IT WASN’T THAT LONG AGO WHEN O.T. GENASIS HAD EVERYONE SCREAMING THEIR LOVE FOR THE COCO. IN 2014, THE LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA NATIVE’S STREET SINGLE WENT FROM VIRAL SENSATION TO AN ABSOLUTE SMASH AT CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS ALL AROUND THE WORLD.
REMIXED BY THE LIKES OF MEEK MILL, JEEZY AND LIL WAYNE, O.T.’S “COCO” BECAME SO INFECTIOUS THAT A FOLLOW- UP WOULD BE PRETTY HARD TO TOP. BUT FEEDING OFF THE PRESSURES OF HIS FANS AND PEERS, HE DELIVERED ANOTHER ONE WITH “CUT IT”, FEATURING YOUNG DOLPH, WHICH ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LAST DECEMBER’S RHYTHM & BRICKS MIXTAPE. AN ODE TO GETTING BRICKS FOR CHEAP, “CUT IT” IS ALREADY BECOMING 2016’S RATCHET ANTHEM. WHILE OUT IN MIAMI, YRB RECENTLY SPOKE WITH O.T. ABOUT THE MAKING OF “CUT IT”, HIS UPCOMING PROJECT JUST BRICKS, BUSTA RHYMES’ GUIDANCE AND MORE.
“Cut It” is slowly climbing the Billboard Hot 100 chart right now. Are you surprised that it’s connecting with fans?
O.T. Genasis: I mean on a commercial level, yeah, as far as the streets, no. I know the streets love it. It was just like “Coco.” We never knew that it would happen like this from that type of record.
It’s funny the stuff you do effortlessly gets noticed.
O.T. Genasis: Right, that’s what surprises me. Damn, if you don’t try, and just have fun doing what you do, these are the records that become big. These songs are on Billboard charts and it’s crazy.
Why did you go back to the streets for “Cut It?”
O.T. Genasis: It’s easy. It’s what I do and what I come from. I was doing other records to really challenge myself and take it to a whole another level, but I realized that I was trying to do that too soon.
Who produced “Cut It?”
O.T. Genasis: A kid named ITrezBeats. I’m getting all the young guys that nobody ever heard of. Like “Coco” was done by someone named Juice808. He’s like 16 years old.
How did you find him and decide to work with him?
O.T. Genasis: I discovered him searching and listening on the Internet. Having people send me beats and everything like that. I don’t usually have people send me beats like that because if it’s not what you wanna hear, you can mess up your ear and you don’t want to listen to nothing for a minute. I’m gonna tell you what actually happened. I did this mixtape called Rhythm & Bricks where I was doing a lot of melodic and street joints. While I was doing the mixtape, I sent it to DJ Drama and he was like, ‘Yo, O.T., it’s a lot of rhythm and not enough bricks.’ I was like, ‘OK, cool. I got you.’ And we were wrapping up the tape, so I went to the studio and recorded “Cut It”, right then and there, and sent it back. It seemed like that’s how the record was supposed to go, so shout out to DJ Drama for that.
How did Young Dolph get on there?
O.T. Genasis: I was actually looking for somebody to put on there. I wanted to keep it to myself, but I was thinking, ‘Nah.’ The way I did my first verse I didn’t want it to sound repetitive. so I figured I needed to put someone on it. I felt like I needed somebody in the streets. Dolph is that person who is young, fresh and has always been in the streets. Dolph’s been around for a long time. I called him and he sent it (his verse) back the next morning.
Did you scrap your Alarm mixtape?
O.T. Genasis: I’m glad I didn’t name [Rhythm & Bricks] Alarm at first. That would have been all bad. I don’t know what I want to title it just yet, I’m thinking calling it Alarm, or Just Bricks.
What’s the status of your Conglomerate Records debut?
O.T. Genasis: At the end of the day, I’m working on my mixtape and my album. I’m just working on a whole lot of music right now. I ain’t trying to be back in the situation I was in, now it’s time to take over. I’m just trying to take advantage of everything. We definitely gonna have a Conglomerate project, then a full album, so there’s a lot of shit to come. It’s a whole lot.
For your album, what type of records do you want to put together?
O.T. Genasis: Basically with the album, it’s going to be a whole lot of street records, but I’ma be showing my ass off. You’re definitely gonna be hearing a lot of me.
At a certain point, when do you feel like you can move on your own? It’s great to have Busta Rhymes in your corner because he’s a legend.
O.T. Genasis: That’s kind of where it is now. He gives me my space. When he found me, I was doing everything by myself, I had the clubs rocking in L.A., and I had my city shaking. Of course he’s gonna be in my corner, but he feels
“I’m gonna let him do his thing.”You don’t see him around like that much but he’ll call every now and then to check in on me. I make my own moves and do my own thing. Busta just sits, watches and supports. If I need anything, he’s there.
You talk about the price of bricks being too high on “Cut It”, what’s the appropriate price for a brick?
O.T. Genasis: You want me to tell you why that’s a trick question? [Laughs] Because if I say it, it’s gonna cause problems.