Only a few can do what Tommy Genesis does. Over three assertive, braggadocious albums, she has established herself as one of Canada’s most rebellious and provocative rappers: pulling together a whirlwind of sounds, collaborating with the likes of Charli XCX, Deb Never, and Jpegmafia, and somehow the result is cohesive and abiding project to project.
Honing her craft with combative jabs, Tommy’s punchlines are her seminal asset. Less than a minute into album opener ‘peppermint’, she raps “No flex because I’m underground and mainstream / I’m next but not part of the hypocrisy / I’m the bitch that makes fetish rap / I talk a lot of weird shit and they copycat”, as such dropping the record’s thesis.
Split into two parts, ‘goldilocks x’ glides through mercurial moods, yet solid production choices enable all of them to resonate as distinctly her own. Aware of her strengths, the rapid verses of ‘wet’ turn Tommy’s sexuality into a measure of power and ‘manifesto’ offers an unapologetic statement of intent. Yet, beyond dark-sounding beats and flagellating rhymes, listeners will note a downtempo shift in the album’s closing tracks.
Tommy masterfully grounds herself on quasi-Latina-pop track ‘baby’, SoundCloud-emo-rap indebted ‘fuck u u know can’t make me cry’ and acoustic-leaning ‘hurricane’; a trio of emotive tracks that remove the sexual bravado and instead reflect on romantic trauma. Even-tempered for the most part, her realist tales are just as engaging as she lets her guard down.
Always speaking from her chest, Genesis’ unrestrained freedom is a tonic in a world where some of the world’s biggest rap stars largely misfire (cough – Kayne, Drake). While the pop-facing moments may not appeal to all, Tommy shows her dexterous talent and the extent of her creativity on ‘goldilocks x’.
Words: Hannah Browne
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