Domo Genesis struggles to find his own sound on mixtape

Ali Breland

Of the next generation of heavily associated hip-hop stoner acts, Odd Future’s Domo Genesis definitely sits at the top the field. Domo’s peers in the field, Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa, have either created an awkward sound inaccessible to many hip-hop aficionados, let alone fans, or have sold out on the most disgusting level (e.g., Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers, a disgusting mess of unclever verses with pop hooks placed on top of stale beats, in an obvious attempt to gain radio play).

On his new mixtape, Under The Influence, Domo has made a number of stylistic changes that distance his sound from his Odd Future counterparts, but he has made no movement towards compromising his beliefs for the sake of success. This is particularly noteworthy, given that of the entire Odd Future group, Domo Genesis made the most drastic changes in terms of appearance after the collective’s rise to prominence. Generally, when artists make a move toward achieving higher status and become image conscious, their art suffers.

Ditching the sleepy stoner look that made him falsely appear to be one of the laziest and least valuable of the bunch, Domo has transitioned into a chic, Kanye West-like character who is more emblematic of Northeast eccentricities than of a stoner skater from Ladera, Calif. Lyrically, he makes this clear, not embracing his elevated status but instead recognizing its inherent faults and laying waste to them. On his song, “Whole City Behind Us,” he spits, “Live from a city of jealous-ass n**gers and bougie-ass bitches, where you ain’t getting love unless swimmin’ mad riches.”

Under The Influence carries an essence more characteristic of Domo Genesis, whereas his first record, Rolling Papers, carried huge Tyler, The Creator influences, both in terms of flow and instrumentals. Under The Influence doesn’t carry the wispy, warped Neptunes-inspired beats characteristic of Tyler. If anything, the mixtape is more reminiscent of classic rap than anything from Odd Future, outside of Mike G’s “Ali.” According to The Los Angeles Times, he’s a fan of Slick Rick and uses Scarface and Mobb Deep beats on Under The Influence.

Aside from that, the mixtape is still very Odd Future; occasional verses pop up throughout the record about doing horrible things to women or just people in general. These things are all described in a fair amount of detail, layered on with the finest expletives the west coast’s most prominent rapper can conjure.

Despite lacking artist features (Tyler is the only Odd Future member that raps on the record besides Domo) and the overall lack of originality, Under The Influence is a solid piece of work. Domo Genesis has proven his technical ability and hopefully his next work will illustrate the fulfillment of his potential as a visionary.

Printed on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 as: Domo Genesis changes style, gets away from Odd Future Domo Genesis – Under The Influence [Mixtape] by sperry_itsthebino