OHGEESY is a hustler. The L.A. rapper’s signature look, which comes complete with his dangling iced-out “Geezy World” chain, and a fitted hat sporting any given MLB team, is a look that’s come to be a statement for the confidence behind the artist and person. Regardless of whether he’s rocking his hometown Dodgers, the Tampa Bay Rays or Chicago WhiteSox, the cap is always sitting carefully atop his head of black curly hair, as he uses the chosen franchise’s colours to coordinate them with the rest of his fit – ranging from Off-White jackets to BAPE hoodie to Amiri jeans.
But there is much more to OHGEESY, his music and his movement than what initially meets the eye. As an undeniable leader in the booming modern-day West Coast Hip-Hop scene whose influence continues to seep into the mainstream, his presence is calm with an undisturbed yet confident aura. He has more than enough reasons to feel this way. At 29 years old, he’s already left his mark on his regional scene and beyond, with a few handfuls of certified hit songs under his designer belt, his groundbreaking work with Shoreline Mafia, collaborations with the likes of Tyga, Future and YG, and co-signs from Drake and the OVO crew.
After OHGEESY began rapping at 18 years old, he eventually went on to form the unapologetic rap group Shoreline Mafia alongside Rob Vicious, Fenix Flexin and Master Kato. They quickly garnered breakthrough regional success through hit songs like “Nun Major,” “Bands” and “Musty.” These tracks were highlighted by the group’s undeniable charisma, as they quickly became known for candidly telling tales of their lives and surroundings while simultaneously finding imaginative flows to creatively talk their shit. The release of controversial music videos and their willingness to taunt authorities over their tasteful West Coast production, often complete with ethereal synths, eerie piano loops and heavy basslines, made them a force to be reckoned with among the constantly-evolving Hip-Hop sound of the late 2010s and early 2020s. Alongside rappers like the late great trendsetter Drakeo The Ruler and the recently-freed West Coast legend 03 Greedo, Shoreline Mafia were working tirelessly to carve out their own lane and space in the game.
In 2020 however, Shoreline Mafia took the game by surprise when they announced that they’d be splitting up in order to each pursue solo careers as emcees. This has proved to work out better for OHGEESY, as he was now able to take his charisma, array of flows and no-nonsense bars to new levels. In 2021, he dropped his very first solo mixtape since the split, GEEZYWORLD, released on Atlantic Records. Backed by hits like the braggadocious, DaBaby-featuring “Get Fly” and the pop-inspired love song “Keeper” alongside A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, the tape peaked at #102 on the Billboard 200 Chart. As he showcased his true diversity through collaboration, experimentation and elevated shit-talking, OHGEESY has never looked back –– and in the process, solidified himself as an iconic West Coast figure in the modern-day game.
The most important thing that’s happened to him though, is becoming a dad. In 2019, shortly before Shoreline’s breakup and well before he began exploring his successful career as a solo emcee, his son was born. The experience and his relationship with his son informs everything that he does. “Having a son just made me move hella different, and it changes up your whole priorities. Like, I spent so much money on mortgage and all types of shit. I can be buying jewelry and all types of shit, but I got two houses, I got [a] mortgage.. You feel me? I take care of my responsibilities,” he says proudly.
He certainly hasn’t been spending too much time consecutively at his residences though –– he’s been touring non-stop for the past seven years. He says that he sees a lot of fans compare his work with Shoreline Mafia to his solo work now, but points out that the one constant throughout his career is his ability to sell out shows and cultivate a completely organic fanbase. At the group’s peak, he says, they were getting around 150 million views on their videos, but emphasizes that he’s never not sold out a tour or a show, as a solo artist or otherwise.
Calling out artists with a billion views who can’t even sell out their tickets, he proudly claims it’s a result of his organically-crafted music and subsequent fanbase who continues to follow him everywhere. “I make myself comfortable [in] every city I touch down in,” he says. In order to do so, he brings along one of his son’s toys and even one of his clothing items, for their scent, with him whenever he’s on the road. He also makes sure to tap in with each of the local scenes as he goes through them, which has led to him developing a genuine relationship with Toronto artists like Smiley, as well as Pressa and his brother Bundog.
“Never get lazy. Never get comfortable. Never feel like you’re too good or too big for something, you feel me? I get out there and I grind like it’s my first tour everytime I do it, but this might be my tenth, eleventh tour, you feel me? But I treat every tour like it’s my first one,” he dishes out as advice to any up-and-coming artists. The reason he’s developed a cult-like fanbase full of real fans is because he puts himself out there and grinds, taking advantage of club appearances and making sure to pop out in cities like Barrie, where other artists don’t even bother to go.
As he continues to embrace his identity as a Mexican-American in the rap game and a father of one, he treats his father duties as his primary priority without fully letting his music take a backseat. His identity and his father duties are parts of him that inform how he moves, how he makes music and how he conducts himself. Historically, he hasn’t been a rapper whose process involves just punching in while in the studio. Everything has been well-thought-out, calculated and written down; something that he admits may be related to his meticulous mindset, inspired by his time as a graffiti artist in L.A.
Before he splurged on his signature “Geezy World” chain, he made sure to first buy a house. Now the proud owner of two homes, OHGEESY makes it clear that he undoubtedly has his priorities straight. “‘Cause if all fails, you need a home. And I got a fire ass home – two of ‘em,” he says with a grin.
It’s been nearly two years since GEEZYWORLD officially arrived. As OHGEESY now gears up to drop the project’s sequel, he’s fresh off a string of fiery releases including the Petey Pablo-sampling “GEEKALEEK” with Detroit’s Cash Kidd, the R-rated, clever innuendo-filled “Chrome Hearted” with Tyga, as well as a “GEEKALEEK” remix featuring an energetic, witty verse from BIA. The forthcoming project features the L.A. rapper punching in for the very first time, opting to let the lyrics and cadences flow out of him naturally rather than writing verses down beforehand.
When asked what to expect on the upcoming sequel, he replies simply yet confidently: “Just new fly shit,” before divulging that there are some songs catered towards the ladies within the tracklist as well. As he enters that lane more and more, while still sharpening his skills as rapper and off-the-cuff lyricist, it couldn’t be clearer that OHGEESY is now a solidified household name. Striving for maturity and popstar-esque stardom, GEEZYWORLD 2 finds a nonconforming rapper and father playing by his own rules, leveling up into the next phase of his career.
Cover Star: @ohgeesy
Producers: @illanois_ @andrecordova_
Photo Editor: @dearbish
Graphic Design: @luca_dichio
Video Director/Editor: @overduress
Assit. Video Editor: @caleb_cabral
Camera Operator: @marioffs