How audiomack links taught me to relax and embrace Dom Kennedy p.1
The first thing I ever knew about LA MC Dom Kennedy was EVERYONE loves this guy. He features on SchoolBoy Q’s album, Freddie Gibbs mixtape, Smoke Dza takes time to rap about conversations with Dom that changed his life. Curren$y does the same on just about every project. Dom scores a Kendrick Lamar feature for the song We Ball off his Yellow Album mixtape that drops 4 months before Good Kid, Maad City. I just assumed this was one of those bad rappers who is also an awesome person and everyone loves…so they give him a verse. Why did I think of him as bad? His flow is outrageously stunted and off beat like an old parent remembering something in chunks and his verses are about things that don’t make any coherent picture (he loves rhyming the same word off itself over and over)…or didn’t until recently. Sometimes it takes time for me to understand the appeal of an artist and here are the projects that helped me with that.
From The Westside with Love
As much as Dom clearly looks up to the pimpish precision of DJ Quik he’s different. From The Westside with Love is one of the most affectionate mixtapes in the last five or ten years. All the production credits you’ll find for Dom Kennedy projects are ahead of their time. On this one the recognizable names, Hit Boy and BrandUn DeShay, are ones you wouldn’t have been that interested in circa 2010. This is part of the reason why all his mixtapes seem so crisp years later.
A Leimert Park Song provides exact explanation for the oddness of Dom. “The game need me cause this affectionate. Not just a bunch of N’s wanting Tech’s and shi#t. Not just a bunch of N’s wanting sex and sh#t. Dissing the same N’s that they texting with.” While he shouts out Ice Cube, 2pac and all the gods of West Coast he brings a warm and casual vibe to his music. On the opening track In Memory Of he compares this music to Tribe Called Quest which is an interesting comparison. Q-Tip was one of the first cool rappers to appeal directly to women in verses without sounding corny. Q-Tip would love the pulsating conversational Home Alone where he’s able to specify breakfast while sounding evocative “I like toast in the morning, you need to know that in case you close in the morning.”
West Coast hip hop can seem like the movie 300 from far away. If you go straight from Ice T to Jay Rock (no shots I own everything by both those dudes); which is what makes From The Westside with Love so cool its filled with trunk rattling funk and love. Loving recollections of hearing Run-DMC for the first time, loving shout outs to Leimert Park where he’s from and all the women who have sex with him. Which I appreciate; too often rappers run down the people who have sex with them. Dom sends out love like he doesn’t have time to hate and its infectious.
Stream or Download From The Westside with Love below:
Stay tuned next week keyboard Jedi as part 2 of my Dom Kennedy breakdown continues!!!!!!
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