Posted on August 8, 2012 AT 01:52pm
Whether you’re a fan, indifferent, or vehemently opposed to their very existence, Odd Future is carving out their existence in the best way they know how. In the process, each member of the crew has been growing in their own special way. Coming out with their latest effort is Domo Genesis with the new mixtape No Idols featuring production entirely done by The Alchemist. It’s definitely interesting in that it’s the first full length release Domo has done without using the production of anyone from OF. Another interesting factor is that because he’s working with The Alchemist, it allows for Alchemist to pull in guest appearances from people he has worked with previously like Freddy Gibbs and Action Bronson. It sort of comes off like a hip-hop head’s “what if?” scenario situation.
The mixtape as a whole sounds pretty enjoyable on a few levels. Alchemist provides some pretty well done beats that are consistently good and at times out of the box. Each beat has a certain character to it and it feels like he wanted to give Domo a wide variety of sounds to play with without skimping on quality. From the start with the track “Prophecy”, there’s a nice dramatic feel that feels like it would be the perfect platform for a story-telling song. There are your street sounding tracks like “F*** Everybody Else” and “Till The Angels Come”. There are some pretty fun sounding beats like “Me and My Bitch” which has this nice fluttery synth that gives the track this playful feel. His best tracks, to me at least, have to be “All Alone”, which has a moody vibe with it’s high pitch sample and the title track No Idols which sounds like the perfect beat to ‘go in’ on.
Domo’s flow is on point in that overall he sounds pretty good.. Compared to his work on his first album Rolling Papers, Domo seems to have grown vocally and lyrically. His biggest weakness however seems to be wordplay and content. For the most part, strewn about the mixtape are a lot of these general “rapper-isms” that seem to come from your general run-of-the-mill Dat Piff rapper. With the general “we’re gonna be big, have lots of sex and spend a lot of money on stuff” attitude. Generally if you’re not used to hearing that sort of thing very often, you’ll dig Domo’s work… but if you’re the kind of person that lives knee-deep in mixtapes and check out a lot of rappers, you may get pretty tired of it fairly quickly. The thing is, Domo sounds like fun to listen to, he just lacks a certain kind of depth and cleverness that would keep a listener coming back more often. He also lacks some of the lively fire that would make a track go from sounding ‘kinda good’ to REALLY good. Like even though he’s grown considerably since Rolling Papers, he’s still got some room to get better.
As previously mentioned, working with Alchemist has it’s benefit of bringing on plenty of talented guest appearances. Action Bronson has a couple of guest spots on No Idols, There are some verses from Freddie Gibbs, Prodigy of Mobb Deep and even Space Ghost Purp makes an appearance and they all sound pretty good, at times picking up where Domo has his weak moments. There are of course guest appearances from Odd Future members and affiliates like Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler The Creator who add in their flavors fairly well. Overall the guest appearances are kind of hit and miss. Not to say that they’re bad, but sometimes it feels kind of slouchy, notably Action Bronson’s verse on “Elimination Chamber”. Earl is clever with his wordplay and lyrics while his rather somnolent voice kind of feels odd in spots in contrast to the instrumentals. The most interesting track on the mixtape has to be “No Idols”, featuring Tyler The Creator. It’s a strong sounding track with a fiery energy increased by Tyler’s excited off-the-wall vocal delivery.
The mixtape as a whole is pretty alright but lacks a huge bit of staying power, kind of like Hodgy Beats’ Untitled EP released earlier this year. It’s nice to put on once in awhile, but not something to consistently play regularly. If Domo gets deeper into more personal/story telling content, lets go of a lot of the cliche content and works on being a more clever lyricist, he could definitely step his game up much more than he already has.
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