Despite never writing lines over three beats long, Dom Kennedy works a pretty contagious game. In interviews, the California-born rapper sounds like Muhammad Ali, toting himself as the hardest-working, most prolific, sensational, fresh, badass artist in hip hop today. While most of these claims can be taken with a gargantuan grain of salt, “hard-working” lands with great accuracy. Since his debut mixtape release in 2008, Kennedy has put out six other mixtapes and two full-length albums, all while coordinating guest appearances and collaborative efforts with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, Schoolboy Q, Wale and MURS.
This commendable work ethic could be a product of Santa Monica College, where Kennedy majored in business management with hopes of becoming an entrepreneur. This line of study seems particularly fitting for the ever money-obsessed West Coast rap genre. Kennedy’s newest record, Get Home Safely, is chock-full of rain-makin’, self-hypin’, bitch-hatin’ and party-bangin’. The track “If It Don’t Make Money” says it best: “If it don’t make money, it don’t make sense.”
Here we turn to Kennedy’s flow. His voice is, as he would say, “softer than a hundred pack of honey buns” when he wants to be smooth. Other times it’s a machine-gun staccato. Don’t worry, there are some clever echo effects on the production in there so you won’t notice the gaps so much…
Getting down to brass tacks, Dom Kennedy has promise. At 29 years old, he’s got a long life left to fill with tracks and tracks and tracks. And it seems he’s got the connections and work ethic to launch himself somewhere. Best of luck to him; let’s hope he gets home safely.
Dom Kennedy & Skeme perform 9 pm Monday, March 17, at WOW Hall; $18 adv., $20 door.