Imagine having a gun pointed at your head, your killer with hatred in eyes and his finger on the trigger. There is no time to move out of the way, not even enough time to pray. Click! The trigger is pulled, but no bullet comes out. Click! Click! Still nothing. Divine intervention.
Raised in Long Beach, California, O.T. Genasis (real name, Odis Flores) had to learn how to navigate his hometown’s notorious streets at an early age. Through his adolescent eyes, he would see the crimes in his neighbourhood and eventually be lured into the underworld lifestyle.
“When I was growing up, I was a follower,” O.T. Genasis says, reflecting back on his past mistakes. “I saw a lot of followers get killed. Music definitely saved me.”
Influenced by the likes of legends such as Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Jay-Z, O.T. Genasis would avidly pen lyrics and began formulating songs. His love of music, however, took a temporary backseat to necessity as O.T. Genasis shifted his focus on his family suffering through harsh times. His teenage years found him in the muddy underbelly of his hometown learning the dynamics of hustling for survival. By 19, O.T. Genasis mastered his nefarious craft, but soon decided to pursue his dream career as a music artist.
“I just started attacking the streets with my music, utilising the same aggression I did as a hustler,” O.T. Genasis explains, “I knew I had to get my buzz up.”
The gutter grind eventually caught the attention of music mogul, 50 Cent, who in 2011 signed O.T. Genasis to a single deal for his track, “Jackie Chan”.
The song was met with moderate fanfare and he was soon back on the streets as a free agent pounding the pavement with his new release, “Touchdown”. The record used sports as a metaphor for street jostling and found O.T. Genasis buzzing on the streets and LA’s club scene.
One witness to his grind was the iconic rap legend, Busta Rhymes, who noticed O.T. Genasis’ grind during the festivities in L.A. surrounding the BET Awards, O.T. Genasis explains.
“He saw me perform at a club and I killed the stage so bad, he asked me about possibly doing some business. The next day, I came by the studio and played some music, we had a deal in place not too long after.”
“Being known for my live performances,” adds Conglomerate Entertainment CEO Busta Rhymes, “I love how he attacks the stage with such ferociousness. He’s on a seek-and-destroy mission every time he’s on the mic. He’s already one of the best performers.
“Then when I heard his music, I realised this guy is one of the most versatile songwriters I’ve ever come across. He’s fearless on stage and in the booth.”
Now moving with the support of Busta Rhymes’ Conglomerate Ent, O.T. Genasis updated “Touchdown” with a remix featuring French Montana, Busta Rhymes and Juicy J, accompanied by entertaining visuals playing off the hit TV series, “Breaking Bad.” Months later, O.T. Genasis fast-tracked his way to superstar status by delivering one of the biggest anthems of the last decade with “CoCo.”
Crowned by DJs across America such as Funkmaster Flex, Felli Fel, Khaled and Greg Street as the “hottest song on the streets and in the clubs,” “CoCo” literally addicts the listener after one taste of O.T. Genasis’ charismatic delivery and clever wordplay.
“CoCo” first debuted to the masses with an unapologetically graphic video on the controversial website, WorldStarHipHop, where O.T. Genasis not only shows what a day in the office of a street hustler is like, but gives the viewer an instantly memorable performance as he raps with magnetic energy conveyed at his live shows.
“We already knew a lot of television stations wouldn’t play it, but we were perfectly fine with that,” he adds. “That was definitely the consensus with Busta, members of the Conglomerate circle and myself. The visuals had to match the music. The song was for the streets and so was the video. All I can be is realistic.”
“The song became a viral sensation accumulating 60 million views on YouTube to date. “CoCo” also became one of the most Shazamed songs in 2014 and currently sits in Billboard’s Top 40 chart as it nears Gold sales. The song also finally gave listeners a chance to see the O.T. Genasis experience as he treks throughout the country’s hottest clubs showing his performance acumen by performing the song up to four times a night at clubs through out the country, as many as 14 times in one venue.
“‘CoCo’ is a brief glimpse at a chapter in my life and a lot of times you have to start with the worst to get to the best. You’ll understand the arc of my story as more material is released, but it has to be a perfect reflection of my reality in the past, present and future.”
“CoCo” is the second single released by O.T. Genasis on Busta Rhymes’ The Conglomerate Entertainment in a partnership with Atlantic Records.
“It’s a blessing to have such huge success with a song out the gate,” says O.T. Genasis who has spent most of his life in Long Beach, CA. “It’s only been out for a few months, and the reaction has been monumental. This is the moment I’ve waited my entire life for and I plan on capitalising on it and showing the people I have a long career ahead.”
In 2015, O.T. Genasis plans on showcasing his vast talents by releasing his solo mixtape ‘Alarm’ as he hammers away on his debut LP.
“I look at the longevity of Busta, and I know I have the talent to do that as well. I have a very clear, long-term plan to gain success in the game. You can look forward to me not just making my mark with this music and these shows, but also on the business side as well.”