King Lil G is one of the hardest rappers to come out of the West Coast, and he shows absolutely no plans of slowing down. Coming up as a minority in the music industry, the Mexican-American recording artist continuously represents and puts on for his people, his community, his gang, and his family.
What sets King Lil G apart from the others is the realness in his truth, coming from food stamps and hustling in the streets to now a thriving music career, his own weed strain, and one of the most dedicated fan bases in hip-hop. And still, his most impressive achievement to date remains: half a billion Youtube views, one million subscribers, over 100 million Spotify streams and 3 million followers on social media—completely independent. No major label, no handouts, no machine… just passion, dedication, relentless work ethic, and never switching up for nobody.
Ending the year on a high note, G unleashes his new studio album, 90’s Kid Vol. 2, the sequel to his 2015 90’s Kid Spearheaded by lead singles “Unemployed” and “Hollowtips,” the 10-track project details more stories about his life, including experiences with his mother and things they can relate to.
Flaunt caught up with King Lil G via Instagram Live who was about to step into a recording session, a few days after his album release. Read below as we discuss the new project, reflecting on the early days, shooting “Unemployed” and “Hollowtips,” success on Youtube, his forthcoming trap and Spanish album, working with Nipsey Hussle, giving back to the community, advice for upcoming artists, fatherhood, and more!
90s Kid Vol. 2 out now. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling great, I’m feeling really good. It’s been a minute since I dropped something. I’m really excited for my fans to listen to new shit. I wanted to do some real hip-hop shit, like boom bap. I miss it, that’s why I had to drop some of it.
On “Unemployed,” you’re reflecting on the early days. What was a young King Lil G with the food stamps like?
Back then, I felt good because the food stamps looked like Monopoly money. [laughs] Remember that? It wasn’t a card, it was paper. I’d be outside with the ice cream man with my food stamps saying “give me 5 of those, wassup?”
Back then, did you think you’d get to where you are today? You really paved the way for independent artists.
Right now, it’s a lot of room for us independent artists to grow. All we got to do is drop the shit on social media, keep growing the fanbase, stay real, stay solid to the fanbase. That shit works.
What were you dreaming then?
To be honest I wanted to be like everybody else, I wanted to get signed. In the beginning, nobody would sign me so I kept dropping videos, trying to keep the numbers up. Started doing my own shows, started selling those out. I was still trying to have somebody sign me until I realized, “shit, I don’t need nobody to sign me. I could keep going.”
I remember the show you had at the Fonda Theater, that was so lit.
Hell yeah, I was so fucking high. I got a room at the W across the street. We didn’t leave for a week, I’m not playing. [laughs] On everything.
With the pandemic, how much do you miss live shows?
I miss them a whole lot because we don’t get to see the fans, interact with them in person, get to know them. I used to love the Meet & Greets because my fans used to tell me how they used to find my music. I love hearing about that, so I hope we get back to normal fast.
What’s the most popular way that they find your music?
Youtube. If I’m correct, that’s what I see more often. That’s what everybody usually says: “aye, I seen you on Youtube.” That’s a common thing. Now, Spotify and all that too. Shit’s changing.
How does it feel to have “Hollowtips” hit a million in less than 2 weeks?
I’m really happy about that because I’m a numbers person. I’m always like “man, we got to hit a million faster.” They always hit, but some of them age better than others. Sometimes I’ll have videos that don’t hit the millions fast, but they’ll age way better than the other ones that did go fast.
How was shooting the video?
We shot it inside of one of those film warehouses in South Central LA. In the cut, but it was lit. We hotboxed that whole shit, everybody was high. [laughs] It’s always a good vibe. Smoking’s a good way for everybody to socialize and vibe out. It brings people together forreal.
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You also recently reached a million subscribers on Youtube!
Hell yeah, that was a big accomplishment. You don’t even understand how happy I was. It’s a pandemic so I couldn’t really do nothing besides smoke one at the crib and make more music, that’s it.
Already working on the next project?
I’ve been working on other albums because I’m trying to drop a Spanish album, a trap album. The trap album’s my next one: King Lil G: The Trap Album.
Have you done a Spanish album?
No, never. Right now, I’m trying to sharpen up on my Spanish speaking skills.
How nostalgic was it shooting “Unemployed”? It’s super personal seeing you as a little kid.
It’s something I try to do in most of my videos, give an example of what it was like at home for me. My mistakes, my tribulations, I try to show it to the people visually. This time, I wanted to show people what it was like for me to get a job. Usually when you in the hood, it’s a good time. You’re chillin’ in the streets with the homies but at some point, your mom’s like “alright motherfucker, now you’ve got to get a job.” During high school years, it’s all good, but unexpectedly you’ve got to grow up and be a man. That’s a part of my life where I really had to toughen up. I wanted to express it to my fans so they could relate, I know a lot of them go through shit like that.
What was your first job?
I had to help this old man across the street from my crib. He used to replace air conditioners. But lowkey, that was a heavy ass job. I was there everyday.
Someone asked, what inspired you to make music and why?
It inspired me the first time I heard hip-hop in general. When I heard Snoop Dogg, that completely changed my life. What motivated me more was when I seen Kid Frost do that song, “La Raza.” I was a little kid like “oh look, he’s speaking Spanish like me. Maybe I could do some shit like that.”
Someone said “your music helped me get through depression.” That’s what it’s all about.
Hell yeah, I appreciate those kind words. That’s the reason I started doing hip-hop, because I wanted people to relate to some shit I was making the same way that hip-hop made me feel when I was a kid. But that’s not going to stop me from making a trap album, so be ready for that.
Was that fun to make?
Yeah because besides all my life stories, I also like to party. I like to vibe out. I know people see my crazy ass parties on Instagram, there it is. I like to be in the mix too.
How was your Halloween party on the yacht?
The Halloween on the yacht was fucking amazing. I only remember some of it. [laughs] Nah I’m fucking with you, I remember it all. It was fun.
I like champagne. Anything, any type of champagne is cool with me. It doesn’t have to be all fancy, just bring it. [laughs]
Love the Biggie sample on “Middle of the Night,” bring us back to that recording session.
I’ve been listening to that song “What’s Beef” for years, one of my favorite Biggie songs. When I heard that beat, it made me feel like this is something I could spit to, and I could pay homage to Big too. Because I’m a big Tupac fan, but I like to also pay homage to the greats, to the people who did it before us. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t even be doing this.
Favorite Tupac song?
“Shed So Many Tears,” that one speaks to me. When he’s talking about “this ain’t the life for me, I want to change. Ain’t no future right for me, I’m stuck in the game,” aww man! I was going through certain things in my life, that spoke to me at the time. The rest of the song is written so perfect to me.
Which of your tattoos is your favorite?
When it comes to guys, we don’t have favorite tattoos. We just get tatted, that’s a girl thing. [laughs] My favorite one is the portrait of my son with the crown on my shoulder.
How old is your son now?
He’s 14, he’s grown now. He’s trying to come to the Halloween party! Son, you gotta chill. [laughs] I’m not playing, he’s like, “Dad, am I going to the Halloween party? Halloween’s for kids.” Son…
Favorite song off the new album?
If I have to choose, “Legendary.” Lowkey that’s been my favorite beat for many years now, I never used it. Now that I get to release it, hell yeah. My fans get to smoke to this, we could be on the same vibe.
What made you finally let it go when you’d been sitting on it for so long?
It happens like that. Somebody mentioned the song “Grow Up,” before I released that song, I’d already written that 2 years prior. You’re not sure, you want to switch off the hook. Sometimes you want to switch the bass, the drum. Trap is like that.
What made King mention his gang way more in this album?
Because my bro bro got out of jail, he said “aye, you gotta give a shout out to the clique a little more. You’ve got to include them, you’ve got to make them feel loved. The same way you want to feel loved, you’ve got to spread that love too.” That’s the reason why I did it.
What’s the vibe in the studio with King Lil G?
It’s going to be extremely dark, you’re barely going to be able to see or walk through when you walk in. It’s going to be hotboxed, there’s going to be smoke everywhere. The music’s going to be turnt all the way up.
For your trap album, who’s inspiring these trap beats?
I’ve always loved trap. I love Gucci, I love Dolph, I love Yo Gotti, Moneybagg, DaBaby of course, Lil Baby. Man, I’ll sit here all day giving you names. Those I consistently listen to all the time. I love the beats they’re making right now. I love that new 21, that’s fire.
You connected with Nipsey a few years back, what were your fondest memories?
The independent talk he’d give me, it made me aware and it kept me a boss. To give it to you in a few words, that’s the best thing anybody could’ve done for me is teach me how to be on my own. That’s what I try to teach people too.
Do you plan on giving back to the community this year?
This year put me in a tough situation because whenever I do something for the community, I don’t like to give it to a corporation or a company because it never gets to the people. This year, I couldn’t do any turkey giveaways. I’m thinking about doing a toy drive, but I don’t want to leave it in nobody else’s hands. It’s a big responsibility, money goes into it. That’s why I do it myself. Right now I’m not sure because I have a newborn baby and I have to be extremely cautious. I’m trying to see how I can manage to do a toy giveaway somewhere in the hood, it’s still in the air. Last year, I grabbed a U-Haul truck, packed it, went downtown and served all my fans. I’m telling you, this COVID shit’s crazy.
How’s fatherhood during quarantine?
Fatherhood during quarantine is the best, nothing but good vibes. The vibes are amazing at the crib. I see my 2 baby girls chillin’, it’s amazing. Fireplace going, Toy Story a billion times.
What advice do you have for upcoming artists?
Make a Youtube channel, make a lot of content, stay consistent, and your fanbase will grow. I’m serious, nothing else. Don’t worry about a feature. Artists worry about the wrong shit, all you gotta do is follow those 3 steps and then you good. Worry about the rest later.