Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago, known professionally as Anuel AA, is a Puerto Rican singer and rapper. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Latin trap movement.
His father, José Gazmey, was the president of Sony Music in Puerto Rico and was friends with the rapper Tempo. Ever since his early teen years, Gazmey showed great interest in music and in 2010, he decided to become a rapper using his father's influence to secure a deal with the record-label Maybach Music Group.
Gazmey's music theme relates to issues such as street life, violence, sex, and drugs. One of his most popular catchphrases in his songs is "Real Hasta la Muerte" or "Real Until Death". After being released from prison on July 17, 2018, Gazmey released his first full-length album titled Real Hasta la Muerte which contained 12 songs and landed at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in less than 24 hours.
Gazmey was arrested and held in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo on April 3, 2016 with three companions when police found three pistols including one stolen, nine magazines, and 152 bullets. He signed a plea deal for 30 months in federal prison for gun possession charges.
Following his arrest, the #FreeAnuel movement became viral among his fans as he continued to release tracks from prison. Being able to record his voice over the phone, Anuel AA mostly participated in collaborations with other artists such as Nicky Jam, Cosculluela, Bad Bunny and J Balvin.
On March 2018, Gazmey was released from federal prison into a state prison in Miami. During this time, he told Billboard that while imprisoned, he kept listening to the radio and what was happening in the streets, to draw inspiration for his songwriting.
In April 2018, Anuel AA was featured along with Future
and Bad Bunny
on the single "Thinkin" by Spiff TV.