A Talk with Dome Lettuce
Dome Lettuce is a rapper and producer from Northampton, Massachusetts. He’s released eleven mixtapes since he started making music, and in 2022, he’s released the album Salad Bars, as well as the new EP, GREENHEAD.
Dome’s passion for music can be traced back to his school days when he first found Garageband. Since then, he’s made music under the name ‘Gabriel, the Angel,’ before changing his name to Dome Lettuce in 2020.
Dome spoke on the process behind the new EP, GREENHEAD. “It was important to me that I produce all the beats on this project myself because I didn’t do the beats for my previous album and people gotta know that I’m nice with the production too … The project came together in a very haphazard sort of way. I initially released ‘Spirit I’ as a single in September, knowing it was going to appear on my next project, but not knowing what that project would actually be. I made the instrumental to “Green Theme” back in June but had sort of forgotten about it. I re-discovered it in October and decided to try spitting a work-in-progress rhyme over it … Once I had those two tracks finished, I felt like I had a pretty good outline for how I wanted the rest of the project to sound.”
Dome took a moment to describe his sound as an artist. “As a rapper, my goal has always been to translate my unique experience and outlook through music. Content-wise, my lyrics tend to revolve around topics and themes that hold negative space in my mind and body, subjects such as (but not limited to) mental illness, substance abuse, and loss. I find the process of facing your internal trauma in the hopes of being able to process and convert it into art incredibly cathartic and my long term goal is to continue utilising the experience of making music as a method of both self-preservation and self-realisation.”
On top of rapping, Dome also produces a lot of his own material. “I like to experiment with sample manipulation a lot; I really enjoy the process of completely transforming pre-recorded sounds … I don’t have the money for studio time so, for now, I record vocals in my closet which gives my music a somewhat lo-fi quality, but I run with it.”
He went on to speak about his motivations going into GREENHEAD. “My goal was to continue defining my voice as an artist, meaning to shed any perception driven influence. If I’m always worrying about whether or not other people will like my music, then I’m never gonna say what I truly want to say.”
Earlier this year Dome released the album Salad Bars, fully produced by Vessel. Dome said: “He’s a super talented producer and he had sent me a bunch of beats like a year before Salad Bars was released … I rediscovered them and was like, ‘Damn, this is great. This is exactly what I’m looking for.’ The lyrics for Salad Bars were also written over a much longer span of time, like eight months, compared to GREENHEAD which was written within a two week span. Content-wise, I’d say Salad Bars might be a bit more versatile, whereas GREENHEAD has a more consistent emotional quality to it.”
Compared to Salad Bars, Dome felt more certain going into the creative process for GREENHEAD. He said: “I felt more confident in trusting my gut and, ultimately, I think that led to more honest material overall, although that isn’t to say I wasn’t being real on Salad Bars. I just think I felt less of a pressure to prove that I could rap so I focussed more on expressing myself.”
Outside of his most recent projects, Dome has some collaborations in the works. “My boy Enzi and I have been cooking up a lot of stuff. We’ve already got a song out together called 'MindSpeak', but definitely look out for the full tape, it’s coming. I’ve got a couple other things in the works with some people, but I don’t wanna speak on them yet because nothing is finalised – very much still up in the air. All I can say is, don’t sleep.”
When it comes to his own career, Dome has some plans for the next year. He said: “I’ve got a full length, solo Dome project in the works. I’m not sure exactly when that’s gonna drop but, right now, it’s looking like late January or early February 2023 … I want music to be what I do with my life. I’m not trying to be the next Kanye or anything like that, but if I can get enough people rocking with my work to be able to create art full time that would be the biggest blessing in the world. Music isn’t the only kind of art I even make, but it is what I feel most passionate about at the moment. But I make paintings, I make movies, you know. Some day soon people are gonna see that side of me too. But right now, I’m trying to keep pushing my music further, keep making it weirder and more out there and more like me.”
Finally, he added: “Lastly, I’ll say to whoever is reading this, if you take the time to listen to my music it really would mean so much to me. Music is my passion and I know that I’m never going to stop making it until I’m dead. Because of this I truly believe I will succeed and am prepared to work as hard as it takes, for however long it takes, and to not stop working when I get there.”