by Apollonia Jordan
There have been many rap artists to put Frisco on the map. Artists like RBL Posse, Rapping 4Tay, San Quinn, and JT the Bigga Figga; all of them set the stage for young artists like G-Val. However, the only rap musical success story coming out of Bayview Hunters Point who were known, loved and respected on an independent and national level has been the rap group RBL Posse.
Now, G-Val, born and raised in Bayview, is an artist who spits dope lyrics that young children in inner city communities, especially Bayview, can look up to. G-Val is not just an artist; he is a dream. Children see the success he has made musically coming from their community and it gives them a sense of hope. Hope that they too can follow their dreams, whatever those dreams may be, and become successful, with hard work and tenacity.
His albums, like “Point Life 94124,” “Join the Race 4,” “Who is G-Val” and his new album, “Already a Legend,” have proven G-Val to already possess the legendary gangsta sound that The Point is known for. With his gangsta lyrical content, combined with stories of hustling and surviving the harsh realities of living in the hood, G-Val is changing the rap game, building his own brand, accumulating wealth and making strides towards changing those statistics – all on an independent label.
His smile and positive attitude causes him to be loved by his community and communities nationwide. Check out what G-Val has to say about staying focused and committed to being successful and making it out the hood …
Apollonia: For those who don’t know you, who is G-Val?
G-Val: The name comes from my first name Greg and my last name Valentine. Born and raised in Hunters Point. I began my career using the name and stuck with it.
Apollonia: Who are some of your musical influences when it comes to OGs in the rap game?
G-Val: I grew up really only listening to RBL Posse. They are the most influential OGs that I got some game from and who I listened to and soaked up game from, as far as this rap music.
Apollonia: Your fourth album, “Already a Legend,” dropped in June. What are you giving your fans with this album?
G-Val: On this project, I wanted to showcase my talent and stay as solo as possible. I only have two features on the album. One of which is a song titled “Girls,” featuring Bobby Brackins. I wanted to make sure I had some great tracks for the summer that my community can vibe with.
Apollonia: You have made a name for yourself in the rap game, to the level of which you now have the Ambassador of the Bay, aka E-40, featured on the remix of your song titled “Facts Straight.” How did you link up with E-40 and what was this experience like for you?
G-Val: E-40 spoke to me and told me that he liked and respected what I was doing with this music. He respected me as an artist and he also respected the fact that I’m out here making a name for myself and a positive reputation in this music business.
After that, I reached out to him and asked him if he wanted to get on this song. He said cool. I sent him the song and he sent me a verse back and the rest is history. He actually sent me two verses and told me that I could pick whichever verse I wanted for that song and keep the other verse and do whatever I wanted with it.
So, that was big and I appreciate that from E-40. I have much love and respect for E-40.
Apollonia: With all the violence that has been going on in HP for many years now, what made you want to do something positive, like create music?
G-Val: I got involved with music in high school and fell in love with the storytelling and being able to release my thoughts and emotions through music. I don’t let the violence get to me or stop me from doing what I need to do to make sure my family makes it out the hood.
I’ve never lived anywhere else besides Hunters Point; I was born here and this is all that I have ever known. So, this is normal to me, this is home; this is where my family resides and where people genuinely have love for me.
That love overshadows the violence and things we endure as young Black men growing up in Hunters Point. It’s different when you have an abundance of love and community that supports you, has your best interests at heart and wants to see you succeed.
Apollonia: Why did you name this album “Already a Legend”?
G-Val: I named it “Already a Legend” because I feel that at my young age, I am already a success story, especially coming out of Bayview Hunters Point. Statistically, society counts us out based on the reputation of our neighborhood.
There aren’t many people coming from Bayview Hunters Point being recognized right now, and I feel like what I’m doing is legendary, historical, and is paving the way for other talented young people from Bayview to aspire to conquer their goals and pursue their dreams – whether those dreams be to own a business, create music, play sports, or move out the hood.
I feel I made a name and paved the way again for artists out of Hunters Point music to be heard and respected.
Apollonia: What does being a legend mean to you?
G-Val: A legend is somebody that the community can look up to and trust. Every day I get people, young and old, from my community and all over coming up to me showing me love and respect for my music and what I’m doing. I want to encourage the children to believe in themselves. If I can do it … you can do it. That’s why I feel that I’m already a legend.
Apollonia: What pushes you to grind as hard as you do?
G-Val: It’s all about having fun and enjoying what you do in the studio. As long as you are having fun and enjoying what you do, great music will come.
I live, eat and sleep music. I wake up creating music and go to sleep creating music. So, overall, you have to be dedicated, and most people want the fame but don’t want to take the necessary steps and footwork needed to become successful.
If you really want this, you really have to do this; and what sets me apart from other rappers is the grind and the hustle. I have originality and I don’t try to follow what the next person is doing. I stay in my own lane and do what I love to do, which is make great music.
That grind, hunger, and thrive to be successful and move my daughter and family out the hood is what motivates me to push every day – nonstop.
Apollonia: How difficult is it to juggle your career while also being a young father?
G-Val: I’m always a father first. I never mix the two. I keep my daughter and family separate from the music and I even try to keep her off social media like that.
I think life is all about guiding our children and making sure they have a better life once you become a parent, and I plan to make my daughter proud and make it happen to make sure her future is secure. I’m just grinding trying to make it out of Hunters Point.
The album “Already a Legend” is on iTunes. Order it today. If you would like to connect with G-Val, you can reach him on Instagram or Twitter @whoisgval.
Bay Area journalist and longtime Bay View writer Apollonia Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.