Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago (born November 26, 1992), known professionally as Anuel AA, is a Puerto Rican rapper and singer. He is considered a pioneer of the Latin trap movement and his lyrics often discuss crime and urban life in Puerto Rico. His music often contains samples and interpolations of songs that were popular during his youth. He is seen as a controversial figure in the Latin music scene for his legal troubles and feuds with fellow Puerto Rican rappers Cosculluela and Ivy Queen and with the American rapper 6ix9ine.
Raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico, he started recording music at age fourteen and began posting it online four years later in 2010, before eventually signing to the Latin division of American rapper Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group. His 2016 mixtape Real Hasta la Muerte was well-received, but his success was put on hold the same year by a 30-month prison sentence for illegal firearm possession in Puerto Rico. He recorded the entirety of his debut album while incarcerated, during which time his genre of music surged in popularity.
Anuel AA released his debut album, also titled Real Hasta la Muerte, on July 17, 2018, the day he was released from prison. The album was a critical and commercial success. In the coming six months, he appeared on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs, solidifying his position as one of the top Latino artists. In August 2019, he released the song "China", a collaboration with Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna, and J Balvin, which was a global success. He has since released the hit song "Me Gusta" with Shakira, and his second album, Emmanuel, which was released on May 29, 2020. In November 2020, Anuel AA made a statement on Instagram and released a new song suggesting his imminent retirement from the music industry, citing family and relationship issues.