Hard-hitter, and long slept-upon producer, Domingo puts the stereo on blast this spring with this proper Official Mixtape Album. A bevy of friends and associates come out for the occasion. Hard-core gun-slangin poets like Ras Kass, Kool G Rap, Guru and Canabis stop by the project, each at the helm of an individual track.
Big Daddy Kane sets off the record with “Bed Stuy Represent,” a horn-driven herald with Latin inflections. Similar vibes are caught on “Hurt Nobody” and “Major Game” featuring Guru (the symphonic loop yields a track that could almost pass for a GangStarr number).
Domingo’s efforts on the track “Exactly” are sultry enough to stand up to the drunken spelling bee in the club described by Joell Ortiz. Ortiz drops a brief and confusing verse, in which he spells backwards to land at letters that lend themselves to the rhyme scheme. Luckily, despite the ingenuity, the subject matter is easy enough to guess at: “Your L-I-R-G on my K-C-I-D.”
The final two tracks on the record both make good use of spy film-style orchestrations and subtle shifts in rhythm, while their vocal counterparts take off in two different directions: “Caught Between Two Worlds (remix),” featuring Non Phixion, is a sharp tale of a gritty upbringing; “What’s That,” featuring Precise, is philosophical, and spiritual at times.
Domingo proves himself to harbor an array of sounds, and his rolodex of emcees is an impressive one. The Official Mixtape Album, while hopefully a teaser for an eventual masterpiece, stands up under its own weight, and provides a number of tracks that demonstrate Domingo’s comfort with playing the “underrated” label to his advantage.