Fredo Santana grew up fast. The Chicago rapper, born Derrick Coleman, grew up impoverished with little resources.
Fredo made the decision to go out and get it on his own at an early age because his mother could not afford clothes for him.
The “Trappin Ain’t Dead” rapper revealed to Village Voice he began selling drugs at age 11.
“…So like 11 and 12, I started selling crack,” he told Village Voice. “I needed shoes and s---. I’m watching this on TV like, “I need this s---.” I can’t be wearing the same shoes, having holes in my shoes. So I started selling drugs to support myself.”
Fredo went on to explain how the drug game works for an adolescent, saying he started as a “look out.”
“It started as a look out,” he said, according to Village Voice. “Then you grow into knowing what you doing. It’s up to you. You could work for other people or become a boss at a young age. You can buy your own work, wholesale, like anything else, and go sell it.”
Fredo echoed this harsh reality in music. In his most recent mixtape effort “Scary Site 2,” Fredo recorded the track “Crack Pot” where he raps, “When I first turned 12, I started selling crack/Went from being a lookout to pushing packs.”
Fredo even supplied loved ones with drugs.
“I sold to family members and their friends and neighbors,” he continued. “I mean, somebody was gonna do it. Might as well keep it in the family. People grow up so fast. Real, real fast. By 12, I was buying my own socks, drawers, taking care of myself like a grown man.”
It was Fredo’s involvement in the streets that led to him catching a case at 12.
Fredo posted a photograph of his mug shot as a pre-teen on IG.
“My first mug shot when I caught my first case in 2002 I was 12 been doing this street s---,” he wrote.
Fredo was arrested for allegedly kicking down a bus door on Halloween, according to Village Voice.
This isn’t the only glimpse of Fredo at a younger age.
Footage surfaced online showing Fredo thugging with Black Disciple gang members in his hometown of Chicago.
Fredo who appears to be in his early teens in the footage is a stark contrast from his present tattooed self.
In the footage, Fredo referred to himself as the “original Santana from Chicago.” Fredo also referred to his crew as “Dip Set.”
To go even further back, Fredo Santana posted a photo to IG of himself as a baby cradled by his father.
“#TBT me and my pops this when I feel in love wit gunz I guess this y I love gunz so much lol,” he wrote on the caption of the photo.
Despite being heavily involved in the streets, Fredo can now regard himself as a success story. Fredo revealed he has friends that are either dead or serving life in prison.
Fredo commented on his 23rd birthday that many people don’t make it to see 16 in Chiraq.
“Today my birthday just turn 23 were I’m from n----- don’t even see 16 #Blessed,” he wrote.
He has released three mixtapes and an album thus far in his career.
He even collaborated with one of Hip Hop’s biggest stars for single “Jealous” featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Fredo has since turned his negatives into positives. He is currently the proud owner of his record label Savage Squad Records.
Head over iTunes to purchase Fredo Santana’s “Trappin Ain’t Dead” by clicking here.
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