Domino Effect

Cue ColdBlooded, Steve N. Clair, and DJ Nico Marie of the hip-hop collective, The Domino Effect’s upcoming album, “All the Stars Ain’t In Hollywood,” also referred to as “Ain’t In Hollywood,” highlights St. Louis is full of stars, many of which are undiscovered.

Hollywood, known for its credibility in finding and building talent into household names, isn't the only place where superstars are made. 

Steve N. Clair, Cue ColdBlooded, and DJ Nico Marie make up the hip-hop collective The Domino Effect. Their upcoming album, “All the Stars Ain’t In Hollywood,” also referred to as “Ain’t In Hollywood,” said the album was created to show St. Louis is full of unsigned talent and stars.

“We just wanna let people know St. Louis has elite creatives,” Clair said. “Don’t get it twisted. We’re creating top-notch albums. I ain’t saying this because we made the album, but I’m willing to put this album against anybody’s favorite album of the year, and I guarantee it’ll hold its own weight.”

Approaching more than ten years in the industry, primarily in the city’s underground music scene, ColdBlooded said there’s something for everybody on the project, and their growth is apparent.

“You’ll hear braggadocious lyrics like ‘we've been around, we're living now,’” he said. “We’re traveling. We’re blessed. We’re basically taking you on a ride with the story for this album. We’re making you feel good. We’re catching flights, sipping champagne, and hanging out in the dopest places.”

Clair said most of the group’s albums have a cinematic aesthetic, and their forthcoming one has Hollywood thematics. He describes it as an audio movie where you can close your eyes and visualize the story as it’s happening. The art direction, he said, they approached differently with a French New Wave inspiration.

“We’re going for a French New Wave cinema style, where we approach our visuals minimalistically,” he said. “It's one of those things where it's something about it that just looks cool as f**k.”

ColdBlooded said the album begins with dialogue features with other local acts that answer where they’ve been since the release of 2016’s “Satellites.”

“It drives you in the realm of wanting to be in the game and full circling it,” he said.

Both Clair and ColdBlooded say the album is a reintroduction album for day one fans and an introduction to a larger audience outside of that.

For their current single, “Maintain,” which will be featured on the album, Clair said they dropped it to let people know they still have their own style and can still rap circles around anyone.

“It's the perfect song to hear from us since you haven’t heard from us in a second,” he said. “We ain’t wanna jump back on the scene doing what everyone else was doing because then people could say, ‘aw they caving in. They’re losing their style. Now, they wanna adopt other people’s style to become popular.’”

“Ain’t In Hollywood” has been in the making for quite some time. It was originally supposed to be released last year but was postponed. Clair said its timing is perfect because everything that happened in 2020 with a lot of the racial and social injustices that occurred correlates well with their other projects, like “Unknown,” which dropped following the Ferguson unrest.

“We wanted to drop something that feels good, something you can ride to, but still has context and texture,” he said. “We were able to build on it based on how 2020 went and created something bigger than what we were lowkey anticipating.”

Clair and ColdBlooded both agree “Ain’t In Hollywood” is a dope project they can’t wait for everyone to hear.

“Get ready for a ride,” ColdBlooded said. “Get ready for something that’s different, refreshing, that the city needs, the country needs, and everybody’s ears need.”

Clair further explained ColdBlooded’s thoughts on it being a passion project for St. Louis by saying it's a positive representative of what the city has to offer musically.

“I believe St. Louis is gonna be represented very well on this one because the artistic vision of the whole project is different and separates itself from the pack,” he said. I feel like this will be a blockbuster St. Louis album.”

In addition to rapping, Clair and ColdBlooded oversee the group’s creative direction; Clair shoots their music videos and handles the album cover art, while ColdBlooded and Clair’s brother Klick Klack produce. DJ Nico Marie is the group’s official DJ.

The Domino Effect’s music is streamable everywhere. Their entire catalog is available on thedominoeffect.bandcamp.com

“All The Stars Ain’t In Hollywood” releases sometime this month.

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