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CONVERSATION WITH A LEGEND: ‘Da Real’ Lokee

Every once in a while, a rapper comes along that not only carries with them the spirit of a warrior, but that warrior spirit shows through their lyrics and music.  New Orleans based rapper Lokee is just such an entertainer.

Head of 88 Muzik Group, Lokee is a New Orleans rapper, songwriter, DJ, producer, and most importantly, visionary. He was also one of the artists to help put New Orleans style rap on the map, beginning in 1993 while he was still a young teen. Lokee’s resume is a complete one, from start to finish. He has street smarts to carry him through, but it is tempered with a ton of talent and that’s just not something to which every entertainer can stake claim.

Lokee became known on the New Orleans rap scene for his ability to take over a battle rap or talent show. Known for his style of music, he became a highly sought after ghostwriter.

“LOKEE IS ONE OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE NEW ORLEANS LYRICISTS THAT MANY OFTEN TRY TO COMPARE THEMSELVES WITH. HE IS A COMPLETE PACKAGE ARTIST, FROM SHOWMANSHIP TO RECORDING, TO BRANDING TO MARKETING, TO BEING STREET-WISE TO BEING A TEAM PLAYER TO THE FULLEST. I HAVE A LOT OF PRIDE IN LOKEE AND OUR CLASSIC WORKS, YET AS A PRODUCER I RECOGNIZE HIM AS AN ARTIST WHOSE ART HAS ONLY MULTIPLIED AHEAD OF THE GAME IN THIS PRESENT TIME. VERY OUT-GOING AND EASY TO WORK WITH. I CERTAINLY BELIEVE NO-ONE IN THE MAJOR LIMELIGHT RIGHT NOW CAN MATCH OR HANDLE THIS GUY’S SKILL. THE FUTURE IS PROSPEROUS FOR THIS KID!*” – ICEKINGCOLD a/k/a Super Producer Original Ice Mike

Lokee is the mastermind behind many well known hits from the ‘90’s, including popular female rapper Cheeky Blakk’s “Let Me Get Dat Out Cha”, one of the smash hits to come out of New Orleans over the past decades.

After securing a deal with Tombstone Records, Lokee released several hit collections. He was added to the lineup of several major tours, but Tombstone Records dissolved after the unexpected death of its CEO. Lokee hit hard times when he ran into trouble with the law, but he’s back now, armed with a ton of material that he is preparing to unleash on the world.

Lokee’s new album and mixtape series are certain to have the entertainment world demanding more from him. It made The Heat curious, so we had to catch up with him – and here’s what Lokee had to say:

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Who is Lokee?

LOKEE: A rapper/songwriter/producer. A visionary and a tortured soul. A paradox wrapped inside an enigma. A complete artist.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How did you get your start in music?

LOKEE: I never wanted to be a rapper. The game chose me. I was doing what most other cats in the inner city was doing to keep my situation together, but I always had a love for music – all kinds. I used to battle rap for fun, then I started getting good and doing it for money. That’s when I realized that maybe I can eat off this. Older cats was coming out the woodwork trying to sign me and pay me to write for them. I met these cats called Full Pack and ended up getting them a deal with a song I wrote for them called “I Like To F**k”. I was like 15 then.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Who all have you worked with?

LOKEE: Aw man, the best of the best – everyone who’s anyone in the southern rap scene. And of course, the best from New Orleans – Slim, Mia, 6-Shot, Weebie, Tim Smooth, Ice Mike, Pimp Daddy, Daddy O, Trombone Shorty, Dat Boi Cue, Sess 4-5 – the list goes on and on. I also work with a lot of Latino artists, being that I’m 1/3 Cuban myself – Silky Fine, Yayo, Joker, Papi Chulo, Esperanza Cortez – a bunch of people man. I do features, tracks, lyrics, hooks. I do it all.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: So tell us what part Lokee played in shaping Down South Rap.

LOKEE: I mean, like at that time, before the Southern explosion, there were only a few cities in the south making real noise in the industry, like Houston, Miami, Memphis, Atlanta, and New Orleans, of course – and especially in the Tri-State area, we kinda dictated what everybody else did and listened to. You can still hear the effects of N.O. Bounce in popular music today. But having said that, I was one of the first Southern artists to be able to sell a bunch of units rapping. I get cats all the time telling me how my style influenced theirs, which is a big compliment. If your favorite artist is from the N.O., I’m probably his favorite rapper! I have a cult following.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How did being from the New Orleans area influence your music?

LOKEE: Wow, um, how can I explain it? I’m in a N.O. state of mind. I’m a direct by-product of the violence, the corruption, the music, the food, the culture basically, and that translates through my music. You can listen to a track and hear joy, pain, arrogance, anger, and hope, all in the same song – and it’s automatic, so that makes it organic.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What sets Lokee apart from the crowd?

LOKEE: Swag, vocab, cadence, wordplay, insight, perspective, experience – my whole approach to music in general. I’m on so way other sh*t, but I still know what I need to do to be marketable and successful.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What new projects are currently in the works for you?

LOKEE: Well right now, the name of the game is buzz, buzz, buzz, so I’m gonna bombard my fan base with mega mix tapes and hot features. The first series is called, “Cut Me In Or Cut Me Out”. People have to realize, I just spent 10 years in prison. I came out with close to 5,000 songs, 3 novels and 2 screenplays, so like, material is no problem. I’m also working on a studio album. I’m really into fusion, so this one is going to be a classic. I have access to some of the best producers and musicians in the world, and I also perform at bigger venues with a live band. I make real music. I’m also in the process of launching a clothing line, “Crazy 88”, patterned after my own style of dress, which is as grimy and eclectic as my music.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: When it’s all said and done, what will you be most remembered for bringing to the game?

LOKEE: Class, originality, authenticity, fearlessness, and relevance.



Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
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