Every minute, Columbus rapper Dominique Larue is working hard.
As a businesswoman, Larue manages her music career. She delegates tasks and completes her duties on the go, making calls and sending emails between events. While juggling these responsibilities, Larue said, she has discovered the importance of self-care.
"We only have 24 hours," Larue said. "I have to utilize every second of it."
Delegating work gives Larue time for the emotional outlet of songwriting. Fans might have noticed that she has been out of the limelight since last June. After a brief personal hiatus, Larue is back to rapping and is working on new material, using music to cope with mental illness.
Although she does not consider herself an intentional mental-health advocate, much of Larue's work centers on her daily battles. She is her own inspiration.
Larue's music is a narrative about her life and anything relatable is accidental. She gave a TED Talk in 2016 in which she discussed music as a coping mechanism. She said it helps her to write thoughts down and make them tangible; it's a mode of expression and a way for her to be honest with herself like she never has before.
"I feel like one of the hardest things that I ever had to do in my life was to be honest with myself," Larue said. "I'm able to look myself in the eyes and be honest through my music."
Often, Larue looks at her past work and realizes that the lyrics are applicable even as she recovers. On "Help Me, I'm Poor," her latest release, Larue's impeccable flow layers over thick beats and she grapples with making a living while balancing depression and anxiety.
Larue's healing has not been entirely self-motivated, and she makes sure to emphasize the importance of her community. She tries to let her friends know that they are appreciated, while remaining thankful for every minute that she is alive.
She has learned to appreciate life as it passes. What seems insignificant might become a story later, and whether it is a narrative-driven song or dinner-party entertainment, she loves stories.
"What keeps us going? What makes us immortal? Obviously, we have pictures and videos, but word of mouth and stories? Those are just as important," Larue said. "I want to have a story to tell, and I want people to tell my story the right way."
Abby Jeffers is a senior at Columbus Academy and a feature writer for In The Record Store. ThisWeek publishes a weekly feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.