Former YG-signed Latin rapper Sadboy Loko is now on a new mission with a fresh mindset. And with prison and negative energy behind him, Sadboy returns to the West Coast Hip Hop landscape with a new look on life and new music in the new album, Sin Fronteras.

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The Source tapped in with Sadboy Loko over the summer via Zoom to speak on his new album, new direction, his relationship with YG now, and so much more. Check out the full interview below.

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[Bryson “Boom” Paul]: Knowing what you’ve gone through leading up to this album. How does it feel to see this project come to fruition?

[Sadboy Loko]: I mean, like you said, it was an up and down, smiles and frown. Little rollercoaster, but I mean, I don’t try to look back at the pack. The past is just the future. It’s cool. Brighter day. I’m free, I’m out. I was about to drop August 12th, Sin Fronteras, so it’s like, it’s cool. I’m not even tripping. I’m free, freedom at its best, baby.

How’d it feel getting back into recording for this project?

It was cool. Well, with this one, it was just, man, Cricket knows what’s up. It was just like two studio sessions, in and out. We were quick. It was like vibing. It was different. The beginning was something different because of the regional sound, but once started turning up with him, like, man, it was on go, gas.

You released I’m Still Here 2 before this. Describe the growth in your music from then to now?

I mean, you can hear it in the lyrics. It’s just evolved, business type now, you know what I mean? I’m trying to just get the money. Before, it was all gang bang, all this hood, straight hood shit. Now it’s more like life experiences, you know what I mean? Like what you said, I went through ups and downs. So I describe it in the music.

Now a changed man.  Can you still listen to your older music?

My first records? Yeah. I look back at them and I’m like, damn, I was on some savage, just disrespectful at school, you know what I mean? Now it’s like, all right. You know what I mean? Just mellow it out, just shit that motherfuckers can vibe to, you know what I mean?

You came out of a bid into an all-new, all-different world in post-COVID.  How did you adapt?

Well, you got to remember when I got out, I got out to that COVID, like the lockdown. So it was from lockdown to lockdown, but I mean at least still had a little bit of freedom, you know what I mean? But it was just you couldn’t go nowhere. Everything was deserted. But now it’s cool. I get to enjoy the summer. Summertime jams on there. You got a few jams in there for the summer. So it’s perfect. I’m just waiting on it.

You did pretty much a revamp of Summer Nights, I would say, obviously a West Coast classic. For those that don’t know, it’d be a worldwide classic. But how’d it feel when you heard the beat for the first time and then just like, All right, bet, I’m go with this. I’m going to run with it?

Just the vibe. The vibe. You can’t, you know what I mean, can’t control the vibe. If it’s a vibe, it’s a vibe. You start vibing to it, turned it up. You know, smoke breaks in between and just gas it.

Now back to the making of this project. To you, what is your favorite moment during the making of the album?

Most of the corridos, like the regional, because that’s something different for me. I’ve been around it all my life. But to actually do one, wow, that ain’t never happened. Cricket knew what he was doing. So it was just like once I got into the vibe, he was smart. He popped out bottles and everything. Damn near… Instead of a wine tasting, it was like a tequila tasting at the studio and then it just started vibing to it. That one was just different. Turning out two actual pretty cool corridos that I’ve never done mixed with hip hop and shit.

How was your mental health going into making this project?

I’m good. I’m healthy. I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been, even when I was young. I’m like here drug-free. You know what I mean? I like smoking, just drinking. So it’s cool. You know what I mean?

Explain the importance of this project to you?

It’s important because it’s one for one thing, like a bucket list. Mine was a bucket list thing. I’ve been, for several reasons, because I’ve already I did the whole YG thing, you know what I mean, with the industry. So that was more of a turn-up for me and my homies. We down here party for three, four years, you know what I mean? So it’s just a turn-up experience. Now this one was my family. My parents could enjoy this, you know what I mean? This is their shit, their type of vibe. Hey, pa, you want to go to a show? I got you as if, hey homie, you want to go to show, VIP, I got you. It’s more like, you know what I mean? Bucket list check-offs and shit. I got to work with legends from our people, you know what I mean?

Did you have the most fun making this project that you’ve had in a long time?

Yeah, this album was fun making. It was just a vibe, man. Like a turn up. I was in there, what, two sessions, back to back. It was a rap. Like every session, I play something, boom, just start playing it. Vibe out, smoke, smoke outs and then just straight to it. Some of it should just get freestyled out like, oh shit, get me in there, let me do it real quick. Boom. It’s just a vibe. Some of them, there was already a verse there for me, like a feature. So just it was gas on, like, oh he got off. All right, wait up motherfucker, hold it.

How’d you come out with a whole album in two sessions?

Man, it is just the production. Once you put good production, you got the solid. It’s… No, you don’t have to sit there and choose from what’s hot and what’s not. If you already got solid ass production, the fuck. It’s pick whatever you want. Let’s roll.

Now you mentioned YG. A lot of people would want to ask, man, what is your guys’ relationship like now?

We cool. I just talked to him last month. We cool. I mean, he’s doing his thing, I’m doing mine, you know what I mean? I’m over here doing Latin music, so I mean, we straight, you know what I mean? Shout out to the boy.

Explain the energy in this album?

They going to feel it. Once you bump it, make sure you bump it, but don’t blow all your speakers. I don’t want you to blame me for that shit, you know what I mean. But once you bump it, you’re going to feel it. It’s just some good vibe shit. like summer. It’s a summer experience. It’s like a perfect summer album. It’s going to have all your… You’re going to run, go through it, and then boom, that love jam, you’re going to probably be with your lady, you know what I mean? It’s just a vibe. There’s a drinking jam in that you probably want to drink, you know what I mean? Man, it’s a little bit of everything You can fuck to it, drink to it, bang to it, whatever you want.

You did the major label thing. So what are some things that you learned that you not only adapted to your own business?

I mean, for main thing you got to do is brand yourself. Ain’t nobody going to brand you. Ain’t nobody going to like, oh this is… Brand yourself. Make a name for yourself. You know what I mean? Your brand is everything. You know what I’m saying? It might become a motto at the beginning, but once you push, it is going to become a thing that people like, shit, damn near live by. You know what I mean? So it’s at that time, like I said, I was just partying and then now if I… Man, take this business serious, you know what I mean? Instead of turning up with that person, network with that person. You feel me?

Now six albums in and at a turning point in your career. What is your outlook on your career moving forward?

I mean, bright future, you know what I mean? Sky’s the limit. I’m just trying to do the most with it. Whatever I can, I’m going to do it. Take full advantage. Like I said, I’m free, so I’m no limit to what I’m not going to do. You know what I mean? See if I could, I’ll drop another one, back to back. How contracts go, like hold up. I’d be back to back on these motherfuckers.

What is something new you learned about yourself during the making of this project?

I damn near can do it all. I mean, you know, never expected something like you throw yourself into something, like, nah, I can’t do that. I tried it, and it came out cool.

Explain the importance of sticking with one producer on a project?

It’s more of me. See, I have, my emails are filled with beats that are from different producers, but there’s only certain producers that will know you and your sound with you. You know what I mean? It was like damn near Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre back then, you know what I mean? Or YG to a Mustard in their generation. You know what I mean? So it’s like you got to know your own producer. So it’s like, man, they make bangers together, so damn near when your fans are like, oh, they just linked up. Oh shit, okay, it’s back. He’s not fucking around no more.

As in you’re trying everybody’s sound, now you’re trying to do their sound, not yours. You feel me? Unless you’re right there with that motherfucking producer and you can go through his whole fucking catalog then, by all means. But if he’s just sending you one or two, that’s not your sound. That’s his sound, his preference that he think the sickest production, he thinks are sick, that will fit to you. You feel me? As in that producer for you and make me… He knows what you like, he knows your shit, he knows your collabs. He knows everything. You know what I mean? It’s just homemade.

How did you feel divulging more about yourself personally on this project that you know fans are going to find out about?

On this one, they’re going to be more surprised on that rock jam. I got a rock jam in there. They’re going to trip out. If they don’t read it off the track listing and they just go down to shuffle, you’re in for a surprise. They’re like what the, But I mean it is music. Once you hear it out you’re like, oh, that’s sick. But something new. I mean, all the love jams, like the summertime jams. I got some party jams in there. You like man, Sadboy just did a pizza with all toppings.

Now we know your name is Sadboy. But we got to ask because the ladies want to know, are you in love right now?

I mean, loving ain’t hard to find, but I’m numb to it. But I mean, you never know, you know what I mean? I can find it.

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Let’s talk about Chicano music. What is the current state, in your opinion, of Chicano music?

We’re up there. I mean, Latinos in general, they’re up there. It’s like right now you can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing a Latino, you know what I mean? Anywhere, even TV, as far as TV, radio, anything, you can’t, It’s just everywhere. So Chicanos right now, it’s been going on, but now it’s the top perfect timing. It’s like right there. Everybody’s getting heard and there’s a lot of talent. So it’s perfect. I mean, as in back then, it was just rare. You hear people rap, there was only a few. Now I got out and it’s like, damn, a whole generation of rappers. But I mean, that’s cool, because it’s a lot of talent.

How do you balance not only just being labeled as a Chicano rapper, but just being a superstar rapper in general or a superstar artist?

I mean, I don’t even label it even as Chicano. It’s just music to me. You know what I mean? I do the shit with the passions, for passion type of shit. So it’s like, I don’t really divide it or anything like that, you know what I mean? So it’s just music, some good music turned up to, you know?

How do you balance giving people that old Sadboy and giving people that new Sadboy?

They got one. They got that for Gangster for Life, that’s all. You know what I mean? They got that flashback, you know what I mean? So they couldn’t be mad at me at the whole album. But I mean, either way, you’re going to hear some songs, you be like, oh shit, that’s right. It’s just updated. You feel me?

What are some new life choices you’ve adapted to your lifestyle?

Make yourself a priority. You break yourself trying to make the next person happy. Once you make yourself a priority and numb everything out, you’re straight. You’re good.

Obviously, with the album comes a tour. How ready are you to get out on the road?

Ready to run. I’m ready to run. You know, mandatory, you got to do Los Angeles, but I’m looking forward to Texas. Going to Texas.

Sadboy Loko’s new album, Sin Fronteras, is out now via Prajin Records. Stream it below.