The sun keeps shining on Alejandro Carranza’s world and he intends to keep it that way. Carranza—known professionally as the rapper OhGeesy—is a founding member of the Los Angeles hip-hop group Shoreline Mafia and has since gone on to have a quite formidable career as a solo artist.
He attributes his success to his work ethic, one he feels is simple input/output: Work hard, see results—keep working hard, exceed those results. In many ways, it’s the same philosophy in any business—when things are hitting, lean in, and that’s exactly what OhGeesy plans to do. “Becoming a father made me want to double down and really focus and concentrate [on growing my career] now more than ever,” said OhGeesy in a phone interview with High Times. “I want to set an example, show my son I work hard and show him there’s a way to do whatever you want in life.”
For his latest record, GEEZYWORLD 2, OhGeesy wants fans and audiences to appreciate his growth, not only as an artist, but as an individual. Fatherhood has changed his mindset from his earlier days, and he hopes his maturation is something fans acknowledge and applaud when it comes to his current output from the studio and the stage.
Over the course of our conversation, OhGeesy touches on how he cultivates self-confidence, his creative process, and how his relationship with weed started with him selling it.
High Times: What was your first introduction to music growing up in Los Angeles?
OhGeesy: My first introduction was probably all the old West Coast stuff like NWA. My uncle used to have all of the CDs and he put me on them and really started showing me music from all over the world.
High Times: From there, was there an experience that led you to pursue music as more than just a hobby or interest?
OhGeesy: When I was a kid, I never thought I’d pursue music. I started doing music at like 19, and before then, I never thought a career in music was possible. Once I started doing it, I just kept putting my all into it and put all of my effort into it.
High Times: So it was something you started to do more for yourself, and then—over time—it became your career.
High Times: The more you kept at it, was there a validating “first win” or experience that came after you embarked on the journey of pursuing music for yourself?
OhGeesy: After getting a few hundred-thousand plays on SoundCloud from a few different tracks, I thought, “Okay, this is what I was meant to do.”
High Times: Creatively, what inspires you and what do you draw from when creating a track?
OhGeesy: Just life experiences. Going out and living life. I live a hectic life, so I just talk about everything I’m doing, like the lavish lifestyle.
High Times: In terms of that lifestyle, how does your cross-cultural background from your Mexican and American roots play a role in what you create?
OhGeesy: I live a vigorous life because of my work ethic. I work hard. Mexicans have some of the best work ethic ever. Working hard to get what I want keeps making me want to work harder and get everything.
High Times: For your new album GEEZYWORLD 2, what went into the album and what do you hope audiences and fans take from it?
OhGeesy: I just want them to see how I’ve grown as an artist and how my sound has evolved and changed. I want them to be proud because they’ve watched me grow from who I used to be and how I used to sound, to how I sound now.
High Times: Did cannabis play a role in the album’s creation? What role does it play in your life in general?
OhGeesy: Cannabis has always been around in my life. I grew up selling weed and all types of stuff. So the biggest role it ever played for me was making me money [laughs].
Also, when I made the song “Musty,” which got me to where I am today, I was talking about weed.
High Times: Literally the economics of weed have been impactful.
OhGeesy: Super impactful [laughs].
High Times: For your own consumption, do you prefer Sativa or Indica?
OhGeesy: When I smoke, I prefer Hybrids.
High Times: Does smoking aid with music creation?
OhGeesy: That’s a separate process. When I create music, I have to be one-hundred percent sober. Whenever I smoke, it’s just for recreation and for me to relax and have a good time. With my work, it’s work.
High Times: Do you ever go back though and listen to a beat or a track while stoned for a different perspective?
OhGeesy: For sure, especially when we’re finished with a project and listening to it. We’ll have a drink and we’ll smoke something.
High Times: Beyond the new record, what else do you have coming up that you’re excited about?
OhGeesy: Just my tour. I’ve got my tour coming up right now for GEEZYWORLD 2, so I’ll be able to get out there and see the fans’ real life reactions to the album, which I’m super excited about.
High Times: What’s the experience like from recording in a studio and then performing live and receiving that initial fan feedback?
OhGeesy: That’s the best part, that’s what I do it for. Just to see that energy and the reactions from the crowd and seeing them sing every word, word-for-word.
High Times: That’s a pretty awesome feat. Are there any specific habits, strategies, or keys to your success?
OhGeesy: I think becoming a father made me want to double down and really focus and concentrate [on growing my career] now more than ever.
High Times: To both provide and set an example?
OhGeesy: To provide and set an example. I want to show my son I work hard and show him there’s a way to do whatever you want in life.
Follow @ohgeesy and check out https://www.geezyworld.com/ for tickets and tour dates