Published Jun 02, 2015L.A.'s Dom Kennedy exudes the familiar West Coast aloofness from days of hip-hop yore, with hints of Ice Cube and DJ Quik baked into his latest, the almost self-titled project By Dom Kennedy. With a gifted ear for quality production that appealingly latches onto aspirational, reflective rhymes about the second and third acts of getting put on as a rapper, Dom Kennedy invites you into the world of a mid-tier artist moving through the ranks.
On his past projects, Dom played the role of the reactionary, betting on placid L.A. flows that starkly contrasted with the enveloping swag-trap perspectives erupting from Atlanta. But in 2015, Dom's insistence not to switch up his flow to a Migos-influenced triplet, or a Future-inspired auto-tune hook stands out more than ever and, to the uninitiated, might be mistaken for blandness. But don't be fooled by the lack of trendy raps; there's substantive storytelling here, evidenced by opening track "Daddy" and the standout closing track "Posted in the Club."
By Dom Kennedy is the album version of spiked Slurpees and joints, porch light basketball games and turning up the music and rolling down the windows. It might not be groundbreaking, but it's the kind of album that easily stays in the car's CD player all summer long. (The Other People’s Money Company)