SadBoy Loko On Santa Barbara Roots & Forthcoming Project “Sin Fronteras”

SadBoy Loko is a “Gangsta Fo Life,” per his most recent release… and he’s here to put on for his Chicano community any chance he can. Born and raised in sunny Santa Barbara, the West Coast rapper has been through hell and back, and he’s here to inspire and motivate the masses with his music. 


In fact, after spending the majority of 2018 through 2020 behind bars, SadBoy Loko made it his mission to step away from the darker street anthems, elevating his purpose by highlighting the strength it takes to overcome life obstacles. 

And of course, he’s no stranger to the music industry. Previously signed to YG’s 4Hunnid imprint speaks volumes in itself, but SadBoy Loko has much bigger dreams on the horizon. 

His past hit singles have done skyrocketing numbers, with the “Gang Signs” video accumulating over 68 million views and “Bruisin” featuring YG and the late Slim 400 with over 36 million views.

Fast forward to today, SadBoy Loko is back with yet another banger, this time a hit for the summer called “Palm Trees” featuring Kap G and West Coast rapper YBE. This follows the release of “Controlando las Calles,” where he spits in both Spanish and English, leading up to his newest project titled Sin Fronteras.

AllHipHop spoke with SadBoyLoko at B-Real’s compound in downtown Los Angeles moments before he stopped into The Dr. Greenthumb Show. Read below as we discuss his background, love for Snoop, his name, new release “Palm Trees,” his new project, signing to YG, relationship with Slim 400, goals, and more!

AllHipHop: First off, I actually went to UCSB for 2 years.

SadBoy Loko: Ah s###, so you’re familiar with Santa Barbara.

AllHipHop: Absolutely. What was it like growing up there? It’s such a vibe.

SadBoy Loko: I mean, it’s lit. You’ve got that part with the turn up kids over there, and you already know. You’ve got the college students over here on UCSB, so it’s a little mixture of everything.

AllHipHop: Were you partying in Isla Vista early on?

SadBoy Loko: I partied like 3 or 4 times over there. Those kids are a little something else, you know what I’m talking about. Those parties are a little over the edge. [laughs] You know.

AllHipHop: When did you fall in love with music?

SadBoy Loko: A young age, like 15 or 16. It was just hip hop/rap. Gangsta s### was usually what I always listened to. The first one was Tha Eastsidaz, with some Snoop Dogg s###. I grew up to Tha Eastsidaz s###, because all the other artists were Westside. Bumping Westside music.

AllHipHop: When did you realize you could do music for a living? 

SadBoy Loko: When I started getting royalties out of it. [laughs] When you start getting paid finally, you’re like “we can do this.”


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AllHipHop: Was there a song that really blew up for you?

SadBoy Loko: My first one was “I’m Still Here,” then a few other ones came after. “Gang Signs” and a lot of them started coming after, so they started catching on.

AllHipHop: And you’re still independent right?

SadBoy Loko: Nah, I’m with Prajin Music. It’s a Latin label, but I was the first gangsta rapper to sign there.

AllHipHop: How did you get your name?

SadBoy Loko: My name comes from the hood. It’s not like these other fools, you just pick and choose right there with your crew. My s### came from my neighborhood, that’s my nickname. Once I started rapping, I just followed my name. Sadboy Loko.

AllHipHop: Are you a SadBoy?

SadBoy Loko: At that time, look. I’m going to give you the intel, just because you went to UCSB. I was high when I got my name, I was really blown. They’re like “hey, who’s this SadBoy looking m###########?” It just stuck onto me.

AllHipHop: And Loko? Are you loko?

SadBoy Loko: That evolved after. That just came with it, it stuck on after. 


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AllHipHop: Obviously, “Palm Trees” is going crazy. Kap G’s the homie too, talk about linking with him and what inspired that record.

SadBoy Loko: My producer Cricket came with the idea, he had Kap G on it with the hook. He set the vibes. Once he had set that vibe, I just added that Loko to it. That little taste of it, a good taste and he came back with it. That’s a nice song, it came out tight. Real summer vibes.

AllHipHop: How does it feel to be hitting a few million?

SadBoy Loko: It’s cool, that song’s lit. It’s lit, it’s a little summer anthem right there. Bump the summer.

AllHipHop: What’s the best memory from the music video?

SadBoy Loko: The palm trees. It had this little breeze through them.


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AllHipHop: What does it mean to be a “Gangsta Fo Life”?

SadBoy Loko: That one was a bonus, we had to add that on there. One of the gangsterest ones. Probably one of the only gangsta jams on there, but “Gangsta Fo Life” you know? Take the boy out the hood, but you can’t take the hood out the boy. 

AllHipHop: What can we expect from your new album, Sin Fronteras?

SadBoy Loko: Sin Fronteras. A little bit of everything. You ever had a pizza with all flavors? With all toppings? Well, it’s something like that. You can get a little bit of everything. Some gangsta s###, some regional, some banda. Some rock jams in there, some love jams, you name it.

AllHipHop: What does the title mean?

SadBoy Loko: Sin Fronteras: without barriers. No walls, nothing can stop me type thing. That’s how I meant it.

AllHipHop: Any other features?

SadBoy Loko: Lupillo Rivera, Jorge Gamboa, Kap G. There’s a few artists on there.

AllHipHop: Talk about rapping in both Spanish and English, and what that means to be able to put on for your culture.

SadBoy Loko: I mean, it’s just cool. A little bit of Spanglish gets you in all doors. All doors open when you can… it’s a good thing. 

AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?

SadBoy Loko: Just the background of it. Get to really know me, not just from the image. You can actually listen to the music, vibe out to it and get to know a m###########.

AllHipHop: How did you end up signing to YG’s 4Hunnid?

SadBoy Loko: That s### came out of nowhere. But when it happened, it happened. We just linked up, it was on some hood s###. First did “Don’t Come to LA,” then from there got signed to them.

AllHipHop: How did you end up meeting?

SadBoy Loko: S### was random, I talked to him through FaceTime. Went on my vacation, got out and then signed to Prajin. 

AllHipHop: Slim 400 was my friend too, he was just so full of life.

SadBoy Loko: Yeah, that’s the boy. RIP, rest in peace Slim. We were cool. Right when I got out, I took him on my first shows. I brought him out, we were doing “Bruisin” together. We were cool, that’s the boy. Rest in peace.

AllHipHop: What was your reaction when you found out that he passed?

SadBoy Loko: Man, it was unexpected. Sometimes still trip out, but what can I say?

AllHipHop: Do you have a highlight from “Bruisin”? Because that song really took off.

SadBoy Loko: How it first came about, we were just chillin’. We put it on and he’s like “hey drop something. Drop something. Man come on, do your stuff.” What? Just turned up. It came out and YG hopped on it, because that s### was just a banger. Slim handled it, then I came in with that Michelada s###, oh it was done with. 

AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?

SadBoy Loko: Me, Hennessey, and some weed. That’s it, I don’t need nobody else. Oh the producer and engineer, and that’s it. 

AllHipHop: I saw you talk to students recently at Santa Barbara City College.

SadBoy Loko: That was cool, that was an experience. I had the pleasure of talking back with the kids, with the youth fresh out of high school so that was a good experience. Because I actually attended Running Start when I was fresh out of juvenile hall. It was cool, I got to talk to them like some real life stuff, how to be productive and successful.. That was a good part.

AllHipHop: How does it feel to be on the cover of Santa Barbara Independent?

SadBoy Loko: Man that was good, shout out to them. Because the first time I was on the cover for not the positive side. Now this time, it was on some positivity. It was good.

AllHipHop: Do you have any goals for yourself?

SadBoy Loko: Keep striving, keep grinding. Sky’s the limit. Don’t settle for less, just keep going.

AllHipHop: Anything else you want the people to know about you?

SadBoy Loko: Keep your head up, don’t give up in life. Other than that, go Loko baby. 

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