25 April 2013

In Case You Missed It: Dom Kennedy - Yellow Album

Alright Ladies and gentlemen, there are no games to be played here; this is probably my favorite project that dropped of 2012. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t write a review for this when it dropped last June but I wasn’t in my right mind. Dom Kennedy is an artist in my catalog that I feel needs no introduction. Dom has dropped 5 mixtapes and one commercial album prior to the release of his “Yellow Album.” The “Yellow Album” was originally intended to be an album but he decided to just release it as a mixtape. I have referred a lot of friends and hip-hop lovers to Dom Kennedy and this piece of work. The feedback that I received from it was ALL positive. Everyone that started off with this mixtape automatically went to older Dom K songs and fell in love with his lazy California player style music. Songs like “Platinum Chanel,” “Grindin’,’” “Designer Sh*t,” “1997,” and “Nigga 4 Life” ranked among the top favorite Dom Kennedy songs by new listeners. New ears also were appreciative of the OpM All Stars mixtape “Young Nation” which I previously wrote a review on that dropped in October of 2012. The whole West Coast is seriously potent for good music like my bredren Twon Johnson stated in his "How The West Was 'One'" article.

As far as the word fresh goes, Dom’s music and style takes it further. The tracks that Dom goes over, which are mainly produced by Drew Byrd, are not typical in any part of the music business. As stated in a previous Dom Kennedy interview and concert I attended, “I would rather have really dope sounds and instrumentals than to put out a large quantity of music. I like to put effort into the music that I make. It’s great to have a large choice of music as an artist, but I would rather take my time and perfect my craft so people will know I make consistent quality music.”

The first track on today’s agenda is “We Ball” featuring Kendrick Lamar. This track is a celebration. The production was led by Chase N Cashe who outdid his self on this one. The tone is nicely set and Dom rides the track with ease. Now what Kendrick does on his verse is what gets you in trouble with the law. I’ve done 105 mph+ in a family member’s car listening to Kendrick’s verse just because he said he was doing the same. To ice the cake on the song the instrumental keeps going but the beat stops and Ric Flair’s “Real men Stay up” speech is played. The speech personifies the Dom Kennedy’s take on his style; he’s not about the hype.

“My type of party” was a summer jam last year. Leave it to Dom Kennedy to grab another excerpt from a famous celebrity. At the beginning of the song the late Don Cornelius is speaking from one of his soul train shows saying “I wish I had an explanation for the popularity of the man I’m about to introduce but a gift such as his apparently cannot be explained, but it can be felt and enjoyed…” then the beat drops. A few people who doubted him and shunned him for the song but they grew into liking him by respecting the lane he made for himself. I’ve said it before and Dom isn’t like Rakim, musically he descends from Too $hort and Snoop Dogg. If you have listened to Dom K before you know he has a lazy apathetic approach to how he raps. This track seems like it was a fun track to make because I know I had fun partying to it. I know the video had to have been fun to make so I posted it below as a bonus for readers to get a sample of Kennedy’s music.

The next two tracks are personal favorites of mine and people who I have gotten to listen to Dom Kennedy. The first jawn is “Gold Alpinas” featuring Rick Ross. I honestly think Rick Ross didn’t need to be on the track but it seems like he was the perfect person to do the feature. Gold Alpinas is a style of rim that is being envisioned a BMW, and given that Dom raps about player sh*t you can imagine what this song will be about. The song starts and continues till the end with an Aaliyah sample of one word with four different pitches. It is a very laid back song that is tailor made for a lazy flow. “1:25”is an up tempo beat that everyone who has heard it loved it. Dom is talking about real life things and stuff he went through. The main point of the song is hard work and how he has grown in his success. DrewByrd produced both of these songs and perfected them both. If you are not familiar with Mr. Kennedy I highly suggest you begin with these songs.

The Yellow Album was by no means a mixtape in my book. I feel as if this was given away, it was definitely an album that STILL rocks tough. With features from Kendrick Lamar, Too $hort, Rick Ross, Niko G4 and Freddie Gibbs makes this project even better. There honestly has not been one person that I introduced to Dom Kennedy that has turned him down. Hopefully I retain this record among new listeners. Dom also has a new album dropping in the summer titled “Get Home Safely,” so be on the lookout for that and a review on it!

Hit me at @_KJTheGreat, @BestInTheMix or kjohnsonk14@gmail.com

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