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CoCo

O.T. Genasis is a West Coast rapper from the Los Angeles area. This song is about cocaine, and the accompanying video is a glamorization of gang culture, featuring guns, rolled up dollar bills, drugs in powder form, bricks, chunks and cigarettes, beautiful women and fast cars. The hook of the song is “I’m in love with the coco”, and we are given no reasons to doubt the sincerity of O.T. Genasis. He loves cocaine.

The first verse: “hit my plug” means meeting up with a dealer – his drug connection. “cholo” means buddy or amigo, and there are several of these Spanish (particularly Mexican Spanish) words in the song that associates the drug with Mexican drug cartels: cholo, loco, treinta ocho, aqui, puto, Nino.

spanish words

“He got it for the low, low” means his connection got the coke for a low price, which shows that O.T. is well connected. The effect of cocaine is shown through the level of aggressiveness it takes him to: “if you snitchin’ I go loco (go crazy) / hit you with that treinta acho”. Treinta ocho is Spanish for 38, a popular gun calibre.

His enemies may think he is all by himself and they want to get him, but they soon discover that he is part of a strong gang, and so they reconsider: “niggas thinkin’ that I’m solo / fifty deep, they like ‘oh, no’”. The phrase “fifty deep” is also found in 2Pac’s “Homeboyz” in the line “for them niggaz that be Johnny Dangerous when they be fuckin’ fifty deep / But they be fuckin cowards when they by theyselves” (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/2pac/homeboyz.html ), and so “fifty deep” seems to mean being surrounded and protected by fifty other gang members. For that reason, loyalty is extremely important, and the code of silence is rule number one: “heard the feds taking’ photos / I know nothin’, fuck the popo”. O.T. will never snitch on his homies, and popo is California slang for police. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=POPO )

The refrain is about making crack cocaine, so the persona in the song does not just buy cocaine, but is also a crack cocaine manufacturer: “Bakin’ soda, I got bakin’ soda”. The way you make crack cocaine is by dissolving cocaine in water, add baking soda and stir it together, hence the whipping: “whip it through the glass, nigga”. The line “I’m blowing money fast, nigga” is ambiguous: it can mean that he uses cocaine at a very high rate, and so he blows or snorts cocaine worth a lot of money very quickly. It can also mean that he makes a lot of money quickly and can then “blow it”, i.e. spend it on women, cars etc.

The second verse: “Thirty six, that’s a kilo” simply states the fact that thirty-six ounces makes one kilogram, which is what usually makes up a “brick” or block of cocaine. The next line is perhaps the most interesting and complex in the whole song: “need a brick, miss my free throw”. A brick is also the term used for a missed free throw in basketball. O.T. Genasis captures the dilemma of young boys with a similar background: there are only two ways out of poverty where he comes from – the drug trade or being good at basketball. Since he wasn’t good at sports, he was forced to get involved with drugs (he needs “a brick”). Of course, there are other ways to “get out”, such as getting an education, or establishing a career in music. Music is his basketball, so to speak, so in a sense, he didn’t miss his free throw after all. This is the only line in the song that reveals an underlying motive for being in love with the CoCo: it is out of necessity rather than choice. There is only a slight hint of the victim here, though. He is in love, and he keeps whipping that water like he is Nemo.

nemo disney

Nemo, however, is not only the fish in the Disney film “Finding Nemo”, but also the submarine captain of the Nautilus in Jules Verne’s “The Mysterious Island”. Nemo does not drown, but he spends his life underwater, which may be similar to what it feels like to be the love slave of cocaine. Also, the name is Greek and means “no one” (it is the name by which Odysseus identifies himself to the Cyclops), which may signify a loss of identity and loss of self. Perhaps O.T. Genasis acknowledges that by pledging his love to cocaine, he is indeed losing himself.

captain nemo

This emptiness or hollowness is reinforced by the repetition of the phrase “Bakin’ soda, I got bakin’ soda” in the refrain – as if baking soda is all he has. All he’s got is the CoCo, and he is Nobody.

baking soda

The final image of the original video may also hint towards this emptiness when the buzz wears off: O.T. Genasis is slumped over to the side, and it is shot so that it looks like he is stuck inside the jar of crack cocaine crystals. Perhaps there is an awareness about the limits of cocaine after all?

final shot

I thought perhaps there would be more irony and ambivalence towards drugs lying underneath this song, but if so, it is not intentional. O.T. Genasis seems to be projecting himself into the coke-loving persona of the song. I have no doubt that, though, that he is overdoing it at the same time, taking it to the extreme to generate attention and, of course, money. He wants to sell his music, so he is deliberately provocative. Unintentionally, however, he manages to show the emptiness and short-lived nature of this destructive lifestyle through the monotonous style of the song and the sheer stupidity of its lyrics.

Comments are much appreciated!

Sources:
Lyrics and helpful interpretations found at http://genius.com/Ot-genasis-coco-lyrics/
Song with lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNQO0J6nZYM
Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vYnas6q3Sg
TV version of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ5k6udvyec
Slang words: http://www.urbandictionary.com/
Lyrics for 2Pac’s “Homeboyz”: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/2pac/homeboyz.html

2 Comments
  1. gatoloco permalink

    Really man, really?

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