One fail-safe method for determining the authenticity of an artist is seeing their love for their chosen art form. Sure, every artist will tell you how overwhelmingly passionate their relationship is with music, but how much of that is actually lust for the money and the fame? For Dom P (given name Patricio Gabriel Castillo), a New York-based hip hop lyricist, legitimacy is proven through his “Lil’ Wayne-esque” sized catalog (hate him or love him, Weezy is addicted to composing), self-financed home recording studio and, of course, an unwavering devotion to music.
Born to musically-inclined Dominican emigrants (his father was the percussionist for legendary Latin band Milly y La Orchestra) in the early ‘80s, Dom P has had sound waves running through his veins from the moment he took his first breath. This fortunate inheritance would evolve throughout his childhood and eventually lead the young Dom into trying his hand at rapping. As is to be expected, his genetic knack for rhythm is absolutely audible.
The opening of “I’m Gone” paints a scene of cold, urban desolation. A lonely trumpet and cascading harp descend listeners deep into his thought process, a trip that presents the MC as being a confident man above the fray of artificial amateurs and resigned to whatever destiny may bring: “All alone and I’m great/ I spend my life this way/ If I ever fuck up I know it’s the right mistake.” This self-assuredness is supported by a refreshingly adventurous bass line and busy percussion. The more playful “Late Nights and No Sleep” features a warm ’80s synth blanket interrupted by a series of riffy loops, two features that don’t change much throughout all 4 minutes and 4 seconds of the track. But, change is not necessarily essential, because Dom’s ridiculously long-winded lyricism provides plenty of diversity. With content ranging from black militants in the Congo to ears that magically “deflect bullshit,” it’s no wonder his catalog is so imposing. Perhaps the multiple personality diagnosis in the line “I can never be two faced/ more like 8 faced” helps us understand why the man could probably rap for days without stopping.
With authenticity comes awareness of both the good and the bad, and you can’t blame a man for not appreciating others desecrating the art he’s committed his life to: “… somewhere in another studio, some nigga is just writing rhymes about some bullshit, not even caring about what he’s saying, thinking of a dance for it or some shit and shipping it out to the public. Its a dual problem ‘cause its kind of obvious these niggas don’t give a fuck about making MUSIC, but then again, the fucking fans aren’t giving them a reason to give a fuck. So it’s like both sides of the coin are brain dead.” Ain’t it the truth. With buzz about Dom is spreading far outside his home turf, here’s to hoping he can remedy both the mutual decline of hip hop’s artistry and its appreciation should he be given the chance. As always, listen to selections from his OurStage material and tell us your thoughts on Dom P in the comments below!