Jay-Z has notably been quoted as saying that Reasonable Doubt is the album that took him his entire life [up until the release] to make. It made for an interesting listen — truly an opus. When Roc-A-Fella dissolved, the only luggage Jigga wanted to take with him was his debut; his baby. A decade or two from now, Toronto rapper Domestik may very well say the very same thing about The Transition From Then To Now, his first full-length LP. It’s an intensely personal conceptual piece that — at a few points — borders on TMI. It does, though, deliver a relatable and endearing level of nostalgia and honesty you just can’t be mad at.
The ten-track project quite literally follows his life from birth to adulthood. He discusses his birth on the intro, “11.11,” the pivotal role his “Grandma’s House” played on his childhood, the loss of family on much more on the vibed out “Summer Fall.” The production value is all very jazzy, 90s aesthetic, laid out by Nujabes, Fat Jon, Emancipator, DSK, and No.9. While easy on the ears, though, the album may not be a casual listen for some, as it’s entirely personal and introspective. Without prior introduction to his work, this has the potential to come across as an information overload about his life/background. Especially if you find it hard to relate to his particular experience.
One of the weirder moment was the TMI “The Position,” where he describes [in awkward detail] his journey of self-discovery. If you have any doubt, it’s all about him masturbating — a lot. #awkward.
“Home Sweet Home” is an ode to the city of Toronto, split into three separate pieces; it describes the city’s cultural variation, adventures on the cities transit, and the darker [crime-ridden] underbelly of the cities more shady blocks. “Soundtrack To Our Life,” introduces his first hip-hop experience, and the ultimate role it played in his life.
From his family, his faith, and music, nothing is left out of The Transition From Then To Now. While his story may not include being shot nine times — it’s an interesting story none-the-less. Get to know Domestik [literally/figuratively] and give this well-produced album a spin.