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Pittsburgh, PA | Established. Jan 01, 2005

Pittsburgh, PA
Established on Jan, 2005
Band Hip Hop EDM




"'Clean' Pittsburgh rapper Gallo has hand in the sports world"

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
AUG 9, 2018 7:45 AM
If you ever need someone to rap on deadline, you might want to call Gallo Locknez.

The Pittsburgh-based rapper just spent the NBA season whipping up late-night rap songs for highlight videos on the league’s social media platforms.

“I would basically watch a game and get the highlights, and, for the most part, they would base the highlights around my lyrics,” he says. “They would post it up at about 9 or 10 a.m., so I would have to have it produced, written, mixed and mastered by like 2 a.m. It was pretty crazy.”

Just part of the payoff for him was seeing one of those videos on the Jumbotron while he attended NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

On Sept. 15, Gallo will be featured on HBO Boxing with a track he wrote for the Pay-Per-View fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

“One of the main reasons the NBA wanted to work with me,” he says, “is I had such a clean background and I had such clean music. Same with the boxing thing. They said, ‘We wanted to work with you because we don’t have to worry about TMZ pulling up anything crazy on you.’ ”

Gallo, who was born in New York City and grew up in the Poconos, moved to Pittsburgh three years ago with his wife and two daughters, in part, to be close to family — his sister lives here.

“I knew it was a real artistic place,” he says of his new hometown. “I knew there were arts going on, whether it be jazz, hip-hop. I like hip-hop. Obviously, that’s what I do. But I love MUSIC. And I love art — drawing, painting, graffiti. I appreciate all types of creativity. That’s what I love about Pittsburgh.”

While his dad was a musician, playing mostly jazz and rock, Gallo, who’s in his mid-30s, was turned on by hip-hop artists like DMX, Redman and Eminem in the late ’90s and wanted to learn how to do it himself.

“My father had a lot of equipment in the basement, and he didn’t really like me touching his stuff,” the rapper says. “But when he would go to work, I would sneak down there and mess around, and play keys and play the drum pad. I wanted to record, but I didn’t have any capability. What I ended up doing is, we had like 10 VCRs in the house, so I was like, ‘There’s gotta be a way I can record just audio into the VCR.’ ”

That’s exactly what he did. Somehow, when he was 16 or 17, he recorded his first raps on VHS. Early on, he made the decision to be a “clean” rapper.

“Honestly, I just like being different,” he says. “Everybody was cursing and everybody was talking about guns and drugs. And I like to stand out. I decided not to do that. I decided to go the clean route. Rakim was also a person who didn’t curse in his rhymes. He’s considered a GOAT, one of the best ever, and I respected that. And I didn’t want to limit my audience. A lot of people hear cursing and they just shut it off.”

Staying clean, he says, “opened a lot of doors for me.”

Two years ago, he released the album “March Forth.” In July, he followed that with “Sacrifice,” a five-song EP with Jflo that combines hip-hop, R&B and trap. He has a new full-length album, “Gallos World,” planned for the fall.

“The pattern with me is that I work pretty good under pressure, so we challenged ourselves to create this album in a week,” he says. “We did one song a day and finished the album in a week, which is why we called it ‘Sacrifice.’ We had to sacrifice time, sleep, to get it done. We’re both married, we both have children, so we sacrificed every day.”

Scott Mervis: - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"One Last WHIRL: Hip-Hop Artist Gallo Locknez Shares A Positive Voice"

By Matthew Hacke | Photograph from Gallo Locknez Photography
If there is one thing that Gallo Locknez enjoys about making music and performing, it is inspiring people through positive messages. “At all of my performances, I always have the crowd chant a positive affirmation because it’s very important to instill that kind of mentality in people,” Gallo says. The rapper and producer, who made the Pittsburgh area his home with his wife and two young daughters three years ago, writes witty and clean lyrics to convey his positive outlook on life. “I don’t curse in any of my music,” he continues. “You will never hear me cursing.”

Born in New York City and raised in Northeastern PA, Gallo’s passion for music came from his father. “My father was a jazz musician, so he was always playing music and had gigs when I was growing up. I picked up what I could, but I was a hard-headed child, though. I’m not going to lie,” he says amusingly. While Gallo’s father tried to teach him different music techniques, he really took the reins by himself. “I used to rap for fun with my brothers, but then I really taught myself how to rap and make beats. One day, I went into school with a little track I put together and everyone was like, ‘This isn’t bad!’ and my passion just took off from there.”

Gallo’s interest in rapping quickly evolved. He was signed by producer Rockwilder, who has worked with incredible artists like Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and 50 Cent, which led to opportunities for TV placements and eventually a few rap contests. One of the most prestigious contests he won was a national hip-hop contest called “Green For All,” centered around the theme of keeping the environment clean. “When I won, I was interviewed by and was able to shoot the video for my winning single, ‘Ima Push.’”

In over five years, Gallo has turned his craft into a professional career. He has since released an album, titled March Forth, and signed a contract with the NBA to produce raps for its social media platforms after big games. His raps serve as a recap of games, with smart and informative lyrics, and many of them have already garnered millions of views on Instagram.

“I’ll watch the game, and right after it ends, I’ll write a rap re-capping it,” says Gallo, who is an avid Knicks fan himself. “Once I complete the beat and rap, I send it out to the videographer who puts it all together so that it is ready to be posted the next morning.”

There is no stopping Gallo, who is already hard at work on his next album, which is set to be released early this year, called GallosWorld. And we’re excited to see how he continues to carry out his theme of positivity and inspiration. “I have skits and experiences that I talk about in my music and how I overcame them,” he says. “When people listen to my music, I hope that they can find the same type of inspiration to overcome any obstacles or challenges they’re facing.”

Gallo Locknez, - Whirl Magazine


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