Two West Coast underdog’s reconnect to deliver a joint offering, deeply digging into the aging crisis in hip-hop.
In a genre where new artists are guaranteed two albums worth of air time max, few artists have managed to swim against the currents to reach shore. LA natives, Evidence and Domo Genesis are contradictions to the status quo, maintaining years of relevance in the game while making the industry adjust to their methods. Both hailing from groups of their own, the two have collaborated on many occasions; but their latest offering seals the deal on the pair’s joint abilities.
Intros, Outros & Interludes speaks to the notion of maintaining longevity in the culture; where most find value in taking shortcuts to success, the project finds stability in a paced journey.
To the surprise of many, this isn’t the first collaborative project between Domo Genesis and Evidence. The two Los Angeles-bred emcees joined forces to release Arent U Glad Youre U in 2018. The work between the 90’s vet and the newly debuted kid on the block would fly over many heads, but served as an example that the generational divide is slowly closing as we see more established artists embracing newer acts. It also just so happens that the two have more in common than meets the eye.
Both stemming from various hip-hop collectives, Domo and Evidence made waves with their signature styles, shedding a different light compared to their collaborators. While the two have made their own solo endeavors apart from their groups, their tendencies to remain loyal to the soil spill over into the music, continuously building upon the foundations they’ve helped lay. That being said, this record exhibits a subtle clash between two styles, meshing to form a cohesive body of work. With rhymes from Domo and beats from Evidence, listeners get the best of both worlds on this project.
Those who are familiar with Domo’s pen would be delighted to find that the Odd Future alumni is sharper than ever. The levels of transparency reached through this albums lyricism exhibit songwriting refined with age and wisdom. Its clear this isn’t the same Domo standing around in the cypher; the bars are still prevalent, but have shifted focus to more personal topics. The album’s outro, “Tallulah”, epitomizes this change as we see Domo delving deeper into the ups and downs from his journey with lyrics like (“Praying everything I went through was for a reason”) and (“The ones that kept me racing what I’m thankful for / No longer served this purpose, had to shake it though”).
The clarity that Domo reaches on this project wouldn’t be as accessible without a producer like Evidence matching the mood. The veteran beatmaker/emcee does a phenomenal job of utilizing a sentimental set of samples and instrumentation to cater to the record’s mission statement. Chopped-up soul loops helps provide the emotional, and often times nostalgic-feeling, tenderness that allows both the artist and the listener to seek comfort through the album. What Evidence manages to achieve through this album’s production is an intimate experience that allows for Domo to open up his stream of thought.
Stepping back and viewing the record as a whole, Intros, Outros & Interludes accomplishes more than chronicling the careers of two artists: it helps bridge the generational gap that we’ve seen expand in hip-hop over the years. Rather than constantly bickering about the differences in their come-up stories, Domo Genesis and Evidence team up to display their similarities and prove there’s a common ground for all artists to meet and build upon. With egos set to the side, this project really goes to show what two amazing artists can accomplish when they selflessly join forces to contribute a progressive project for the better of the culture.
Domo Genesis and Evidence lay all the “old school vs. new school” discussions to rest and redirect the focus back to the music. The two LA natives really came through in delivering a soul-searching offering, shifting listeners to a reflective state of mind. Whether underground hoodies is your forte or not, Intros, Outros & Interludes is an essential listen when discussing hip-hop albums from this year.
8.5 / 10
Best tracks: “Trust the Process”, “Tallulah”, “Stay One More Day”, “December Coming”, “Skeletons”