[Interview] Dom Kennedy Explains Origin of His Name, Yellow Album World Tour, & O.P.M. Allstars
Although people may not have heard of Dom Kennedy until the release of his acclaimed project From the Westside with Love (2010) or possibly as recent as The Original Dom Kennedy (2011), those who have been faithfully following the progression of the independent artist know that he has been putting on in LA’s underground rap scene for some time now. It all started in 2008, when the Leimert Park legend dropped his first mix-tape, 25th Hour, which created a local buzz and support from local radio stations that played his feel-good summer jam dedicated to the ladies, “Watermelon Sundae.” Further into his career, Kennedy continued to build large fan bases with hundreds of thousands of people downloading his mix-tapes off the web. From the Westside with Love II (2011) even made it on the top 10 in Hip Hop Album Charts. However, if people still have not heard this name, the Yellow Album (2012) should make them finally take notice.
Luckily, Kennedy hasn’t disappointed fans by creating a commercialized sound; rather he has managed to stay true to his music and to continue making quality work.
In the midst of all of the success that Kennedy has had over the past few years, he says that he is living the American Dream.
“Don King would say, ‘This could only happen in America.’ A kid from Leimert Park like me to be able to provide for myself and for others, just off of pure memory and will power,” says Kennedy.
It’s obvious that Dom’s name is presidential and is associated with connotations that represent his character, such as charisma, status and happiness; when it may have been thoughtless for other artists to choose names like Franklin or Jefferson because they are associated with selfish means of wealth.
“Back then when I thought of that name it sounded good and yeah, those were the main reasons for the most part, just the charisma about it and meaning something,” he says. “It’s something that you will remember and it sounds good and it comes from a place of importance. If that name was on the list you’re going to remember that name, you’ll be like ‘Okay that sounds like an important guy.’”
Because hip-hop is such a part of the culture that impacts the community in many ways, music has the ability to travel from coast to coast, and even internationally. In fact, Kennedy has just concluded his first tour overseas in the UK, and the Yellow Album World Tour will begin in the states in November. Dom says that it is the content of his music that makes people from anywhere relate to his music.
“The things that I talk about… I go places, I go on tour and I see how people utilize my music because its regular, its about life, it’s about friendship, it’s about love, it’s about girls, it’s about money, like that’s everywhere, that’s everywhere,” says Kennedy.
In the interview Dom also talks about his purpose with Young Nation Vol. 1 (O.P.M Allstars).
“It’s not gonna be the Yellow Album, cause its not just me, but it’s me and my friends and I want to people to hear the things that I know from them that I like kind of, and just keep it going just to show; the Yellow Album is tight and it’s cool, but it’s like I’m able to make songs everyday, says Dom. It’s not like the end; it was just one part of the story.”