Written by Kevin Keise
New York has always been a staple for Hip Hop music. In fact, South Bronx, Boogie Down Bronx is Hip Hop’s birthplace, so when you hear about an emerging emcee coming out of there, you know they have to come with some real heat! HHW’s Kim So Major sat down with buzzing Bronx artist HG Locks to talk about his hot single, ‘Handle That’, getting his start with Fetty Wap, tour life with Ugly God and his future plans.
KSM: Good seeing you out in Cali grinding, what are you working on out here?
HG Locks: I got a few meetings I’m pertaining to. I have a few sponsors I’m connecting up and linking up with and I’m a hop in the stu[studio] while I’m out here. We’re just staying active.”
KSM: Also, congratulations on hitting a million streams on SoundCloud for ‘Handle That’. For the people who don’t know you, what type of music do you make?
HG Locks: We’ll we straight out of the Bronx, New York and everything and definitely I would say that my music does have that New York feel to it, but it’s not stuck to just the New York lane. You get what I mean? Like you could tell that I’m from New York by the way that I talk, but when you hear the record, it’s bigger than that, it’s universal. That’s what’s helping me do numbers. It’s hit a over million on SoundCloud, over a million on Spotify, that’s because it’s being heard on a universal level. The people are taking a liking to it, man it’s over. It’s definitely over.
KSM: That’s what’s up! Who are some your musical influences?
HG Locks: Growing up definitely that whole Dip Set vibe played the biggest factor in my whole musical career. My favorite rapper was Julez Santana. Just the whole swag and the aura he brought. From the way that he dressed to the slick talking in his lyrics; is definitely what I emulated growing up for sure.
KSM: Cool, so what was it that inspired you to create music?
HG Locks: I’d say what really inspires me to create music is the grind. I’ve developed a love for it and the grind itself. I don’t take this for granted; I know where I come from so the fact that I even have an opportunity now is what’s keeping my engine going. That’s what fuels me. Knowing that I’m really doing this, knowing where I come from and doing this for real and getting recognition on a larger scale is what’s definitely fueling the engine.
KSM: How was your childhood growing up in the Bronx?
HG Locks: I’m from 241st …Uptown and growing up there was rough. My particular neighborhood was cool, but right up the block it was like a war zone in the area. So growing up, I learned to use my tough skin early. I had to learn that I couldn’t really move off emotion, I couldn’t really move off feelings, you just gotta really use your tough skin in the Bronx. That made me who I am today. The qualities that I have now, comes from how I was brought up.
KSM: And you’re only 23 right?
HG Locks: Yeah I’m 23, I turn 24 in July; next month.
KSM: Growing up in that environment I’m sure matured you. How do you think having that mindset prepared you for this grind?
HG Locks: The groundwork. I know this might sound really cliché, but the groundwork is really important. You’ll see a lot of people just blow up and you’d think to yourself like damn, they’re really on now. But that’s the groundwork. I didn’t realize how important the groundwork really is. That’s one of the biggest factors I could key in on. That ground work. You can’t cheat the grind. You gotta put in your 10 thousand hours. You gotta grind. You’ve got to.
KSM: Yeah, you’ve been putting in your groundwork. You’ve been all over, jumping on tours, taking care of business. How was road life and being on tour w/ Ugly God?
HG Locks: It’s dope! The dopest thing about that is me getting to turn up and vibe with a crowd that usually doesn’t get to hear my music. So I got to cater to a whole new crowd and they were receptive to it, that’s what really got me going. You know me; I’m an energy guy, and once I felt the energy they was giving me, I was like I gotta keep going. I was definitely feeding off the energy. And the people, they just took the music so care free. Like, they really listened man. The people who came there, really came to have a good time. You say, “now put ya hands up,” they’re putting their hands up. And if they didn’t know the song initially, by the second hook, they were singing the words. Yeah, it was dope, the energy from fans… man, you can’t match it.
KSM: Yeah, that’s lit. Now did you always want to be an artist, entertainer, rapper?
HG Locks: Nah, that’s never been the game plan. This is pretty big, it’s still hitting me that I’m really doing this now. This is crazy. I’m glad though. God always has a plan and I guess this was in His game plan. God was like this is what we’re going to do so we’re going to take it and run with it. Ain’t no looking back.
KSM: Word, word. I know early you got started with Fetty Wap, how did you two connect?
HG Locks: Man [Fetty] Wap, that’s my boy. We got together way before the ‘Trap Queen’ even viewed, so that might have been late 2014, early 2015. It was a minute ago, around the time Fetty was bubbling in the Tri State area. I was doing my thing in the Bronx, he was doing his thing in Jersey and we got together. We actually have a record out, it’s old, and it’s called ‘My Hittas’. We cooked that record and it was the first time we got to link in the stu [studio] and that’s where the relationship was built from. We connected and we just built. You know real ones are always gonna’ link. That energy is built. I was running on the road with him for a little while and you know he was just putting me on game.
KSM: Now talk about your movement, Hunned Gang?
HG Locks: Hunned Gang started in about 07, me and a couple of my close friends. We just got big on parties and everything. Then in 2011, one of my boys made a music video and I saw the response it got and I was like, ‘iight, maybe we can do this for real. So we made a team anthem video and ever since then, we’ve been locking in. We been going hard ever since.
KSM: Are there any challenges you’ve dealt with that’s actually helping you navigate in this industry?
HG Locks: I’ve lost a lot of people to the streets either through death or the system. What I’m doing is bigger than me. I’m helping to change the lives of the people around me. When I’m grinding, I’m putting other people in positions just by me grinding and me doing what I’m doing. That’s real leadership and you can’t teach that. But that’s what’s really keeping me going like I said. I know that I’m a leader and there are people leaning on me. I use that as motivation.
KSM: What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to next month other than your b day? I know you’ve been doing a lot of meetings with Def Jam and all the other labels up there so what’s next for the kid?
HG Locks: I’m in the works of shopping an EP. For the most part it’s already constructed, just got to cut a few records. I’m looking to drop that around July, August time. I wanna feed the people and let them know that we got plenty more where that came from. But, I’m also going to be out here in Cali for BET weekend. We’re also in the works of getting on another tour so, we’re just staying active.
Keep Up with HG Locks on Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter @HG_Locks and Facebook @HGLocks