With the way rappers boast in their rhymes, it’s almost impossible to relate to them. I’m not rich, I don’t easily pull bad chicks, I didn’t grow up in the ‘hood, nor did I slang drugs. However, that’s what actually made hip-hip hop intriguing back in the 80’s and 90’s, as the music introduced people to a new world. Even so, I greatly appreciate those artists who can make music that I can personally relate to. Kanye was that person with College Dropout and that opened doors for “regular” rappers like J.Cole and Drake to come onto the scene.

is another regular dude who’s music I can appreciate it. Listening to his songs is almost like having a conversation with a homie, as his cadences and delivery are clear, concise, and casual. He doesn’t try to impress you with complicated lyrics or catchy hooks, but rather talk about every day things that anyone can relate to.

Dom Kennedy hails from the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He released his debut mixtape 25th Hour in 2008, but didn’t really get significant attention until his 2010 mixtape of From the Westside With Love. From there, his following within the independent music scene grew outside Southern California to across the world. Kennedy garnered a lot of attention from the major labels, but decided to stick to his independent roots (which is probably the best idea in today’s music industry) and released his album Get Home Safely through his imprint The Other People’s Money Company in 2013.

Since I lived in LA from 2010-2012, I’ve heard of Dom Kennedy for a while now, but didn’t really get into his music until his most recent album By Dom Kennedy, which came out in June. I think I just needed time to really understand what Dom Kennedy is about. He’s a chill dude who works hard, has good friends, and likes normal stuff like sports and girls. Since I’ve become really disenfranchised with today’s mainstream hip-hop, Doe Kennedy’s more relatable music caught my ear. Not to mention that his music is very West Coast and his flow reminds me of Ice Cube’s on “It Was a Good Day”. My favorite song from him is “After School” (which is on Get Home Safely) because it’s just so real and I can just correlate his lyrics to flashbacks of times during my life.

Go check out Dom Kennedy’s By Dom Kennedy album and his past work. It’s great chill music. Here’s some scenes from a recent show Kennedy did at Webster Hall NYC.



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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.

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