Baton Rouge is home to many legends in the rap game, from Boosie to NBA Youngboy to Kevin Gates. Insert HD4President, who’s here to carry that torch… but on his own terms. Arriving on the scene with that uptempo, Louisiana bounce and pairing it with his talents in creating bold, unapologetic lyrics and infectious hooks, the rising star stands out amongst the rest, creating music the world has yet to hear or see.
HD4President states, “I have an unorthodox sound, but a relatable sound. I got 10 different styles in one. I made a song that a majority of the world would have never made, and we still blew up around the world. What song have you heard that sounds like ‘Touchdown’?”
HD’s current single and visual for “Touch Down 2 Cause Hell (Bow Bow Bow)” has turned into a worldwide phenomenon, bringing nothing short of positive vibes and good energy while simultaneously talking his shit. The song was recorded in his room back home, where he’s recorded all his songs for over the past 15 years. To date, “Touch Down” has billions of views on TikTok, with celebrity cosigns from Lizzo, Coi Leray, City Girls, Latto, Niecy Nash, Gabrielle Union, and Jessica Alba.
Besides the music, HD4President prides himself in being a genuine person, which is why he deserves all the blessings coming his way. Most recently, he inked a deal with Motown Records, as he prepares the release of his forthcoming album titled Ta Da Max.
Flaunt caught up with HD4President at the studio in Hollywood to discuss the reality of the grind, recording on cassette tapes as an adolescent, the turning point in his music career, how he landed at Motown Records, going viral on TikTok, shooting the “Touch Down” video, collaborating with Boosie, studio essentials, his forthcoming project, fatherhood, and more!
You had your home studio for 15 years, how long have you been grinding for?
More than 15 years, since ’96 or ’97. I was recording on tapes and selling them when I was 7 or 8 years old. I used to record on tapes, I used to put the paper in the tape so I could press record.
I interviewed 50 Cent and he was talking about how during church, he’d take the tissue and put it in the tapes.
Yeah! You put the tissue or the paper in the tape because if you don’t put it in there, it won’t let you record. It won’t let you play and record at the same time. You gotta get another tape player, and play the beat from the other one.
What was a young HD4President like recording on tapes?
I was Lil T back then, around 6 or 7. I called myself Lil T. [laughs] Stupid ass name.
How did you get good then? You just practiced?
Just kept working. Around 9 or 10, I thought “Okay, he might have something.” When I turned 11, I had a record deal on the table.
Yea, the guy who discovered the girl KHIA who sings “My Neck, My Back,” he actually came first to sign me, but I had turned it down. I was young and I didn’t think it was the right decision to make at the time. He’s telling me about her, he’s getting ready to sign her. We kept in touch but I ended up seeing her blow up. Crazy.
What was the turning point for your music career?
The turning point was when I dropped the song, “Can’t Stop Jiggin.” “Can’t Stop Jiggin” is what you hear at the beginning of “Touch Down,” it’s 2 different songs in one. When I made “Can’t Stop Jiggin,” I started going viral on a smaller scale but it was still going viral in the Southern region. The song ended up doing 15 million streams. Numbers-wise, “Can’t Stop Jiggin” is bigger than “Touch Down,” but it’s been out longer. “Touch Down” hasn’t been out as long.
When I dropped “Can’t Stop Jiggin,” I had a little wave. I came back with a song called “Turn Me Up 4” and it caught fire. It started taking off, then I made “Band Dance.” All the Southern region bands fell in love with that one. Then I made “Bow Bow Bow,” LSU took it to the top. They used it every game. They got so many viral videos at LSU.
What made you end up signing to Motown Records?
The money fasho. But I had been talking with them prior to the “Touch Down” rerelease. They had first dibs on it because they had the record before it was up. They wanted to release it under them, but it was a different version. It was a different beat, different tempo, different vibe. It was a more laid back vibe with the same hook. The guy who was on the song with me, he wanted to use the beat for his own song.
I said “alright cool,” he ended up doing his own thing with his song. I ended up using my stuff and putting it on this song. When Motown heard it, they said “hey, this ain’t the one we heard the first time. This one’s way harder.” They said “Hey, what’s up with this new record?” By that time, I had dropped it on my own and it went viral. The song was going viral on TikTok, but the song wasn’t out so everybody was looking for the song. At this time, it’s at 20K videos on TikTok in one week.
Were you on TikTok?
Man, I had got a TikTok two weeks after that.
So how did it go viral?
A little female lady from Baton Rouge, she’s in high school. Her name’s Muff. She took the sound from Instagram, put the sound on TikTok. Her TikTok ended up doing 2 million videos from her sound. Cam Tunechi used her sound and ended up starting a challenge and it blew from there. I was watching the song 2000 videos an hour. I texted my manager like “Hey, we need to see what’s going on.”
Every time I refresh my page, it’s 1000 videos. It was 1000 videos every hour, I said “I’m about to drop this song.” The original cover art, I whipped some shit up real fast. Put some flames behind it, called it “Touch Down” and threw it out there. “You sure that’s the right cover art?” Man the cover art doesn’t matter, people love the song. I was trying to get the song in the people’s ear because they’re all asking me where this song’s at. I got it out the next day and a week later. it started getting crazier. All the famous people started doing it.
Which famous people?
I seen Lizzo first, then Dr. Miami doing the challenge to the song. Their whole crew did it. I seen Gabrielle Union. When I seen Gabrielle Union, ain’t no way she did this to my song. I went on her TikTok, she used my sound. Man, this shit getting out of hand for real!
I saw the workout class going hard to your song, how does it make you feel?
It’s a blessing. I be watching all them videos so thankful because this doesn’t happen every day. I’m thankful, it’s a blessing. Know every video I see is always love. No matter how big or small person is, to see it is a blessing.
What was your vision with the “Touch Down” music video?
We were really trying to recreate the same viral posts, having them dancing and turning up. We didn’t want to leave out the real dancers, the Baton Rouge dance people. We brought a few of them out from Baton Rouge to Houston. The original video shoot was in Baton Rouge, but the label rejected it. They said “we gotta get that right.”
I didn’t ever see it. They said “it ain’t never giving that vibe we need.” Ended up getting a phone call that said “Hey, you gotta be in Houston Monday.” I dropped everything I was doing and shot to Houston.
The videographer was there, he seen more places to set up. In Baton Rouge, we’re limited on space. We didn’t really have no space to really create. Houston had more variety of women to get for the video, and dancers. We’re limited in Baton Rouge. We don’t have no models in Baton Rouge. None, not one. You got some girls who think they’re Instagram models, but that’s about it.
You rap about designer in the song. How would you describe your fashion sense?
I be drippin’. I be drippin’, but I don’t always got to necessarily wear designer. I be putting that shit on. I got a lot of designer, I spend racks on designer.
What’s the biggest bag you dropped?
I spent about $7K in one day. When you go buy a couple Balenciaga’s, some Alexander’s, that money be gone before you know it. I’m the Saks Fifth king, Saks and Neiman. In Houston and New Orleans, they know me. “There goes my mans, he back.” They valet my parking and everything, I spent a lot of money.
Who’s going to be on the remix to “Touch Down”?
We got 2 Chainz, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Fredo Bang, and Moneybagg Yo. My team working.
Who’s your A&R?
Keeno, he in it. He getting it in. The Fredo came from me. Fredo called me, he’s my homeboy. We go way back, way before he was in the music. I was doing music before him because I’m older than him. Coming up when he’s in school, when he first graduated he hit me like “Hey, I need to get a job HD.” I used to be a big boss in the plants, so he hit me for a job. He ended up going to jail, came home and was the man. When he came home, he ain’t changed.
When he was locked up, I was in my songs saying “free him.” I was the only one saying that. I got old songs where I was saying “free Fredo Bang!” Nobody was saying that but me, then he came home and he skyrocketed. He’d invite me to his house in Miami. When I dropped the song, he said “Hey you going crazy!” He hit me like “send me the open verse.” I sent it to him and he sent it back in an hour. He asked me at 4am, what the fuck is you even up for? [laughs] He hit me at 3 or 4 in the morning like “send me that session.” I sent it to him, I woke up and he’d done it.
What was your reaction when you heard it back?
Ooh, he killed it!
How was it linking with Boosie on “Can’t Stop Jiggin”?
That’s my boy, shout out to Boosie. Boosie wild! One thing about Boosie is he’s going to get that bag by any means. My biggest inspiration from Boosie is getting to the bag. I used to be on the road with him 10 years ago, we’ve been locked in. I’m on a different level now. Being on the road with him and watching him do 3 or 4 shows a night, he inspired me to get all the money doing the same things. It’d be nice watching me do 5 shows in one night, boy I’m on my Boosie shit. I got that from me.
Three things you need in the studio at all times?
My laptop, me, and that microphone. I don’t really do nothing. I barely drink. I don’t do drugs. I don’t smoke.
You never did?
I smoked one time. My first time smoking was when I came to Cali for the BET Awards. I said I was gonna smoke after I signed my deal. I’d just signed so I smoked that one time, but I never smoked after that. It ain’t really my thang. I’ll smoke if I meet a fine girl and we vibing, she wants to smoke. I don’t mind smoking now, but it was before I got my deal. I told myself I’d never smoke before I signed my major deal, so I stuck to it. I never ever smoked in my life until I signed a major deal. Now I can smoke.
How did it feel to sign a major deal?
It was a blessing. It felt good because all my life that’s what I wanted to do. I hear rappers saying “I want to stay independent. I don’t want to sign no major label.” Do whatever fits you to do. I want to sign to a major, I want to reap the benefits of a major label.
What can we expect from your forthcoming album, Ta Da Max?
A lot of uptempo music, doing everything to da max really. Whatever you do in life, do it to da max. It’s going to be a nice little vibe. The songs and title itself, people are going to really love it. “Big Bag,” “Can’t Stop Jiggn,” the remix, people are going to get a cool vibe off it.
How does the project use your traumas as a stepping stone to triumph?
Everything I go through, I use that. I understand where I came from so I don’t let nothing from my past affect where I’m going. I went through it all. It’s a minute between me and death or being in jail for life, to where none of this could ever have happened. I’ve been in tight situations: one bullet miss, one gun jam. Damn. I’ve been face to face with everything you can possibly think a human being can go through. I watched my homeboys die right next to me on the scene. I’m one move away from not being here in this position so I cherish every moment, because it could have turned out a different way.
Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
I gotta get me a Grammy. Well not a Grammy, I need to get a plaque. Give me a few Platinum plaques for now, I ain’t trippin’ on the Grammy. Well I do want to grab a Grammy, and I want to work with Justin Bieber. I got a song that I wrote for him.
Oh really, you got pop records too?
Oh I’m a pop artist. I really enjoy pop. The “Touch Down” stuff is cool, but I’m really more of a melodic pop artist. Very melodic and very pop. The uptempo is not really me. I did 4 songs like that and all 4 of them, the world fell in love with it. The pop coming soon.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
For fun, I like nature. Outdoor. I’m trying to ride a boat, being out on the water. Maybe fishing, maybe not. I like to spend time with my kids. I got 2 kids, I got a daughter that’s 11 and a newborn baby. He’s 2 months old.
Congratulations! How’s fatherhood?
Thank you, it’s good! The mother of my child, she feeds them too much. I don’t like that. That man weighs 18 pounds in only one month, that’s too big. I told him he’s going on a diet next week. I’m putting his ass in the gym next week. Next week he’s going to Planet Fitness.
I’m crying! Does your daughter know her daddy’s an artist?
Yeah, one day my daughter called me on FaceTime because her cousin told her I wasn’t her daddy. She went off, she said “My daddy sings that song!” The other kids say “That’s not your daddy’s song!” She calls me to tell them. All the kids around her, she knows. The other day she told me, “I’m tired of hearing your song.” I said “I don’t care.” We hopped in the truck, we went to the mall to go eat. Within that time, we’re listening to the regular radio and it came on the radio 3 times. I said, “Aha, I know you still gotta hear it.” [laughs]