The self-titled debut record from Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis is a remarkable concept album which showcases one woman with two very contrasting sides
Tommy Genesis’s long-awaited self-titled debut record has finally arrived. The Canadian rapper has always been uncompromising in her vision and on her latest record she takes you on a tour de force of her mind as she explores her identity by diving deep into the two different sides of her personality and musicality. the juxtaposition between the darker Tommy side and the lighter, more vulnerable Genesis. The first glimpse of this concept is immediately apparent from the albums stylish and eye-catching artwork. the two sides of Tommy Genesis leaning in for a kiss.
The first side is focused on Tommy, an intense selection of tracks which constantly move at a breakneck speed. Genesis has managed to achieve a fast, cohesive flow, her lyrics flying at a scathing speed. The album could almost be considered a mixtape with the way each track seamlessly segues into the next. You can hardly take a breath before a slight beat switch indicates the following track. Intro “God Sent” slowly sets the scene, a delicate xylophonic melody slowly builds into a cacophony of beats and bass leading into ‘Rainbow’, Genesis sounds at ease as she quickly lays off rhymes with a quick, skilled precision over the top of the entrancing and high-quality production.
Lead single ‘Bad Boy’ is where the album really starts to hit its stride, its chorus is infectious not to mention the unconventional underlying instruments which resemble a sitar ensemble with the high pitched frequency of their strings. Genesis’s lyrics are unsurprisingly no holds barred, as she paints quite the picture in your head with the lines “There's a rope around my pussy just to hold me to kiss me”. This is followed by the Charli XCX remix of ‘100 Bad’ another bonafide nightclub hit which has been soaked in darkness, begging to be danced to. It’s lyrics equally as audacious and bold “I'm like ‘tongue,’ up and down the stick, In the whip real low in the schoolgirl fit.”
‘Daddy’ and ‘Play With It’ are unsurprisingly from the titles, the most sexually intense songs on the album, “Wanna fuck up my makeup, he put in work, no pay cut, And he just wanna lay up next to me and beat the cake up” raps Genesis on her sugar daddy anthem. Following track ‘Play With It’ meanwhile is highly reminiscent of Teyana Taylor’s ‘W.T.P’, this is due to the remarkably similar underlying beats and lyrical content. However, it still has a scandalous and extravagant identity all of its own. Both are an insanely fun listen and bring a sultry sexiness to the record.
Earlier I mentioned how Genesis had a clear vision, of two sides and it’s exactly at the records centre-point at which I’d say it’s apparent she’s achieved this, there’s a noticeable transformation in both beat and style towards the Genesis persona when ‘You Know Me’ kicks in, Genesis’s robotic styled vocals on the track and its angelic, playful beat combine to create a delightful and catchy hip-hop slow-jam. Which also happens to be one of the albums standout moments.
There are very few features on the record but when they do appear, they certainly make an impact, the aforementioned Charli XCX collaboration is the perfect fit for the darker Tommy side and on Genesis we’re treated to the inspired choice of the wonderful ‘Empress Of’ who delights on ‘Naughty’, a sultry duet which sees the rising singer-songwriter’s beautiful vocals echo with Genesis’s in harmony.
The second half Genesis delves deeper and deeper into the more darker and intense aesthetic as it goes on. Starting with ’It’s Ok’ which has the most interesting instrumental on the album, incorporating moody guitar riffs, reminiscent of an The XX track with its sombre flow. Charlie Heat’s production is constant and recognisable across the record, such as on ‘Tommy’ which reflects on the aforementioned naughty and dark persona whilst the track is being rapped from the perspective of its counterpart Genesis, a complete mind warp of a concept but like previously mentioned it’s Tommy Genesis’s unfaltering commitment to her vision that makes her so captivating.
The record itself concludes on ‘Miami’ a bright, sunny, rap track that acts as an amalgamation of Genesis’ entire persona and ethos, joining both her light and dark side in harmony, its also the most catchy song on the record, a deeply vibrant track that screams a late night wind down by the sea.
Tommy Genesis has created an authentic and bold record that acts as the perfect introduction into her mind, you’ll get lost in her world and her mixed personas. One moment you’ll be shaking your body in a debauchery-filled nightclub with Tommy before being embraced in the darkness by Genesis and her sombre reflections. What’s for sure though is that over the course of its brisk 30-minute runtime you’ll never be left unsatisfied,