Inglewood native Domo Genesis released Red Corolla, his sixth mixtape and follow up to 2016s Genesis, on June 16, 2017. Following his positively reflective outlook on Genesis, Domo further draws on the bittersweet nostalgia of his youth and success across the tape which spans just under half an hour.
Even before his first bar Domo presents Red Corolla with a level of antique charm, first noticeable in the cover art. Seemingly inspired by a mix of the grainy authenticity of 80s album art and Odd Future’s classic car obsession, the cover’s script font and obscured faces lend themselves to Domo’s lo-fi approach this time around, featuring production that, while lacking in the tight refinement of his last project, serves as a backdrop detached from the optimistic, go-getter state of mind he’s previously presented. Domo is quite clearly is fighting his inner demons in solitude, thus the tape plays more like a stream of consciousness directed at unpacking his anxieties than a set of clear cut objectives.
While tracks like “The Red Corolla” and “What It Means” are wistfully sentimental, Domo flows over eerily nocturnal and haunting tracks like “Vintage Doms” and “Overthinking (feat. Styles P)” with the same level of comfort and expertise. In one breath Domo confidently raps, “Boy, you’ll never catch me out of bounds, I’m tapped into this wavelength, laying shit down like wave grease,” though he finds difficulty in maintaining such bravado, particularly when life’s temptations arise. Ultimately, “Self Doubt the Interlude” marks the tape’s most critical point, as Domo, equipped with pitched-down vocals and equally hallucinogenic instrumentation searches for himself amongst the noise, “just to get by, just to get by, just to get by, just to get high, just to get by.”
Compounding Domo’s self-doubt are the voices of friends and confidants throughout the tape attempting to reach out and reel him back to his aspirations. On “Time Goes By” a contrastingly magical, shimmering beat gives Domo the chance to sulk in his life’s ruin, just as the track’s outro has a friend attempting to draw him back to reality, asking, “Dom, you good bro? It’s a one way street.”
Whether Domo’s emotional uncertainty is manufactured for the tape’s sake is debatable, though he manages to cycle back to a more positive train of thought by the final track “Long Way Home.” Produced by Stoney Willis, the patchwork composition is reminiscent of Los-Angeles producer Knxwledge’s deconstructed approach to beat making and allows Domo to don his most unwavering performance of the bunch. Deciding not to look back while jumping “back to the basics,” Domo ultimately resolves to let his anxieties lead him in an attempt to enjoy his lifelong trek back to solace.