The Rebirth of Tommy Genesis, Fetish Rap’s Royal Highness | SPIN
Tommy Genesis’ upcoming album, Goldilocks x, is a loaded fairytale.
There’s a track with a banging house beat; another she describes as her “Drake moment,” where she goes full-blown Tommy-the-singer; and an entire middle section she calls a “Charlie Heat EP” — a string of tracks produced by the in-demand beatmaker.
After giving pretty much everything a try on this album, the project name was a no-brainer. She thinks she got the blend just right.
“You know in ‘Goldilocks’ where she’s like, ‘It’s too hot, it’s too cold, this chair is too big, it’s too small?’” Tommy asks over the phone, shortly before announcing the record, out Sept. 10 via Downtown Records. “‘Goldilocks’ is the sweet spot. And the ‘x’ is experimental. For me, it’s about finding that sweet spot and all the shit you go through, talking about it, but being empowered by it.”
But just right for the raunchy Canadian artist may not be just right for other emcees, and that’s how she operates. Two years after releasing her self-titled debut — which gave underground weight to her self-coined “fetish rap” subgenre — Genesis feels her second LP is a “rebirth” in a sense, one where she playfully reintroduces herself on the intro and lead single “peppermint” (“I’m the bitch that makes fetish rap / I talk a lot of weird shit, and they copycat”).
“It’s kind of me claiming my space in a way, in my mind,” she explains. “I’m always just channeling my identity, my sexuality, my mind. I’m not sitting there being like, ‘Oh, I need to write a song for this, because this’ and I never think. I’m not calculated. I’m conceptual because once I start, I create the world. But I don’t have any rules for myself. And I think because of my identity, I tend to be overtly sexual without even trying.”
Much of Goldilocks x feels fresh, from the emotive “fuck u, u know u can’t make me cry” to the sleek repeated keyboard lick on “Average” — but some things never change, including her standard “TOMMY!” adlib (showcased for SPIN on the phone) and her draw to all things “fetish.”
“I’ve always liked the word ‘fetish’ because if I’m your fetish, it’s nice, but you fucking love me,” she says. “And vice versa. Like, if I make this music, me making it is also my fetish. And it all lives in that world of, like, it’s so weird and sexual, but you fucking love it if you love it. If it’s for you, It’s fucking for you.”
With the Thursday release of the album’s second single, the club-essential “a woman is a god,” Genesis is now less than two months away from her second LP finding its place within both the underground and mainstream, just the way she likes it. And except for one close friend, those who were in the studio and her dog, who must have impeccable taste, she kept the record relatively under wraps throughout its whole process. So for fans who love Tommy for Tommy, this one is unabashedly just that — surely another to fetishize.
“I literally didn’t care about anyone’s opinion,” she says. “I didn’t ask anyone’s opinion. I wasn’t like, ‘What do you think about the song?’ Like, I just personally didn’t do that. I’m just like ‘Nah, I’m just gonna make it to the point where I’m happy with it. And that’s it: turn it in.’”