After years’ of free releases and guest features Odd Future member Domo Genesis dropped his debut project Genesis on March 25th. Even while flying under the radar the past few years Domo has gained the respect of his rap peers. From working on full length projects like No Idols with the legendary The Alchemist. To popping up on guest feature along-side artist like Mac Miller, Curren$y, Vince Staples, Madlib, Freddie Gibbs and more. One thing that’s been a reoccurring theme throughout his discography is consistency. Another pattern you’ll notice about Domo’s music is that even though he hails from the west-coast he has his own soundscape.
The album starts with a track entitled “Awkward Groove.” Here Genesis sets the overall motif of the album. Lines like “Invested in my motherfucking self and now my stock raised” set the tone that Doms wants to prove his self-worth and wants listeners to respect how far he’s come. This was a pleasant soulful start to backed by heavenly female vocals toward the end of the track.
The transition from “Awkward Groove” to the second track “One Below” is effortless. “One Below” opens up with a heartfelt monologue by Domo’s mother where she speaks about how proud Genesis has made her. After the monologue Domo elaborates on past events that made him cold to the world as he now it know. Hence the name “One Below.”
Fittingly the third track “Wanderer” is the paradoxical equivalent to “One Below.” Domo shows us he’s found a sliver of hope with lines like “My experiences has grown to make me feel this now. Starting to lose all the doubt I had inside my spirit now.” Continuing the theme, the hook consists of Tay Walker singing “Maybe I’m loopy, Maybe I’m stupid, Maybe I’m crazy Maybe I’m going out my mind.” This presents the inner conflict and self-doubt within himself that Dom’s was experiencing in “One Below.”
A couple other tracks that standout on Genesis are “Coming Back”, “Dapper”, and “My Own.” “Coming Back” which features Mac Miller, Domo talks about his place in the rap game at the moment. In addition to that he talks about bumps along the path he’s taken thus far. But realizes he was destined to where he’s at now, because those experiences have molded him into the person he is today.
“Dapper” is probably the most soulful track on the album and was the anointed to be the lead single. The song also features some groovy guitar riffs and enticing crooning by Anderson .Paak which combine to make a refreshing first single.
“My Own” is the most abstract track on the album. The instrumentation cohesively combines electronic elements such as chilling synths backed by hard hitting baseline. Although this track sonically differs from the rest of the album, Domo Genesis and JMSN deliver a unique ballad.
It may come as a surprise that there wasn’t more of an Odd Future influence or features on the album. The only OF members that appear on the album is a feature from Tyler The Creator on “Go (Gas)” and Left Braan’s production on “All Night.” In a recent interview with HOT 97’s Peter Rosenberg, Peter was surprised that longtime collaborator Earl Sweatshirt wasn’t on Genesis. Domo said that he didn’t have any underlying problems with anyone in Odd Future. He goes on to say that he actually played Earl the album couple times and that they have tracks recorded for the future.
For listeners that have no prior knowledge to Domo Genesis before this album this is a good starting point to start at. Even though he’s never been a slouch for witty punchlines and wordplay some people might have grouped him in the weed rapper or mixtape rapper category. With Genesis, Domo is able to not only showoff his lyrical prowess but also showcase that he can make songs as well. He’s able to get his message across by not making his lyrics too preachy simultaneously by not making it sound too poppy. Although it is a thorough project Genesis doesn’t have that one track to ascend Domo to the radio play mainstream stratosphere of rap. I would like Domo to experiment more with his sound and push the boundary like he did on “My Own.” Another area that could be improved on is making more memorable hooks. “Coming Back” shows flashes of this and is probably the catchiest hook on the album. However, I believe Domo Genesis doesn’t really care for the notoriety and is content with making his style of music while being respected by his fans and peers.
Genesis is a solid debut album and is interesting how Domo laid each track out like a story. I feel like I got more insight to his early life and got to know him personal level. Doms realizes that he’s came along way from dropping out of Arizona State to the emcee we are familiar with today. With Genesis in the books it should be intriguing to see if Domo can build upon the momentum he’s accumulated with this project to his sophomore album. Only time will tell but let’s hope we don’t have to wait as long as we did for the first album.
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