It’s been a long road for Dominique Marquis “Domo Genesis” Cole. As a member of California fire starters Odd Future, his consistency and pure hunger on the mic always played second fiddle to the more visionary or just plain louder members of the group. His feature on “Rusty” from leader Tyler, The Creator’s third (depending on the count) studio album Wolf was the grounded, clear-cut yin to Tyler’s more concept driven yang (“Watch me get this money, nigga; tired of being hungry, nigga; Nothing’s funny, sass me while I’m thrashing, you’ll get punched, my nigga/Never made of plastic, I’m a savage, you look lunch, my nigga”).
There’s no doubt that Domo found kindred spirits in fellow provocateurs Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, Hodgy Beats, Mike G, Left Brain, and Syd tha Kid back when he first joined up on the Radical mixtape, but now that the unit’s disbanded and everyone’s found their own shine, and despite Domo being one of the group’s most consistent MCs bar for bar, his fate felt the most uncertain in the aftermath. His head was floating in the same cloud that Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y tapped into content wise, but his cadence and passion revealed gleams of the same piss and vinegar that fueled the rest of OF from the beginning.
After an internet eternity of waiting, Doms finally takes his first steps into a new day with Genesis, a reassuring and often sobering project proving that he’s still got gas in the tank, even if he’s still figuring out exactly where to drive the car; we’re all just glad that he’s still driving it. He sounds hungrier than ever when dropping lines like “If you don’t like this song, they gon’ turn my lights off” from the King Chip-featuring “All Night” and gets helping hands from old friends (Mac Miller, Tyler, Christian Rich, Left Brain, Tay Walker) while reaching out to some new ones (Kendra Foster, Juicy J, Anderson .Paak, JMSN) across the album’s 12 tracks. Genesis is the perfect snapshot of Doms’ frozen state in the sweet spot between his past and his future, reflecting on his life with wisdom that he’s still unsure will get him anywhere, but his work ethic lends credence to the catchphrase “Keep Working Young Man.” Check out the musical road he’s travelled below.
Domo’s first appearance on an OF project came from three songs off of the Radical mixtape, a project where members rapped over their favorite beats. Doms earns his keep over beats from Rick Ross (“Salute”), Chip Tha Ripper (“Double Cheeseburger”), and Wiz Khalifa (“Up”).
Rolling Papers (2010)
Doms’ solo debut proper manages to be both light and breezy while indulging in some crazy every couple of tracks. Production is handled mostly by Tyler and Left Brain, with one song co-produced by Syd, and the standout is easily “Super Market,” which depicts Doms and Tyler in the fiercest teenage grocery store cypher you’ve ever heard.
Under The Influence (2011)
Doms proceeded to refine his style a bit more on Influence, and the sound was all the better for it. He sounds more confident and focused and meshes well with cohorts Casey Veggies, Remy Banks, and Ace, proof that the Influence was pushing him further into his own lane.
No Idols (2012)
A producer at The Alchemist’s level doesn’t just work with anybody, and Doms stepped to the occasion in a huge way with their collaborative tape No Idols. Idols is easily his most introspective project up to this point, reflecting on his success with a apprehensive crooked smile on tracks like “Prophecy,” (“Shit, I’m closer to my dreams, bruh, I can even smell it, so close sometimes I even notice that my friends are jealous/ Whoever knew it’d be this hard, breaking in on this rap shit, Left college to try to feed mama so I can’t quit.”) and with Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson, and Smoke DZA on tap for features, it’s still an impressive show of force four years later.
Doms felt right at home with similarly grounded MC Hodgy Beats within Odd Future, and their rapport led to Beats and Left Brain temporarily expanding their group MellowHype to include Doms, forming MellowHigh. It’s a great project to zone out to (the beats stay more consistent than the rhymes here), but cuts like “Yu” and “Cold World” can still pull you out of the clouds and stomp you into the dirt.
Under The Influence 2 (2014)
The sequel to Doms’ most beloved project was a long time in the making, but he delivered more chill tunes with killer bars scattered throughout. Like Mellowhigh, it’s a hit or miss affair, but Doms’ sheer force of will and rapping skill keep the whole thing engaging.