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FACES '94: More Names to Be Reckoned With in the Performing Arts : POP MUSIC : Domino

January 01, 1994|HEIDI SIEGMUND

Domino has friends in high places, but that isn't the only reason the 21-year-old Long Beach rapper's debut single, "Ghetto Jam," has broken into the pop Top 20.

Although he grew up in verbal competition with his junior high cohorts, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Nate Dogg, Domino is in no hurry to prove his verbal skills. On his self-titled debut album, his rhymes slide as smooth and unfettered as Miles Davis' horn on "Kind of Blue."

The coupling of live bass, guitar and keyboards with Domino's easy drawl--which comes from his living in St. Louis until he was 9--is the sweetest-sounding rap debut since Digable Planets' collection last spring.

The bonus with Domino is his lyrics. They contain enough of an urban edge to satisfy the hard-core rap purists; more pointed at times than either Snoop's or Dr. Dre's, yet lure in the casual pop fan with their seductive, catchy ring.

"I've been trying to be different my whole life," says Domino, who doesn't reveal his real name. "I just hoped when I made it, I would put a little dent in (rap)."

Don't be surprised if during '94 he earns the critical raves to wind up at the top of the extremely competitive Long Beach heap.

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