Phonte Spits An MVP Verse For Domo Genesis’ “Shaq Carried Kobe” (Audio)
Sports analogies in Hip-Hop are nothing new. Such references can be the lifeblood of a musical genre that often likens itself to a “game” and thrives on competition. Phife Dawg, Chuck D, Kool Keith, and Ice Cube are just some of the masters of sports metaphor and simile.
Domo Genesis’ “Shaq Carried Kobe” (from his new Evidence-produced eight-song release, Aren’t U Glad You’re U?) amps it up through referencing the iconic rivalry between former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
O’Neal and Bryant played alongside each other in gold and purple between 1996 and 2004. Still, to this day, decades on fans still share their views on the so-called feud, and who they consider to be the superior player in the Lake-Show dynasty. As a note, back in 2015, the two legends of the court put all those grumblings of bitter beef to bed.
Phonte, like the MCs mentioned above, loves references—whether to sports, film, TV, food, or other musicians. The highly-respected MC/singer is in MVP form on “Shaq Carried Kobe.” As he and Domo share a laugh at the funniness that goes with statements like the one in the title, ‘Tay begins, “You ni**as is hilarious / Modern-day embarrassments / My Blackness is synonymous with Odells, Marcells, Maebells, and Clarences / Black-ass names filled with Black-ass arrogance / The good doctor Tigallo, call me emeritus / Call me a reverend / With the essence of Leo in The Revenant / Or call me your brethren / Or you could just call me ‘that ni**a,’ what could be more American? / This ain’t no sh*t for the ascots / This is for the galaxies and planets of Asgard,” referring to Stargate, before getting back to it with, “I’m ready to set it / I’m Kim Jong in a Rap squad / Looking at the switch like, ‘mask on, f*ck it, mask off ‘/ Either learn the game, or you will end up a mascot.”
“Make me laugh,” the OFWGKTA’s Domo Genesis rhymes towards the end of his opening verse, “like Shaquille Shaq carried Kobe,” apparently making his claim for Bryant’s dominance. This runs on from his world-weary take on his milieu: “Ni**as are down, you bad and turn they back and be you’re homie / I ain’t got a blunt of weed or even matches for a phony.”
The Odd Future/Columbia Records MC who dropped his Red Corolla mixtape last June maintains a chilled energy in his verse, stating “I’m in my zone again” while alluding to his penchant for “marijuana jones.” All very appropriate for an MC who has recently had a strain of medicinal marijuana named after him, the Domo G.
The Evidence-produced beat overflows with echoes of music from that era of Pop-synthesis, swimming along with a smoothly contained Quincy Jones-type refrain that every now and again shifts to emphasize the force of Phonte’s verse especially.
Aren’t U Glad You’re U? also features a verse from Evidence (who has a major album releasing this week). The Grammy-Award-winning producer (from Kanye West’s The College Dropout) concocts a set of eight beats that are vastly different from his sounds typically heard on solo LPs, or with Dilated Peoples and Step Brothers.
The drum and sample looping on “Sing Me A Song” create a standout sound for Domo. “Hood Famous” is a smooth closer with a piano chop, and some pensive stream of consciousness from the Los Angeles, California-based MC. Previously, Genesis appeared on Dilated’s most recent LP, Directors Of Photography.
#BonusBeat: The project video for “Me vs. Me”:
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.