Puerto Rican Rap OG Tempo Breaks Free After Over Two Decades

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Puerto Rican rapper Tempo, born David Sánchez Badillo, is finally a free man after 22 years caught in the legal system. A spokesperson confirmed the news on Friday, marking a new chapter for the influential artist.

Tempo’s journey began in 2002 with a drug trafficking arrest. Initially sentenced to nearly 25 years, a series of appeals and a guilty plea ultimately led to an 11-year prison sentence. Following his release in 2014, he served an additional 10 years on probation.

“This isn’t just the end of a chapter for Tempo,” a statement reads, “but the beginning of a new one in his life and career.” Fans can expect upcoming tour announcements soon.

Tempo, who landed at No. 17 on Billboard’s prestigious “50 Best Spanish-Language Rappers of All Time” list, started crafting rhymes as a child. He officially launched his music career in 1994, culminating in the release of his debut album Game Over in 1999. A prominent figure in the Puerto Rican rap scene of the 90s and early 00s, Tempo was known for his raw lyricism and fierce diss tracks (tiraeras). His talent even landed him one of the first Latin rapper deals with Sony Music Latin.

Even while incarcerated, Tempo’s creative fire burned bright. His 2009 album Free Tempo reached No. 6 on the Top Latin Albums chart, featuring collaborations with heavyweights like Wisin y Yandel, Tego Calderón, Jowell y Randy, and Daddy Yankee. In recent years, he released tracks like “Me Rendí” (reflecting on his faith) and the deeply personal “Perdóname Madre” dedicated to his mother.

Tempo’s freedom is a cause for celebration in the Latin music world. With his undeniable talent and a wealth of experience to draw from, fans eagerly await the next chapter in his illustrious career.