O.T Genasis, otherwise known as the baking soda connoisseur responsible for the hit “CoCo,” has been cooking in the studio. After having celebs like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Ed Sheeran jam to his popular single, O.T.’s been milking his success with “CoCo,” which also cracked the Top 30 on the Hot 100 Billboard charts and has become a DJ’s default hype anthem. The reason? Genasis says millennials have fallen in love with the melody, regardless of the blatant drug reference.
“It’s definitely a dope record,” he says, pun possibly intended. “It’s melodic. That’s what I feel and it’s talking about something that I like talking about.” Fresh off the release of his follow-up record, “Ricky,” there is no humblebragging found in the Long Beach rapper’s vocabulary. “I’m very creative with this music,” he tells VIBE over the phone. “I actually think that I’m a genius, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I’m a musical genius.”
The confidence in his rap game comes after putting in work in the industry for years. After catching his big break with “Jackie Chan,” which secured him a deal with 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records that eventually fizzled out, Genasis kept pushing, even delivering his 2012 mixtape Black Belt mixtape. Eventually, his 2014 track “Touchdown” caught the attention of his soon-to-be boss, Busta Rhymes, who offered him a spot on Conglomerate Records. Co-signs aside, the rapper is set on convincing the world he is no one-hit wonder.
Take his November 2014 freestyle on HOT 97 where he puts his past struggles on front street, rapping, “My mama said never go after nine/Fuck that time cause I had me a nine.” He plans to expand his following with songs like “Ricky,” armed with a myriad of material that turns his lows into turn-up tunes. He says even his mix of influences, like Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Scarface, Ghetto Boy and T.I., are responsible for his mixed catalog. But the real MVP is Busta, who has given him the creative freedom to flourish on wax.
“We’re able to talk about a whole lot of things with my project,” he says about his personal and professional friendship with Busta. “He’s giving me a chance to explore different avenues and respects my music in so many different ways. He’s open-minded and just lets me create my own lane.” Genasis added that Busta has taught him the importance of time in the music biz (basically, don’t slack) and that anything is possible when it comes to realizing the type of artist he wants to be. “I want to be able to do any and everything,” Genasis says. “I don’t want to be limited.”
While critics may say that today’s hip-hop is too club-centric, Genasis defends the concept in the name of making feel-good music. “Music changes, life changes. It’s like Jay Z said, ‘If people like the old Jay, then go listen to the old Jay.’ I always heard that, but never understood it,” he says. “Some people will go to work for hours and hours, just waiting to get off. Nothing against lyrics ’cause I can [make them], but nobody wants to sit there and study lyrics the whole time, driving back from work when they just got their check after a long shift. It’s not the same. Everybody just wants to be happy with life.”
“Nobody wants to sit there and study lyrics the whole time, driving back from work when they just got their check after a long shift. It’s not the same. Everybody just wants to be happy with life.”
Though Genasis kept a tight lip on details for his upcoming mixtape (due next month), he is ready for haters to bash his music because he’s been there before. “Everybody calling “Ricky” another “CoCo,” but just four months ago, motherfuckers told me I couldn’t drop another “CoCo,'” Genasis says. “So when I dropped it, now it’s like, ‘What can he do now?’ So nobody is ever satisfied and I understand that, but I’m going to show motherfuckers what I really can do.”—Yvette Brown