Tommy Genesis
Tommy Genesis is the perfect rapper for a sexually-liberated generation. (Illustration by Eunhye Cho, Laguna College of Art and Design)
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Tommy Genesis

Move over men, Tommy Genesis is here to reclaim the female body.

Bold, shameless and overtly sexual. In a genre dominated by female objectification, Tommy Genesis reclaims the female body and writes her own unbounded narrative.

Tommy Genesis, or Genesis Yasmine Mohanraj, is a Canadian rapper who first made her way into the mainstream limelight not as an artist, but as a model for an iconic Calvin Klein campaign. She is the definition of well rounded: multifaceted sculptural artist, video editor, model and, most recently, a self-dubbed “fetish rapper.”

She’s the type of person who, without appealing to traditional stereotypes, shines. She’s overtly feminine, yet also manages to break out of the norms ascribed to gender. She defies society’s boxes. As a biracial, bisexual tomboy, she exudes the ideals of modern feminism — a woman can be both smart, beautiful and openly sexual.

Music wasn’t always a primary focus, with her rap career taking off after a collaboration with Father in 2015, but Mohanraj has been making music since her years in Catholic school. Her first band was known as God’s Girls.

Clearly, her music has evolved from her Christian beginnings, but the music she creates now is true to how Tommy Genesis has always been: rebellious, boundless and sexual. Overtly erotic tracks like “Daddy” and “Tommy” are not only the cause for the attention her music has gained, but they also define the overarching message of her discography. This message makes Tommy Genesis the perfect artist for a young generation that aims to reclaim sex, or at least, a perfect track for the hit teen drama “Euphoria.”

“Euphoria” is just the tip of the iceberg for the rapper, despite only recently gaining traction in the world of music. The year 2017, in particular, was a turning point for the rising star: She signed with major American record label Downtown Records and in 2018, proceeded to work with Charlie XCX and Empress Of.

That same year, which certainly can be considered her true breakout year in music, held a multitude of single releases, including “100 Bad,” which has gleaned over one million views on YouTube. The track exudes the typical confidence of trap, but rather than objectifying men, much like women are objectified by popular male trap artists, it’s a song about being an attractive, bad b—ch.

“100 Bad” channeled the energy of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings,” Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” and Hot Girl Summer before their release. And the world was more than ready for it.

The release of “100 Bad” was joined by an energetic remix with the decade’s favorite electronic LGBTQIA artist Charli XCX and a killer music video that displays Tommy surrounded by money, tampons and a literal (and very charming) dogpile.

In collaboration with rapper Jozzy, Tommy Genesis’ latest release, “I’m Gone,” has also gained attention this summer, only weeks before the announcement of her ongoing “God is Wild” tour. During a “Music to Blank To” short with MTV, one of the artist’s favorite models and actors, Hunter Schafer, gave the song a shout out.

And for all the right reasons.

“I’m Gone” is animated and rhythmic. In the catchy collaboration, Tommy Genesis stays true to her identity, sticking to themes of promiscuity and sexual exploration.

Schafer isn’t the only one who has noticed the bold artist’s talent. Tommy Genesis has blown up, gaining millions of Spotify listens after the release of her self-titled album late last year. It’s no surprise that a recent slew of interviews, merch drops and appearances on official Spotify playlists have allowed her to finally be caught by the mainstream eye. Her recent popularity suggests that she might become yet another force bringing feminism to hip-hop, alongside artists Tierra Whack, Noname, and Rico Nasty.

Her August tour serves to bring her to, or even past, Rico Nasty-level popularity. With two albums under her belt, it’s time Tommy Genesis’ strong discography gets her the audience she deserves. In addition to her own multinational tour, she’ll once again be joining forces with Charlie XCX to open for the pop artist on several September dates.

To seal the deal, the end of her tour will be followed by a performance at Camp Flog Gnaw, a two-day carnival put on by famous rap artist Tyler, The Creator in November. Her performance is one of over 30 rising and outstanding artists on this year’s festival line up.

Some compare the rising rap star to a “younger M.I.A.,” but where Tommy Genesis really stands out is her open sexuality and her rule-bending approach to life. These two traits alone signal that Tommy Genesis stands for values that are tightly connected to the rising generation of consumers.

This is where she succeeds. As a rising influence in the U.S., Tommy Genesis uses her music as an empowering and unforgiving voice for feminism and the rights of LGBTQIA and POC communities.

She’s clever, she’s fearless, and she might just be part of the change that rap needs.

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