O.T. Genasis needs no introduction. The Long Beach native has an incredible catalog of hits, from his 2014 breakout smash “CoCo” to 2015’s “Cut It” featuring Young Dolph to 2016’s “Push It” and of course, last year’s “Bae.” Everything he drops has to be grandiose, from the record to the visual to the overall movement. His next single is in collaboration with Chris Brown & Charlie Wilson.
Real name Odis Flores is a crip-walking legend, busting out his dance moves in the most unlikely environments — including in front of the White House. Describing himself as “young, wild, turnt, happy, humble, and high off life,” O.T. is all about turning up and having a good time. Life is not meant to be wasted, and he’s the prime example of living life to the fullest.
On any given night, you may catch him with some Don Julio tequila, in the studio or even in the comfort of his own home. While he was able to thrive in the nightlife scene whether it was the club or a house party, O.T. is actually taking this downtime in quarantine to work on parts of himself he never was aware of prior.
Flaunt caught up with O.T. who was posted in the studio in Hollywood, to discuss his first taste of success, the making of “Bae,” new single with Jeremih, and new album Leave Me Alone I’m Drunk.
How was growing up in Long Beach?
It’s a whole lotta good people, the sun is shining. It’s The Pike, it’s a whole lotta Crippin’. That’s about it, that’s all I could tell you.
When did you realize you wanted to do music for a living?
After my third showcase, I was doing shows and selling tickets for $10. I was16, that’s when I realized I really wanted to rap because everybody was looking at me different. I knew I had something that everybody else didn’t have. I’m a show off [laughs], but very humble. Since I was young, I liked a lot of attention. I like attention to be on me, so I do a lot of shit when attention is on me.
How early were you doing the Crip walk?
Since I was 8. That shit was mandatory. Of course it’s gang culture but when you’re 8 years old, you’re not thinking like that. It’s culture to you, it’s a dance people are doing at the time. At 11 years old, I seen my older cousin come home with a check. When he got his check, he’s C-walking. It’s real culture.
Who’s been the closest best in their Crip walk?
Obviously I have to name WC, because that’s a legend. Always have to say his name, especially because he reached out to be like “I fuck with you.” Everybody got their own style of Crip walking. As far as coming close to me, nobody’s fucking with me.
C-walking outside the White House though? That was epic.
And I had my slides on! I had a show in D.C., my flight was later on in the day at 7pm. In the morning I woke up at 11am, I didn’t have shit to do. I went over there to the White House to look at what’s going on, that bullshit with Trump. I start walking in front of the White House, they had security guards and all kinds of shit. I’m like “fuck everybody” and started walking.
Were you prepared for what “CoCo” became?
Definitely not. I thought it was going to be big because I really really loved it, but I didn’t know it was going to be as big as it was or happen as fast as it did. Within 2 or 3 weeks from when that record dropped, my life changed I swear. I was getting shows right then and there, all over the world. Anywhere, you name it. It was real organic, everybody stuck to it. I started doing shows, everybody started yelling “OT, OT, OT!” I thought “damn, everybody’s going to be calling me OT. This shit crazy.” I did my first shows out in New York.
Why New York?
New York booked me first. When “CoCo” happened, first people who brought me over there was New York. Everywhere, it’s playing on Hot 97 nonstop. I get on the plane, when I land and get in a car, that shit was playing. Every radio station, Funkmaster Flex brought that shit back like 20 times. “Yo everybody, Staten Island! You in the Bronx…” I’m looking like “what the fuck?” Shit was a movie.
Were you signed at that point?
I was signed at that point, but I heard the label was talking about dropping me in December. I didn’t put out no records that whole year, and dropped that record. I was signed, but I didn’t know how to put out music, what to do. I didn’t know nothing, I just knew I had a deal. They gave me an advance, some money. In early October, I recorded that. November’s when I dropped the video, and that shit went [rocketship effect]. If they would’ve dropped me, sheeeesh. A lot of money for that guy. [laughs] Shout out to Atlantic.
“Cut It” with Dolph too, what are your fondest memories from the record?
I kept doing interviews about “CoCo” and everybody kept telling me how big my next song has to be. I can’t, how can you compare…? Especially when I’m in that year, you’re telling me to drop something bigger than this?
That’s some hater shit.
That’s what I thought. I was chillin’, then said “fuck it.” I dropped “Cut It,” that shit went out of here. If you was in the streets, you knew about Dolph. After that shit dropped, Dolph went crazy.
How’d you guys tap in?
I reached out to him. At the time, I was hot. I could get anybody on the song, but nah I’ma put Dolph on it. Somebody that I personally like. I don’t go off of the gimmicks and all that other shit that people do. “Let’s go with the hottest artist,” and they put them on. I don’t care about none of that shit, great music is great music, I don’t care what you say.
“Bae” is the most genius song, that’s my favorite song of yours.
I love that song. I was so drunk when I made that, the drunkest. I wish I documented that, I was so faded and happy. When I got in the booth, I started with “well, well, what you gon’ do?.” Fast forward, “I look good, I look like bae!” Movie. One of the funnest moments of my career because I’m having fun. I’m not thinking a lot, trying to be too strategic. I’m letting it come out naturally.
How have you been holding up in quarantine?
Quarantine’s been good, I’m learning a lot. About myself, about business, about everything. The first month, shit what am I gonna do? Then you start realizing it’s a lot of stuff within your own life that you need to fix and correct, in order to become the person you want to or even bigger than that. In order for that to happen, you have to be face to face with what you’re going through in life. When this shit starts moving again, life is moving fast.
This shit sits your ass down, lets you relax, figure things out. You start saying “oh wow, I’m glad this thing happened.” Some people didn’t even spend time with their kids, now you’re spending more time with your kids. If you’re a writer, now you’re proofreading everything that you actually wrote. If you’re in the studio with certain songs you made, you get to fix them. Things you love and appreciate but don’t take time for, you can now because of this COVID shit.
How would you describe your drip?
Honestly at this point, I don’t even have drip anymore, it’s more like a puddle. The way how saucy I am, people know what I do. I do this for fun. It’s a sport.
I mean, you got a song “I Look Good.”
That’s what I’m saying, come on man. You got high self esteem right? You gotta have high-self esteem all the time. You gotta care about yourself and love yourself.
New album Leave Me Alone I’m Drunk, that’s a hell of a name.
This is a true story, when I’m drinking I don’t want anybody to bother me, that’s where it comes from. When you’re having a good time, you’re feeling yourself. One of your homegirls comes to you with shit she’s going through with her boyfriend, they’re fucking up your high. You know when you’re hanging with drunk people, leave me alone I’m drunk. It also means let me have a good time, don’t put too much on me. All these expectations, all this other shit, leave me alone. I’m drunk, let me have a good time and live life.
Where are these expectations coming from?
Expectations come from the industry, from fans, from everything. You put out good work, people know you for putting out good work. In the streets you got good weed, good dope, people will know you for good weed, good dope. We know that wherever we go it could be cheaper, but when we go there we know what he got.
Are you drinking everyday?
Yeah, especially right now. The pandemic, I’m drinking more. If I drink and smoke, I’ll be stuck. I don’t want to be stuck, I want to be turnt. Any Don Julio. Don Julio Blanco, Don Julio Añejo, Don Julio Reposado, Don Julio 1942. I got stocks. I take my liver cleanser. It’s really tequila though, I’m a big tequila fan.
Goals for yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
To grow as a father, to grow as a brother, to grow as a son, as an entrepreneur. To be the biggest artist I can be, to make sure I touch as many genres as I can musically.
Are we getting O.T. country?!
You’re getting O.T. country too. Come on, stop it. I’m ready for whatever. At the end of the day, be the person to say I did it all and have no regrets. I was having fun when I did it.
Anything else you want to let us know?
That the album is coming very very very very very soon.