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Domo Genesis - Genesis (Album Review)

Friday, 01 April 2016 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Carrington Scott

Is finding your place in the world a case of meek acceptance or deeper understanding? Even a cursory spin of his first studio record is enough to suggest that this is a question Domo Genesis is familiar with. As a member of Odd Future he was sometimes a face in the crowd, obscured by weed smoke, the gregarious Tyler, The Creator and the collective’s reluctant headline-grabber turned introspective star, Earl Sweatshirt.

‘Genesis’ is a reflective album, but also a confident one. Here Domo Genesis is wearing his own skin, imperfections and all, and feeling pretty good about it. “I'm scared of none of my flaws,” he raps on Awkward Groove, the opener and a handy synthesis of its thematic beats and playful repurposing of Nas/MF Doom-inflected soul, funk and jazz.

From spoken word interludes that detail family ties and close bonds to its many (throwback?) weed references, ‘Genesis’ feels like a waypoint in a journey with plenty of miles behind it and an open expanse still up ahead.

Domo Genesis often lets the rough edges of his delivery butt heads with some surprisingly sleek, hip-grabbing instrumentals, notably on Wanderer, as his verse segues into a mesmerising hook from Tay Walker, or when he and Anderson .Paak take charge of the dancefloor-ready Dapper. “Maybe I'm dying for this life, all this madness in hindsight is inspiring what I write,” he raps on the former.

Even Go (Gas) - where Tyler, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J pop up on a heavy-lidded, seemingly generic tale of smoke and braggadocio - can’t completely shake the overarching mood. Domo Genesis takes the second verse, saying: “Celebration shots got me really faded. Kind of famous, enough to laugh like I really made it.”

‘Genesis’ is a sharp record that could serve as a dividing line between Domo Genesis’s early wanderings and a settled, exciting second period.


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