Local hip hop Dom Kennedy takes his music to a national stage.
The recent success of local Leimert Park rap artist Dom Kennedy has the music industry buzzing and internet downloads ringing up.
Kennedy has been making a lot of noise this past summer promoting his latest project “From the Westside with Love – Part 2”, which debuted at number two on the iTUnes rap charts and number 10 overall.
He is currently gearing up to be the opening act for hip hop sensation Wiz Khalifa when Khalifa comes to Los Angeles later this year. Dom Kennedy will also be making a national television appearance during a segment called “Cipha Sounds”, at the 2011 BET Hip – Hop Awards.
There are not many independent artists that can gain over 500,000 downloads without a major distribution companies assistance but Kennedy has reached that mark with the sole help of close friends and family.
Kennedy is quick to thank his father, Dennis Hunn, for his support because he feels without his dad’s support system, he would not have been able to make it this far. “That is the one person who if he wasn’t my fan I wouldn’t even be here doing this”, says Kennedy.
He also works closely with his cousin, Jason Madison, who produces music for Kennedy along with music videos and documentaries. Kennedy talked about how it was he and his cousin who first started this mission to music.
“I could remember my cousin Jason, he was a local party DJ… people were still spinning records and every record he had would have an instrumental and we would be at his house, at his grandmother’s house, said Kennedy. “We would put on the instrumentals and rap to them. So around those times, we would actually record and it was one of those one-take things where if we messed up we would have to use another disc. So it was around those times I found myself really start to be like, I really have something clever to say….So around that time I really started writing”.
Kennedy operates his business under the imprint, “The OPM Company”, and Kennedy is excited to lead the charge of the new label and vision which originally started out as a publishing company a few years back.
“I was just like any other kid I guess, growing up in L.A. or around here, I wasn’t really like the rapper or anything in my crew, but music was a big part were part of our lives and rap music in particular”, Kennedy says about how he first started to rap.
“Before I even knew any of this (business) I would rap. I think Eazy-E and “Boyz N’ the Hood”, was one of the first songs I did. My little sister had one of those tape recorders and I use to put in a little tape and record myself to rap it and see how it sounded.”
As the years went by and Kennedy got older he started taking his favorite songs and would change the lyrics slightly to represent his neighborhood and his surroundings. The more he did this he realized his lyrics were getting clever so he took a stab at writing his own songs. This was in Junior High School. As the years went by, he kept at it and found his self always having a notebook or a loose paper around to write a rap.
“Like I never even told people,” said Kennedy. “It was just something I did. I would get inspired at home and write my own version of it.”
Now at 27 years of age, Dom Kennedy is writing all of his own material. After dropping five projects since 2008 Kennedy, has been approached by several major labels for a deal but the offers haven’t been exactly what he is looking for at the moment. No worries for he and his label mates because business is better than ever and the buzz around Dom Kennedy is ever-growing.
In a music world where it is extremely difficult for most artists to get a fair look, it’s a phenomenon the way Dom Kennedy is making his way to the mainstream. He is taking a page out of the golden days of the hip-hop era of music when No Limit Records, Cash Money, Death Row Records and Lenchmob Records were independent labels operating on a national and international stage.
“My plan is to restore the feeling and the pride of ownership”, said Kennedy.
“I feel like with all of hip-hop’s problems, all we need is an artist with potential to go down the same route everybody else did, worry about a label that wants you to deliver a radio single that don’t sound nothing like what your fans knew you for. I think a lot of people don’t do it (own their own company) because it’s a lot of work. It’s hard enough to just get recognition. But I feel like if anybody could do it then I am just going to have to be the one to do it”.
Dom Kennedy is a kid from Los Angeles who started out with a dream and a goal. Nobody really gave him much outside of his dad financially and now he is on his way to being one of the hottest underground artist in the nation.
“I try to show people especially kids in this city what time and dedication really means”, said Kennedy. “That’s not saying that we all need to be rappers because I don’t encourage that. That was just my gift in my life right now and something I worked at. I didn’t take any short cuts. I am not a child star. I’m 26 now and there are no white people in my pocket putting money behind me for any reason. It’s none of that. Everything that we’ve gotten we have earned and it goes to saying it’s a process. Nothing is going to come to you overnight and if it does, it’s going to leave you just as quick as it came”.
For more information on Dom Kennedy visit www.dopeitsdom.com . To buy a copy of, “From the Westside with Love – Part 2” you can visit Amoeba Music and Turntable Labs in Los Angeles or buy the album on iTunes.