2008 release of his Carter 3 album, selling one million units of the disc in one week. Weezy was touted as rap’s number one shotta and was showing no signs of slowing down. His partner in rhyme Juelz was left standing in the rafters watching Wayne run away with the game.
During his recent visit on RapFix Live for the first time Juelz touched on that dark period where he all but disappeared from the game when he was on the verge of superstardom.
“No need to complain over spilled milk. I mean, it wasn’t me” Juelz admitted to Sway. “It wasn’t like I just fell off the earth. It was just a lot of things that frustrated me. At that time, it was a real time with me and Cam parting ways and there was a lot of things that he had control over which, there’s no hard feelings or nothing about. But at the end of the day it just frustrated me to the point where I was just frustrated for a little bit of time and it stopped me from doing things that I should have, could have, would have been doing.”
Fed up with the delay after the I Can’t Feel My Face LP never materialized, nearly two years after the LP’s annoucement was made a 20 track disc set with songs from the project was leaked to the internet. According to Juelz more unheard music from the album exists but the fate of the LP remains unknown.
“The album as far as me and Weezy, once again we recorded the records, 40 records. 20 of ‘em leaked and we probably got about another 20 records unheard, still just sitting there” said Juelz. “But when it comes to that, look at the T-Pain and Wayne album. That didn’t come out. When you dealing with artists on that level, as far as that album, that album had nothing to do with other things. That album was just a lot of politics. You got two big artists that are on two separate labels. Here you have Universal, Cash Money, then him Young Money. Then you have me, I was still Diplomats, then Def Jam. You got a lot of people asking for different things. It wasn’t no one reason it didn’t happen. Me and Wayne always was on the same page, musically, as far as friendship wise. I’m just happy we didn’t let that get in the way of us being cool, being able to do things in the future we ain’t let it get to us. It is what it is, it happened. We’ll still be able to give the people one way or the other whether we just leak it on the streets or not.”
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