Domo Genesis – “Intros, Outros & Interludes” review

Domo Genesis is a 31 year old MC & songwriter from Inglewood, California who got his start in mid-2009 as a member of the now defunct Odd Future collective. He’s gone on to give us a full-length debut accompanied by 4 mixtapes & 4 EPs within the last dozen years, my personal favorites of which being his debut mixtape Rolling Papers as well as his Alchemist-produced 3rd mixtape No Idols & his Evidence-produced debut EP Aren’t U Glad You’re U?. Last we heard from Domo was when he dropped the Just in Case duology with Mike & Keys last summer but now after signing to Bigger Picture Recordings not too long ago, he’s re-emerging in the form of a sophomore album with the label’s founder Ev returning behind the boards.

“Don’t Believe Half” is a drumless, jazzy opener with Domo talking about no realness being left & only him that’s exempt whereas “Skeletons” with Navy Blue finds the 2 over an upbeat instrumental talking about the skeletons in their closets piling up. “Trust the Process” takes a soulful route sampling Freda Payne with the subject matter pretty much speaking for itself, but then “Reverse Card” shoots for a more dejecting aesthetic to talk about turning tables is his favorite part.

Meanwhile on “Stay 1 More Day”, we have Doms over another soul sample hoping to stay optimistic just before Remy Banks tags along for the settle “Campfire” to flex their respective styles. “Running, Running” weaves a crooning vocal loop into the mix to talk about lanes switching as life goes on, but then “Victories & Losses” with Evidence is a piano/boom bap banger talking about all the highs & lows they’ve encountered.

The song “Going Rate” brings back the jazz admitting that he doesn’t cry tears & he’s on a God tier while the penultimate track “December Coming” with Boldy James sees the 2 over a mystic beat to provide introspection for the listeners out there. “Tallulah” on the other end closes out the album with Domo talking about doing it for the love even though the love ain’t there over a dismal instrumental.

It should go without saying that this is Domo’s best solo effort in a while & a much more consistent full-length than GENESiS & that album was just ok in my opinion. Evidence’s production is much more interesting, Domo gets a lot off his chest lyrically & I really enjoy the natural progression of their chemistry although I still love Aren’t U Glad You’re U? as much as I did 3 & a half years back.

Score: 4/5

Evidence – “Unlearning” review

Evidence is a 44 year old MC/producer & former graffiti artist from Venice, California coming up in the early 90’s as part of the trio Dilated Peoples alongside Rakaa & DJ Babu. He’s also established himself as a solo artist along the way, dropping his debut album The Weatherman under ABB Records in 2007 & making himself at home with the renown Minneapolis powerhouse Rhymesayers Entertainment since ‘09. Last time we heard from him was at the beginning of 2018 when he dropped Weather or Not & now after putting out 3 singles throughout this spring, Ev’s making his return by putting out his 4th full-length album.

“Better You” kicks things off as a grimy ode to self improvement with The Alchemist on the boards whereas “Start the Day with a Beat” jumps on a jazzy boom bap instrumental from the weatherman himself to say he’s a rare breed. Ev tells listeners to sink or swim on the guitar-laced “Sharks Smell Blood” just before addressing the shit he’s been dealing with on the Animoss-produced “Pardon Me”. Boldy James tags along to reminisce on where they started for the psychedelic “All of That Said” & then going on to speak about someone whose heart has gone south on the forlorn “Won’t Give Up the Danger” with Mr. Green on the boards.

Things go back into boom bap territory with the help of Daringer on “Moving on Up” as he & Conway the Machine talk about how they’ll never stop chasing their dreams leading into the stripped back, sincere “Talking to the Audience” produced by Khrysis. Meanwhile on “All Money 1983”, we get a soulful look-back on when Ev met Al Pacino almost 40 years ago before bringing in a vintage sample on “Pray with an A” for him & Navy Blue to look back on their past.

Lost in Time (Park Jams)” speaks on smoking weed at a park over a heavenly instrumental from Nottz while the Fly Anakin-assisted “Delay the Issue” is a luxurious reminder that life is too short. The penultimate track “Taylor Made Suit” is a bluesy cut produced by V Don about how his funeral suit is the same as his wedding suit & the the album ends with the churchy “Where We Going From Here…”, which is about how it’s the first day in a while where he woke up on the right side of the bed.

From front to back, this is a really dope album in my book. It’s refreshing to hear him move away from the weather-theme of his previous solo output, his writing is clever than ever & the production is on point as well.

Score: 4/5

Brother Ali – “Secrets & Escapes” review


This is the surprise 7th full-length album from Minneapolis veteran Brother Ali, the activist/battle emcee that first exploded in the underground with his 2003 sophomore album Shadows in the Sun along with his 2007 follow-up The Undisputed Truth. He just made a fantastic comeback in 2017 with All the Beauty in This Whole Life & with the Halloween season being over, he has teamed up with Evidence for Secrets & Escapes.

The opener “Abu Enzo” talks about where he comes from over a lush instrumental while the next song “Situated” with Pharoahe Monch finds the 2 spitting battle bars over a boom bap beat with a soul sample cutting in & out. The “Greatest That Never Lived” charismatically brags over a spooky instrumental while the song “Father Figures” talks about the people Ali looks up to over a reclining beat. The very short “Apple Tree Me” gets threatening over a ghostly instrumental while the song “Red” finds both Ali & Evidence showing off their own levels of lyricism over a suspenseful beat.

The title track talks about internal conflict over a chilling instrumental while the song “De La Kufi” with Talib Kweli of course sees the 2 kicking knowledge over savory soul sample. The track “Red Light Zone” disses those who be clout chasing on the internet over a funky beat & even though “The Idhin” is brief, Ali comes through with some vivid bars over an almost ambient-like instrumental. Then there’s the closer “They Shot Ricky”, where Ali shows off his storytelling talents over this jazzy instrumental.

Wasn’t expecting this, but it’s one of his best efforts yet. Even though it’s a little over a half hour long, there’s a prominently fantastic chemistry between Evidence’s top notch production & Brother Ali’s intelligent lyricism. If you wanna hear 2 underrated titans from the midwest & the west coast, then PLEASE give this a listen.

Score: 4/5

Evidence – “Weather or Not” review


A little over 4 years since his magnum opus Cats & Dogs, Dilated Peoples member Evidence finally delivering his 3rd full-length solo album & his 2nd with Rhymesayers Entertainment. The album starts off with “The Factory”, where he tells you that you’re rocking with the west over an eerie boom bap beat. The next song “Throw It All Away” gets inspirational over a somber beat from The Alchemist while the track “Powder Cocaine” sees him & Slug talking about internal conflict over a mellow vocal sample. The song “Jim Dean” vents about a slew of things to the listener over a boom bap beat from Nottz while the title track brags about his rapping prowess over a DJ Babu instrumental with some strings & explosive drums.

After the “Moving Too Fast” interlude, we then go into the next track “Runners”. Here, Ev & Defari go back & forth in battle rap mode over an explosive beat with a nice soul sample. The song “Bad Publicity” is another humble brag with some semi-dinky keys & hard hitting drums while the track “Rain Drops” gets insightful over a meditative instrumental. The song “Sell Me This Pen” sees the Step Brothers & Mach-Hommy talking about their talents over an eerie beat while the track “Love’s a Funny Thing” is Ev linking up with Rapsody & Styles P to talk about love over a boom bap beat with twinkling piano keys .

The song “10,000 Hours” touches down on his come up in the game over a gritty beat from none other than DJ Premier while the track “What I Need” gets reflective yet ambitious along with wanting to be remembered over a laidback beat. The song “To Make a Long Story Longer” continues talking his about his come-up over an explosive boom bap beat & the Jonwayne verse was just as much of an intriguing story. The penultimate track “Wonderful World” sees Ev & Rakaa getting on the motivational tip over an organ-laced boom bap beat & then the closer “By My Side Too” is an endearing soulful ode to his son & his breast cancer surviving wife.

So with the first month of 2018 drawing to close, Evidence does it justice by providing a serious contender for Best Album of the Year. It stays just as consistent as the predecessor throughout it’s 56 minute runtime, the production is organic of course & Evidence staying as equally focused along with pouring his heart out on just about every single track

Score: 4/5

Domo Genesis – “Aren’t U Glad You’re U?” review


About 8 months after the release of his last mixtape Red Corolla, Odd Future member Domo Genesis is coming back lowkey with his 6th mixtape & he has enlisted Evidence of Dilated Peoples to produce it in it’s entirety. The opener “Me vs. Me” vents about internal conflict over a jazzy yet gloomy instrumental. The next song “Shaq Carries Kobe” with [Phonte takes a jab at all the phony dudes out there over a mellow beat while the track “Free Kirk” talks about going from a hustler to a rapper & the instrumental is pretty much a thunderstorm with a sample in the middle of it. The song “BBB” gets confrontational over an eerie instrumental & then the track “Sing Me a Song” getting insightful yet ambitious over a smooth beat.

The song “Brake” may be only 2 minutes long, but he sounds menacing over a Latin guitar. The 1-minute “Fuck a Co-Sign” sees Evidence himself making the song for itself over a soulful beat. Although I wish Domo had a verse on here to make it a little longer, it was still great to hear Ev rapping on here. The closer “Hood Famous” touches down on living by your limits & the piano on here is absolutely beautiful. Despite being 20 minutes long, this was still a very dope tape. The production isn’t superior than No Idols, but it’s still pretty relaxing & it suits Domo’s flow

Score: 4/5