Who Is Tommy Genesis?

A Poet, A Rapper, A Woman With a Secret

BY: Claire Connors

Canadian rapper, model, and visual artist, Tommy Genesis is the talk of the music world. Stunningly beautiful, the half Swedish, half-Tamil poet has been the face of Calvin Klein and Mui Mui for the last couple of years. In 2017, she and her mentor M.I.A. starred in a Mercedes-Benz fashion ad.

Of course, she’s not just a pretty face, Tommy stunned the rap world in 2016 when she released her first CD, Word Vision, and her debut music video, “Hair Like Water Wavy Like The Sea feat. Abra.

Born Genesis, she changed her name to Tommy and refuses to tell people her age, in fact, she told W magazine, ‘If I had it my way, you wouldn’t know my gender. I hate being put in any box.’ Secretive!

She will talk about her sexuality though, and her inspiration for her art.

“I read a lot of erotica,” she admitted to W. “Sometimes when I’m writing, I write it like an erotica novel, but it’s about my life.’I am a very sexual person, and it’s something that has always been a con in my life because it’s something that I have always had to defend. I’m not unaware of what I’m saying, but I don’t realise it’s so explicit until it comes out. Even if you say I’m hip-hop, I’m not hip-hop. I make sex-talk art weirdness.”

In the landing video the poet freestyles for i-D. Her words are below.

So small and so new my spine straightens
I see the ruler it makes sense
The window is foggy the history soggy
My pain is so boring the trees are so golden
We look to the sky and it drops on our eyes –
See the fire at night the emblem it lights up the rights up
We make all our signs but have nothing to say
We make all our beds but have nowhere to lay
I am poison I manifest moments of pain
I am toxic I talk like it matters to men
I am donkey not horse I don’t run the race
They will ride me but they mean won’t use me to chase shot of the henny I don’t eat leaves and drink water like chimpanzee
In the dark we will fight for our heart when our heart eats a heart
Let me eat you not in a sexual way- let me eat you with what I need to fill this pain

Big emblem across your forehead reads all thoughts are foreign
Stay inside your car don’t lock the doors don’t chip the paint
Don’t drive too fast – don’t invite me to places that make memories that last
Look inside your tolerance can you see that it’s bent – can you see that I’m twisted
My eyes and my hair you stare like stairs it’s twisted in there
Tongue swirls and it works I can swallow the hurt but I won’t let you look at me pebbles to dirt
I am twisted I walk on my hands and my wrists I am circus, a lion I talk like a kid
But the kid sees a lion, a lion within and I will not untwist and I will not unhinge

Want to open the door then just knock from within
Want to open the door then just knock from within

Dark waters dark part dark skin is God’s art
Dark heavens dark patterns the cyclical lantern
When stars die and regenerate like star-fish with their arms in the way that we see all this bodily harm
We don’t eat we are girls and we like to be skinny
We like to be light so you throw us and use us and make us your wife
We like to feel hungry
We like to feel lonely
We like to be on our knees crawling for home
We want to be wanted but will not leave if you don’t want us
We like to be trusted but will not go if you don’t trust us
We like to be loved but will not be defeated if you just don’t love us
Our fetus will crust us and make us your side chick –
From now till forever the sunrise will catch us alone with the weather

We fly
Cause we’re pretty
We’re girls
With legs and the wings
We like to feel pretty
But will settle for sin

One day you’ll invite me said the voice in my sky
One day you will love me said the voice in my high
My vision is changing my limits are shaking my chin is fresh shaven my mind is wet pavement
I cannot get in but I won’t sit it out
So i just walk in a circle and open my mouth
The best is the issue cause once it is good all you want is the good
While the worst is the part that converts half the heart