Last year we took some time to review and album entitled The Transition From Then To Now by a Toronto-based rapper named Domestik; well, he’s back, and in good form. Only another Toronto head can say this, but his cadence and flow remind me of the golden era of mega-city hip-hop—ripe with ‘Bacardi Slang.’ His low-key, sometimes over-packed bars, almost make it easy to miss the depth of his latest project Forget The Past Remember The Future is if you don’t listen to every word. A solid listen, though, reveals an incredibly heavy album with dark imagery and timely insight that reveal a lot about his personal life and values.
From the onset of his first song, “Lucky Day,” where everything was good until he [fictitiously] got a girl pregnant, you get the feeling this project might ‘go there.’ He tackles a bevy of topics, from race relations on the record “Colours,” the absurdity of gun control on the record “Way Of The Gun.” Then there’s the over sexualization of women—amongst other things—on “4 Devils,” and even plays out the rest of his life on “My Two Eye.” What is curious here, though, is what’s real and what’s just rap. His last album was so honest, and the last song on this album, “I’m Sorry,” is so raw and personal, so it makes you wonder where the line of fiction ends. Does he know the party girl on “Brown Girl Lost”?
Some of the songs have an almost ominous tone to them like “The Last Temptation,” in which (again amongst other things) he describes a priest in a sexual act or the inner workings of a high school shooter on “Darkness.”
Overall, it’s an interesting collection of music. The last time around, my main criticism was that his music bordered on TMI–so I’m happy to hear that he’s opened up his music and let it speak more broadly, with more potential interpretation. He’s noted that he has no rights to the musical compositions, which includes DC rapper/producer Oddisee, Japanese record producer Nujabes (who passed away in 2010), and more, so this could be considered more of a mixtape. It’s a weird, kind of dark, listen—give it a shot.