The Mexican OT

Shortly after rapper That Mexican OT takes the top of the desk in a non-public room at Manhattan’s Bowery Meat Company, he inquires a couple of waiter and broadcasts, “I’m hangry!” If his “hanger” is something like mine, I fear it may hinder our dialog. But his pal (and “Johnny Dang” costar) DRODi jokes with him and OT instantly grins, flaunting the total luster of his shiny grill. If this is his model of starvation pangs, I believe, we’re in good condition.  

The Bay City, Texas rapper, who just lately launched the video for “15 Missed Calls,” is in New York for a few days to deal with enterprise — and have a little bit enjoyable. I occurred to run into him and his several-person entourage the subsequent day at one among 50 Cent’s Barclays Center exhibits, and the day after that at an Apple Hip-Hop 50 social gathering; he greeted me with hospitality each instances. During our steak dinner (replete with a few unique Wagyu slices), he tells me that he’s relishing that his fame occurred sooner than he anticipated. “I believed the place I’m at immediately, I’d be in seven years,” he says. “That’s all God’s plan. I’m simply right here shifting with the punches, going with the wind, having fun with it.”

In May, OT dropped “Johnny Dang,” a single from his just lately launched Lonestar Luchador album. The music has over 20,000,000 YouTube views due to OT and DRODi’s bars in addition to a standout verse from rap vet Paul Wall, whom OT related with by way of their mutual companion, producer BDON. OT seems like a pure on “Johnny Dang,” with a bassy voice that coats the low finish of the TobiAli manufacturing like smoke billowing out of a Texas BBQ pit. His easy knack for tongue-twisting makes him a glove match within the lineage of nice Houston rappers (Bay City is an hour-and-change away from Houston). OT paired the music with a DGreenz-directed video the place he dances with Johnny Dang in his Houston store, exhibiting off his magnetism in a fashion just like his viral “On The Ranch” freestyle, the place he took the On The Block sequence to his farm and rapped “Johnny Dang” with a rooster in his arm. 

“That’s on a regular basis residing. That motherfucker was good there so I picked it up,” he remembers. “[The freestyle] fucked lots of people up. I don’t seem like I be spitting the best way I spit. So once I do, it fuck them up.” He’s been subverting expectations all his life. 

Born Virgil René Gazca, OT grew up in Bay City with each of his dad and mom earlier than his father was incarcerated throughout his youth. He characterizes Bay City as a small, however various metropolis, joking that it’s comprised of a “cease signal, then the hood, then you definitely out of there.” According to OT, his youth consisted of “skating, using horses, I used to be fucking thugging. I used to be doing the whole lot.” He tells me about “being an entertainer since a baby,” recounting the time he rocked a crowd on the division retailer Palais Royal at simply six years previous. “I fell from my daddy nut sack with this vitality that he had,” he contends.

His mom dealt medication to supply for the household, and OT says seeing the throes of habit was regular to him. “I [saw] folks performing some fucked up shit in my dwelling at a younger age,” he says. “And after all my mama [was] like, ‘Shit, get fucked up, come get some extra.’” His mom was killed by a drunk driver at simply 26, main him and his youthful half-brother to stick with his grandmother earlier than shifting together with his recently-released-from-prison father in Austin earlier than his sixth-grade 12 months. His first rhyme was about her dying, however he finally grew a ardour for rapping, citing rappers like Big L and 50 Cent (in addition to singers like Stevie Ray Vaughn and George Strait) as influences. “[I was] jamming to nation, rock, rap. I like the whole lot,” he says. 

While his dad and mom inspired his love for rhyming (his father would make him have rap battles in opposition to his grownup mates), he laments that his different relations didn’t foster his ardour and would “lie” to him in ways in which affected his vanity. “My household fucked me over,” he says. “I was known as an ‘embarrassment.’ They would inform me that my dad didn’t love me. Eventually, I believed them and I grew to become damaged at a really younger age.” He says that their coldness related him to different children who have been “nobodies and underdogs.”

His at-times chaotic upbringing finally positioned him on the highway to repeating his dad and mom’ missteps. “My mama did medication when she was pregnant. I did a variety of medication. I used to be actually surrounded by medication,” he reveals. “Lots of that polluted the fuck out of my thoughts. I used to be surrounded by a lot fuckery at a younger age. It fucked me up a little bit bit. I fucked myself up, being utterly trustworthy.” He additionally tells me he beat a previous federal case involving counterfeit cash and a “fuckload of dangerous shit, fucking with the unsuitable folks.” Eventually, OT obtained right into a police chase which led him into the darkish South Texas woods, doing two issues whereas evading the cops: peeing on himself to maintain heat and pondering of raps. “I bear in mind I saved getting mad like, ‘motherfucker can’t you fucking focus?,’” he remembers. “I simply wished to rap. That’s once I realized there’s no working from this shit.”

OT obtained severe together with his craft and launched his first album South Texas Project in June 2020. The 13-track challenge was a profession milestone, however he nonetheless wasn’t all the best way there as a rapper. He credit his supervisor Greg Gates for giving him the recommendation that took his songwriting to the subsequent degree: “he was like, ‘look bro, you [just] rapping proper now. You want to start out making songs.’ I recorded ‘La Muerte’ the subsequent day. I used to be like, ‘oh yeah, I can do that shit.’” That lightbulb second sparked a torrent of recording which led to a bidding battle between labels. He signed with Interscope Records in spring of 2021. “I see an immense distinction being with the label,” OT says. “I’m not saying I couldn’t have finished it with out them, it might’ve simply took a little bit longer.”

Being a Mexican rapper in a Black artwork kind additionally hastened his ascendance. “It was laborious,” OT reveals. “I bear in mind a variety of Black folks can be like, ‘What the fuck are you doing, bitch?’ They would come at me loopy as a result of rapping is a Black factor,” But he says the skepticism wasn’t common: “don’t get it twisted. Some folks have been like, ‘you going to be someone.’” His first initiatives as a signee have been 1 Double 0 in October 2021 and Southside Steppin two months later. In August 2022 he dropped Nonsense and Mexican Shit, an 11-track challenge he had over 80 songs to select from on account of his newfound studio rat mentality. OT says Lonestar Luchador represents one other degree of elevation.

“Not solely do I’ve shit that exhibits vary on there, I had enjoyable making that as a result of I imply, at this level, how [much] fucking higher may I do that rap shit?,” he says. ”I’m simply having enjoyable making different genres of music and having fun with it. And then having the scripts with Ralph Barbosa Jr…Man, that shit was humorous. I obtained to [collaborate with] larger names for options [as well], so it was only a bunch of latest shit, to me.”

Lonestar Luchador has 5 skits with comic Barbosa Jr. who has finished comedy specials on Netflix, Comedy Central, and HBO. Three of the skits embody OT commentating alongside him from “Bootyclappers Arena,” with OT raving about one wrestler doing a “reverse doggystyle lilyhammer.” Their comedic chops inculcate his challenge with immersiveness that helps Lonestar Luchador really feel like greater than a playlist. OT additionally will get adventurous on tracks like “Cowboy Killer,” which begins with him in full hoe-down mode, crooning with a Texas accent about how “there ain’t no room for an outlaw like me” earlier than he floats over producers Hollo, Olivier Bassil and Triggmixedit’s 808s (whereas nonetheless channeling his inside Willie Nelson). OT remembers that the music made his father tear up. “I used to be sitting in my lounge performing [while] writing [“Cowboy Killer”],” OT remembers. “And I regarded again at him and he’s simply crying. And he’s like, ‘Man, son, you’re fucking lovely.’”

OT calls his father his “primary fan.” The 24-year-old went from late-night rap battles of their lounge to the cusp of rap stardom. While he’s already come a good distance, he tells me he’s excited about his subsequent steps, divulging his concept for a Def Jam Vendettaesque yard wrestling sport. He additionally tells me his ever-present cowboy hat and penchant for chickens is no gimmick. 


“When I retire, I wish to be a cowboy,” he says. “I wish to have land, cattle. I’ll be farming. I’ll have my very own workers on the market within the subject. And not solely that, helps with taxes. It’s all the time good to have land. I’ll by no means wish to should go to HEB for any product. I don’t wish to have to purchase something. I wish to have all of it on my land,” including that he envisions being “the plug” for Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Stewarts. He tells me he already tends to his pal CJ’s land, the place he has “a pair animals.”

By the top of our meal, everybody is standing outdoors the steakhouse whereas deciding OT’s subsequent transfer. A person in an SUV pulls up behind the crew’s sprinter; OT walks as much as him and holds a dialog that I can’t hear. I’m unsure if the person within the truck is a music government who got here to the upscale neighborhood for dinner or a fan that OT was assembly for the primary time. I get the sense that he would have been simply as amiable, both means. 

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