Four years today, April 3, Puerto Rican artist Anuel AA was incarcerated for the first time in federal prison for possession of firearms. And even though he completed his sentence of 30 months, the day he was arrested gave him ample reason to record an emotional freestyle called “3 de abril.”
Despite his effusive on-camera and social media personality, his private life is always surrounded by mystery and controversy. But, this time, the real Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago (also known as Anuel AA) opens up to the world with lyrics begin, “Soy la mejor versión de mí cuando estoy bajo presión, Será porque yo crecí en el calentón. Donde la palabra amigo es sinónimo de traición” (“I am the best version of me when I’m under pressure/ It will be because I grew up in the calentón — a place where crime abounds/ Where the word friend is synonymous with treason.”)
Later in the song he admits that he avenged a friend by being violent, that he was involved with drugs and that he was kidnapped but managed to get out alive. The singer-songwriter definitely becomes vulnerable through his art, using his lyrics to tell his life story, including a look back at his childhood, as well as bad decisions he’s made along the way.
Listen to “3 de abril” below.