“Podrán encerrar el cuerpo pero la mente sigue libre” (They could lock up the body but the mind will be still free). This perfectly summarizes what has happened and is happening to one of the biggest stars of Latin Trap music.
It was April 2016 when Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago, a.k.a. Anuel AA, was arrested after officers found three guns, a dozen clips, and 152 rounds of ammunition in the car he was traveling in with other people. Then, that December, he was sentenced to 30 months in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico yet was likely to be released within a year as he’s displayed his regret.
Two years and three months have passed and he has been receiving support during his entire detention from all over the world, especially thanks to his fellows Latin artists and colleagues, that call each other “hermanos” (brothers). The rapper has cultivated his fan base under the #FreeAnuel movement, releasing new music, selling merchandise, and even increasing his followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Real Hasta la Muerte, distributed by The Orchard, was entirely conceived and recorded by Anuel as he served his sentence. The release date has been kept tightly under wraps, with many expecting it to happen once Anuel walked free. But much to everyone’s surprise, the album hit all digital platforms while Anuel is still behind bars.
The 12-track set, produced by fellow Puerto Rican Chris Jeday, includes duets with the likes of Zion and good friend Ozuna. Anuel worked on his new project literally behind the bars, creating 12 hits full of messages and meanings, reflecting his difficult situation, in a total Trap flow that he didn’t lose in prison.
What is certain, is that this experience made him even more famous, but also now, through this album which is great, his return will become a huge event for the whole Latin music scene.
Listen to Real Hasta la Muerte here: