Late last year, rapper O.T. Genasis—one of the crown jewels of Busta Rhymes’ Conglomerate label—scored a massive hit that began as a viral sensation and ended up crashing the upper echelon of the Billboard Hot 100. With its minimalist beat and shoutable refrain “Baking soda! I got baking soda!,” “CoCo” became a boundary-crossing hit, racking up nearly 115 million views on YouTube and serving as the unofficial anthem for the Golden State Warriors‘ incredible season.
Genasis is the latest piece of evidence that Busta Rhymes might have the best ear for new talent in the business. Back when he was first breaking out, he assembled the Flipmode Squad, as talented a crew as any rapper had in that era. Most of the time, the MCs surrounding a superstar were of dubious quality (often dismissed as “weed carriers”), but the bench that Busta assembled—Rah Digga, Rampage, Baby Sham, Lord Have Mercy, and Spliff Star—for the group’s lone album The Imperial was deep and talented. Busta’s charges haven’t had the same commercial success as the rappers who glommed onto Jay Z or Diddy, but they remain hugely talented and perpetually underrated. O.T. Genasis looks like he’s ready to break that cycle.