2016: The Year In Music

Rapper O.T. Genasis on Backlash to Ode to Cocaine 'CoCo': 'I Stay in My Lane and Do Me'

Billboard caught up with O.T. Genasis, whose hit "Coco" recently cracked the top 30 on the Hot 100.

O.T. Genasis, Frank Ocean, One Direction: Digital and Social Movers

Have you faced a negative backlash to “CoCo,” your ode to cocaine?

When my son’s teacher hits me and says, “He has baking soda. What does that mean?” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. It’s hard for me to run away from [it].” But I ain’t really catch no criticism yet. It’s what the song is about. I’m prepared for it.

Why do you think it caught on so quickly?

I think it’s the melody, which is so easy to catch. It catches the kids, even though they don’t know what it’s about. I am surprised, but then again I’m not, because at the end of the day, whether you’re broke or you’re rich or coming up and doing it, the song touches everyone.

In the video, you’re sitting at a table with a pile of cocaine and a gun on it.

A lot of artists talk about this stuff, whether it’s about cocaine or weed or meth. But nobody actually makes you [see] that. If I’m going to talk about it, I might as well show you. It’s the life of me chilling in the projects, chopping it up, right there in front of your face. I really don’t care to be criticized. I stay in my lane and do me.

This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard.