On the surface, King Lil G is a rebel. He’s been involved in gangs, he’s been arrested and served time, he fathered a child before adulthood, he dropped out of school and, to match his record, his body is covered in tattoos. But beyond his troubled past and rough exterior, G is a true artist with a message of HOPE.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California by his single Mexican mother, King Lil G turned to the streets shortly after his parents divorced when he was 12. Soon enough, gang activity would catch up with him, landing him in Juvenile Hall and then house arrest. But G didn’t let the imprisonment discourage him, instead, he used the time to reflect, finding solace in writing rhymes.
Inspired by his own struggles, trials and tribulations that had shaped him, G looked no further than his own life for material. With no formal training or music background, he began to self-teach and, as a result, master the art of storytelling in its most raw, honest and simplest form of wordsmithing. Additionally, he was influenced by the G-funk flavor of 90s West Coast rap about women, weed and palm trees, especially that of California hip-hop staples Snoop Dogg, Too $hort and Dr. Dre, among others, as well as Mexican folk ballads called corridos music and the passion and emotion of one of his all-time favorites, Tupac.
“I wanted to rap about the struggle – real street stuff that I was going through,” says King Lil G of his gangster hip-hop sound. “I also started reading, including a book called Quotationary (Leonard Roy Frank)… [which] inspired me to write a lot of the songs I write now. It taught me a lot about friends, women and family.”
And, in the bigger scheme of things, G hoped to inspire others to stray away from committing some of the same mistakes he made and instead strive to achieve their goals and dreams, just as he was attempting to do then. His mentality was, and continues to be, if he can make it so can anyone. Furthermore, if he can use his platform, however small or big it may be, to help others, then that’s exactly what he plans to do.
“I want to make music with a purpose,” says King Lil G. “I want to inspire others. It’d be beautiful. How much of a difference would it make if a hardcore gang member would be like, ‘let’s not kill today, let’s change our lives’? As my career goes on, I want to keep pushing this positive vibe… and if I start helping others, that will make me successful.”
Music saved King Lil G. Now, the reality rapper is ready to pay it forward.
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