The Break Presents: Sad Boy Loko
When YG dropped his highly anticipated sophomore album, Still Brazy, last June, many fans pointed to one unfamiliar featured artist that stood out on the project. That rapper was Sad Boy Loko. Judging by his name, it's initially confusing what kind of artist Sad Boy is, however, once he raps, it's clear there's nothing weak about him.
This 27-year-old Santa Barbara, Calif. native made his debut in 2012 with his project I'm Still Here. After his scene-stealing verses on "Don't Come to L.A." and "Black and Brown," many fans were wondering who this Mexican-American spitta is. Sad Boy followed up his success with hit singles like "Gangs Signs" and "I Want It All" plus hopped on records with Slim 400.
Last year, Loko signed to YG's 4Hunnid record label and released The First Ese. For Sad Boy Loko, he's not just working to become the best rapper he can be, his goal is to expose Chicano rap outside of southern California and be a figure of hope for any young aspiring Mexican rappers who want to be a star.
"It’s motivational to me," he tells XXL over the phone. "I’m pretty sure when young people see me it motivates them. 'Oh Sad Boy, he’s Mexican, I’m straight Mexican, look where he’s at.'"
With the new year just beginning, read up on Sad Boy Loko, who's set to have a promising 2017.
Name: Sad Boy Loko
Hometown: Santa Barbara, Calif.
I grew up listening to: “2Pac, a bunch of Chicano rap. I started rapping when I was 13. I started because the homies influenced me when I was younger [to start rapping]. I was mostly freestyling. I had thoughts of [being a rapper] when I was growing up but never to the point where I am today. I started getting serious when I was 18. I was recording on a daily basis. It was basically drink, record, drink, record.
"I just try and think of shit I’ve been through and describe it into words and try to visualize it. I met YG like a year ago. I’m a different music genre but we still fucked with each other."
Most people don’t know: "That I’m from Santa Barbara. It’s a small town, not a lot of people from there."
My style’s been compared to: “Like little Mexican ‘Pac. I just try to open up the doors for my people and set the foundation so we can march in. 'Pac was big for this people, I’m trying to be one for my people. I want to give other youngsters hope that we can do this too."
My standout records or moments to date have been: “'Que Viva La Raza,' that’s my statement it’s like powerful and it’s Spanish so my people can understand. I saw the love from the people instantly."
My goal in hip-hop is to: “Expand my music and perfect my music so more people can hear it”
I’m gonna be the next: “Legend, just opening doors for people when most people don’t even bother on touching. Most rappers today are just rapping about their money. People can’t relate to that. I’m rapping about the struggle, which everybody can relate to. I’m talking about shit that is going on in the neighborhood."
Standout: The First Ese
"I Want It All"
Slim 400's "Bruisin" Featuring YG and Sad Boy Loko
"I'm Still Here"
YG's "Don't Come to L.A." Featuring Sad Boy Loko, AD and Bricc Baby
YG's "Blacks & Browns" Featuring Sad Boy Loko
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