It’s a scorching hot July day in Long Beach, CA, and West Coast rapper O.T. Genasis is right at home in the city he grew up in. He’s gearing up for his photo shoot at the former location of the iconic VIP Records on the busy corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Martin Luther King Jr Ave. Before he even arrived, there was excitement in the air as passersby were checking out the Rolls-Royce that was posted in the parking lot at the location made famous in Snoop’s "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" video back in 1993.
As he arrived, he was instantly greeted by old friends and fans, who were more than happy to see him. Selfies, Snapchats and autographs were the first and last thing on the list of the day’s shoot, as he obliged everyone calling his name. O.T. admits that coming back home has been a humbling experience. “I was just on the outside looking in a couple years ago and now I’m that guy people are taking pictures with,” he says. “Just to see the looks on everybody’s faces when you talk to them is amazing. Some of these kids never leave the LBC and now I’ve become an inspiration for them. It’s a dope feeling to really engage with your fans.”
O.T. has been waiting a long time for this moment to come, hustling hard and carving out a name for himself within the music industry since as long as he could remember. First blowing up in 2014 with his single “CoCo,” he knew he didn’t want to be a one-hit wonder and followed with his 2015 single “Cut It,” where it topped Billboard charts. Now he’s gearing up for the biggest move of his career – his debut album that’s slated to drop by the end of the year. But before he drops that, he’s giving his OG fans some love with a mixtape, something he hopes will double as an enticing introduction to his lyrical prowess for new fans he’s picked up along the way.
“With this album, people will definitely know a lot more about me,” he mentions. “Right now, that’s the problem… People don’t know who the real O.T. Genasis is. They will after this album and I’m going to bring the good times, party, street vibes and just everything else that fans know me for. I'm giving people my lifestyle in musical form. This is going to be my baby, so I’m making sure I do everything right.”
And by “right” he means his own way as he choses to do things differently than what’s expected of him. Since he’s from Long Beach and hails from the West Coast, he and his music are often compared to Snoop Dogg, who put the city on the map. “I do what I do, I stay in my lane and play my own part in the city where I came from. I’m automatically attached to a certain sound because of where I’m from. But I try not to do the same thing that everybody else is doing. Musically, I’m on a different level and although the LBC has influenced me and my music, it doesn’t define it.”
In fact, O.T. doesn’t care for labels at all, not even with his own music and sound. While others may have distinct sounds or beats they include in all their work, he admits that he doesn’t intentionally have one – and it’s been beneficial. “I’m so much of a music fan that most of the time you won’t know it was me,” he says. “All my joints sound totally different and that’s the interesting part about it all – I’m one of those people you can’t figure out. Having one musical style gets old fast and I don’t want to get old so I choose not to have one. I’m not looking for a sound since I want to produce hit records. It’s harder to produce them if you’re looking for one particular beat to fit with your sound. I’m all about making hit records so I’m open to all sorts of things.”
It seems everything that he does is a hit, which has blessed him with the needs to own his own Rolls-Royce Ghost. “I don’t get to drive it that often since I’m always on the road, but I guess that’s sort of a good thing,” he admits. “It means I’m not putting in crazy miles on it because if I was home, I’d be driving it every day!” As a fan of double Rs and all that it entails, O.T. is looking to add the Wraith to his collection. “Ah, man it was dope,” he confesses. The two-tone color, clean Forgiatos… it was amazing. I wish we should have shot at night to see the stars in the roof. These rides are classy and coming from where I'm from, you never saw a RR in the hood. Those who were hood rich would either drive Maseratis or Bentleys and the like.”
But what O.T. Genasis really likes about a Rolls-Royce is the attention he gets while driving it. “I’m all about being fly and that’s what you look like while in a Rolls.” And driving in his Ghost is just one of the many places where he gets attention, with the most being with his music videos - the video for “Coco”alone has garnered more than 179 million views alone. And let’s not forget his stage presence, which amplifies his music, giving fans a performance to remember each and every time he’s in concert. DUB Show fans should be familiar with O.T.’s powerful stage presence as he’s performed at numerous DUB Shows, including our recent L.A. stop. “Every time I go to the DUB Show, it’s crazy, but this year’s stop was something else,” he details. “It was dope to see everyone vibing to my songs. The crowd knew my jams word for word and it was amazing to see them singing along with me!”When he drops his debut album, O.T. Genasis is going to have more fans knowing all the words to his jams, helping him get closer to his goal of becoming an influential entrepreneur. “I want music to be the outlet to accomplish everything I can possibly do in life,” he explains. “That includes everything from movies, to owning my own label and more. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t trying to be on some Jay Z status…that or better.”