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Juan Gotti

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Juan Gotti (born Juan Ramos) is a Mexican American rapper who was born in Eagle Pass, Texas, relocated briefly to Galveston at a young age, before settling in Houston’s infamous South Side. Reared in a tough gang-riddled barrio, Ramos proved to be a “diamond in the rough,” getting in trouble but all the while expressing potential as an artist. Ramos eventually mastered the artistry of airbrushing low riders and tattooing; the musicianship of drumming and playing bass guitar; and, the techniques of DJing. But, all this talent was put on hold as Ramos went to the TDC penitentiary for five years.

Resuming a free life in 1997, Ramos by chance tattooed Dope House rapper Low G, who invited him out to a South Park Mexican concert. South Park Mexican turned out to be old schoolmate Carlos Coy reinvented as a Latino rap sensation. That began Ramos’ unofficial rap-game apprenticeship as “Juan Gotti” with SPM and Dope House Records, filling in for Low G at low rider and rap shows around Houston from 1998.

Citing DJ Screw, Street Military, Ramón Ayala and Control Machete as influences, Gotti’s first single “Mira Lo Que Pasa” a year later “blew up,” as he puts it. The full album, No Set Trippin’, dropped in 2002, quickly snapped up a Latin Grammy® nomination and sold enough units to go “ghetto gold” (more than 50,000 by street standards).

“I thank Jesus. Glory to God,” Gotti praises of his successes, “Faith has kept me focused and Dope House has done wonders. Everyone was freaked out about how fast I moved up. Things happen for a reason because of God.”

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