Since the end of Odd Future, each of the collective’s members has branched off into their own niche. Frank Ocean has become an acclaimed-but-reclusive R&B star, Tyler, The Creator has transitioned into an odd brand of braggadocio rap, The Internet has perfected the slow jam, and Earl Sweatshirt has descended into a fascinating lyrical rabbit-hole of paranoia and misery. What makes Domo Genesis unique from his peers is the relative simplicity of what he tries to do. His beats are soulful and smooth, his flow is hard-hitting and refined, and his lyrics are concerned almost entirely with marijuana. His music sounds decidedly old-fashioned, as far as hip-hop goes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Dapper, the lead single from Genesis summarises perfectly what Domo is trying to accomplish with the album. Over a backdrop of gentle keyboards and relaxed drums, Anderson .Paak’s chorus makes weed sound like a religious experience, singing “smoke that fire”. Domo’s flow in the verses is confident but restrained, enjoyably rhythmic, but not overly showy. The soul influence continues throughout the album, with Tay Walker’s vocals in Wanderer sounding lush and poignant, complimenting the minimal piano beat perfectly. Domo’s flow is more aggressive on this track, and the relative lack of distraction helps draw attention to just how skilled of a rapper he has become.
Some tracks aren’t up to the high standards of the rest of the album, unfortunately, but luckily they don’t derail the overall experience. Tyler, The Creator’s production is harder hitting than the rest of the album, and guest rappers Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa lack Domo’s developed style, coming across as more pedestrian in comparison. However, the track is an outlier, and the rest of the album holds together very well. It never becomes much more than well-executed weed mythologising, but Domo and his collaborators have such excellent delivery that in spite of the shallow subject matter, listening to Genesis is sublime.