On The Edge with New Artist: Locke Kaushal
With the hip hop world being overcrowded by a group of young rappers all claiming to be the best with line after line of premature braggadocio, when one comes across an artist simply telling the story of life through his eyes, it is refreshing. When we were introduced to rapper, Locke Kaushal, we knew we’d found a gem. With his impressive lyricism and strong delivery, Locke Kaushal is sure to be rocking the headphones of Edge-ers all over. Read up on Be Heard Artist: Locke Kaushal.
Edge: Who are you?
Locke: I am Locke Kaushal. A 22-year-old hip-hop artist out of Woodbridge, VA. That pretty much sums up who I am and the path I’m on. I am college educated, which I think is kind of unique in my career, it’s changing a little bit now but it’s still pretty uncommon. Growing up I played sports here and there but poetry was my big thing and it still is.
Edge: Describe your style.
Locke: If I could just say “hip hop” and just leave it at that—I wish I could. But the beats that I prefer usually have samples in them, old school samples—so they’re very soulful. As an artist, I definitely don’t have a commercial sound right now. If I could parallel my music with someone else, I am very similar to Lupe Fiasco when he first started out or like Black Thought from the Roots…a lot of instrumentation. I’d say very soulful hip-hop, that defines me.
Edge: What sets you apart?
Locke: One thing my pops always told me was that there’s only 26 letters in the alphabet. So as far as me being able to come up with something that has never been said before, it’s almost unreal with all the artists that are trying to some out now. All I can truly do is put my own perspective and my own trials and tribulations into whatever track I’m recording. Being genuine to myself is what sets me apart from the other rappers. Because I have a college degree, I’ve taken a very professional approach to my career. If I’m at a show and someone approaches me and I pull out a business card or mention the website they’re like “Dang, how long have you been doing this? I don’t even have business cards”. That kind of makes me feel good; we’re ahead of a lot of people in the similar situation in that respect.
Edge: What do you think hip-hop is missing?
Locke: Hip hop itself isn’t missing anything. Hip-hop is completed. As far as the artists go I would say artists just need to be true to them. A lot of artists are starting to get away from talking about personal trials and kind of selling out and dumbing down their lyrics in order to appeal to the masses or in order to be recognized by major labels. At the end of the day it’s about money and what sells. Sex sells, club music sells. And it’s almost like rappers have conformed and just said “ok, this is what the record labels want so this is what I’m going to give them” and in turn it’s compromised their art and it’s not really them anymore. A lack of compromising is what hip-hop as an industry is missing. It’s too many cats out here sacrificing themselves in their art.
Edge: Why are you an artist who deserves to “Be Heard”?
Locke: Because I have a story to tell and It just so happens to be my story which I feel is very unique yet still relatable. If I talk about some type of relationship, there’s someone out there that’s put up with the same type of female or has gone through the same financial struggle or the same bad breakup or whatever. And whether I am writing a track that uplifts women stemming from having positive women in my life like my mom, my sisters and my aunts to a track where I call a female a “b****”—being able to know the difference and being to explain the difference. I know that there’s someone out there that’s gone through a similar situation. I’m telling my personal story but I’m not the only person who’s been there.
Edge: What can we expect from you in the future?
Locke: A Drunken Man’s Words, the mixtape, is about to drop in March. And we are currently planning a mixtape release party for that. A couple of shows set up at NC A&T and a few at the Black Cat—it’s on the hush but I am supposed to be opening up for Marsha Ambrosius. We have a couple more videos that are about to be released. This is definitely not the time to be complacent so we’re trying to push as much viral material as we can right now.
Follow @LockeKaushal on Twitter
Visit Locke’s personal website for news, updates and downloads here
photography by: Jay Dexter and Matthew Green
Interview by: Iman Milner