Columbus rapper Dominique Larue long has been one of In The Record Store podcast's most sought-after guests.
Those dreams recently came to fruition, coinciding with the release of Larue's most personal body of work, "IMSMILINGBECAUSEIHATEEVERYTHING," a joint project produced by her cousin, Tha Audio Unit.
Larue and her kin stopped by the Oranjudio recording studio in Columbus to discuss the inspiration behind the eight-track album.
Using her lyrics as a therapeutic release, Larue touched on how she was starting to feel like a caged animal before "ISBIHE's" release because she said she wasn't directly acknowledging and talking about her personal struggles, most importantly her mental health.
Whenever Larue summons the courage to put her private life on wax, it comes out in the most natural way possible, as if her struggles are a shared pain that no one should keep bottled up.
"As rappers, we talk about the things that are bothering us, sometimes even when we don't even intend to," Larue said.
Being honest with herself and within her music has shone through with each subsequent release, and Larue now is using her integrity as a form of treatment away from the therapist's office.
Wearing authenticity like this year's fall fashion line, her moral compass fueled a lot of the content on "ISBIHE."
Larue wastes no time in letting listeners inside her mind on "Fix Me," one of the tracks gaining early traction amongst fans on her Facebook page. "Baby I'm stressed out, ... depressed now," Larue laments, leading into dialogue about the unhealthiness of bottling up emotions.
The voice inside her head isn't the only force pushing Larue's creativity, however.
"And as a producer, I force it out of them," Tha Audio Unit said. "Make me believe what you're talking about."
The podcast conversation then rightfully shifted into a debate about a writer's ability to describe an object versus a feeling. While describing an object, everyone has the same reference point, but a true scribe will be able to fill an audience with emotions from an event he or she never experienced, something Larue recently found out about herself.
"Now that I'm aware of that, I'm going to continue to tell my story because people can relate to it," Larue said.
While Larue's story still is developing, she is working toward being at peace with life and finding balance. That starts with managing her mental illness on a regular basis, something she has found solace in doing through music.
Zak Kolesar is executive editor for In The Record Store. ThisWeek publishes a weekly feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.