Dom K or The Leimert Park Legend: either one fits the description for Dom Kennedy. The West Coast-bred artist took some time off and bounced back with his latest release, Volume 2, featuring tracks like “Best Friend” and “Brenda’s Baby.” Over the Summer, he dropped off his 9-track mixtape Addicted To The Underground via Soundcloud. The mixtape title correlated with the Independence Day release and his position as an independent artist in the industry. Dom was working in the off-season as well, as he was featured on Nipsey Hussle‘s Victory Lap and signed the new first lady of OPM, Aysha Money.
I’m honored. To rock with that forsure. I think it’s just because of the chances that I took and the chances that we continue to make. In making heartfelt music and music that we believe in.
Under the OPM label that he founded, the loving father, entrepreneur and rapper continues to strive for nothing but the best. After a two-year layover from the release of Los Angeles Is Not For Sale, Volume 1 in 2016 he is back and ready to feed the streets with that laid back LA sound (as proven with the aforementioned projects released this year). Currently, Dom is on tour and will be stopping by cities like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas and San Diego. During our conversation with Dom, he stated that, soon after the tour, him and the OPM gang will be back in the booth to finish up the Young Nation OPM Part 2 compilation.
We kicked it with the Leimert Park Legend during his tour stop in Charlotte, NC, after his electric performance at The Fillmore. We asked him about Volume 2, new music coming, artists he would like to work with in the future, being an independent artist and much more. He also gave the fans one sneaker tip so make sure you read carefully.
RESPECT.: How does it feel to be back in Charlotte on the Win Or Lose Tour?
Dom Kennedy: Man, dope. It’s been a minute. It’s definitely been on my mind. Because I remember having such a good concert in Charlotte the last time I was here. So it’s definitely been on my mind. I think alot of people/fans get on me sometimes if I haven’t performed in a place for awhile. But they don’t realize that I want to, but it’s the work and scheduling. But this tour it was dope to be able to tell the booking agency to put Charlotte on there and get it done. Fa sho!
So you dropped your latest project, Volume 2 was you pleased with the feedback?
Yeah! I have so far, that’s why I’m out here on the road with it. I think we have alot of work to do, but I have liked the feedback so far, forsure.
Which track on the tape is your favorite?
Right now, it changes day by day. I got like three. I would say ‘The Report,’ ‘My Benz,’ & ‘One Eye Open’. But it switches on some-days (laughs).
So you have a track titled “Brenda’s Baby” what message did you want to get across with that track?
I wasn’t really trying to send a message. I was trying to make it self-explanatory really, It’s just really about a continuation of the story that 2pac told and something that I picked up on as a kid. It was just saying that the girls of today’s generation is the one’s that he was talking about in the song. Like that baby that got threw away in the trash. That was really all that it was. I understand that everybody doesn’t listen to things that have a message or that might’ve went over alot of people’s head but for me it’s like, so what.
What’s the current state of hip-hop in your opinion?
I feel like it’s in a corporate state. Even how you was saying feedback, I don’t really know what that mean. I juts feel like if you a big corporation
and you got big money you could blend in and get your message across. Basically whatever level you on and I’m like the coca-cola of the rap game. I’m not gone lie. But I’m not trying to be worried about it. I feel like I make a certain product for people that understand that and I try to do my best to stay true to how I feel and how I’m thinking and share that knowledge and whatever is on my heart through the music at that time.
Are there any artists that you haven’t worked with that you would like to work with in the future?
Hell yeah! Mostly producers some of them that I’ve met before. But I can’t say that I’ve worked with them. Like when I was in New York they was asking me about producers and I was saying Timbaland who I’ve kinda semi worked with. I want to like let him produce some records for me and start from scratch and stuff like that. So it’s mostly producers.
Artist maybe Wu-Tang. A couple people from Wu-Tang. I would love to work with RZA, have Raekwon on some s*** maybe something like that. I’m into the fly classic s*** of all-time. All the young dudes I already know all the great ones or kinda worked with em one way or another. I just did a feature for one of the biggest females in the game. I’m not gone say what It is, I’m just gone see how it unfolds. I like how R&B is going now. I can’t say it’s on a comeback, but I like the music that I’m hearing from the R&B genre.
What pair of kicks are your favorite right now?
The ones I don’t wear, I’m weird. (Laughs) I like the ones that I wear, but I wear em because they comfortable and they easy to wear and sometimes I buy some and I be like these too fresh I gotta save em for a minute. I just bought some Nike’s in Detroit and I kept em in a box. I might pull em out when we shoot this video in Atlanta.
One sneaker tip for readers?
Give some away. You know what I’m saying? Don’t keep everything give some away. It gets to the point you buy 20 pairs give two of them s*** out. Otherwise you gone end up with just a gang of s***. And that ain’t never good. So give some away after you wear some or if you buy some. Every person that love shoes always buy some that they don’t really like. You might wear em and be like “I don’t even f*** with these” give those to somebody that want some shoes.
Should we expect any new music from you?
We working on a Young Nation OPM compilation Part 2. We looking to drop that first quarter of 2019. So we gone be finishing that up immediately after the tour. We gone shoot a couple more videos from Volume 2 and then we going to Young Nation. So you’ll hear from everybody on that including myself obviously alot but everybody in the camp gone be on that shining.
How does it feel to be called the ‘Leimert Park Legend’ ?
That was honestly something I kinda started. I projected that, I said it in a song and that was like my lil bio thing that’s all it said for awhile. I don’t remember what it was on. I’m honored. To rock with that forsure. I think it’s just because of the chances that I took and the chances that we continue to make. In making heartfelt music and music that we believe in with our own company time in time again and standing by that s***. I think that’s what earned us the name, we progressed at so many different levels to the point that it’s like people was bootlegging our s*** and they still are to a certain degree. So It’s like I kinda put that out there and earned it.
You’re a successful Independent artist, what advice can you give another artist who is taking the same route with being independent?
I would tell em, this s*** ain’t easy. Nowadays, just keeping it real speaking on the coca-cola thing like we came in at a special time. It was a black hole meaning you didn’t know what was going to happen. But if you went through the door you got somewhere. Now that door has kinda closed up and it’s probably really hard to compete. So you kinda gotta go all out really. If you’re going to be an independent artist in today’s game. Not only do you have to have a little bit of money to promote yourself, market yourself on the smallest level you gotta have some kind of funds to do that. Then you gotta go all out with your product with your album cover, your song everything. However, you’re presenting you art how you coming everything gotta be on-point.
Otherwise, you gone get overlooked because it’s so much music and content as they say. Content is main nowadays it’s so much music and content out in the world that comes out every Friday everytime iTunes drop something. Everyday it’s 10-12 videos so it’s like what’s gone put you in a different zone for somebody to want to click on it. Then why would they want to play it again and then why would they want to come to your show? Why would they want to buy your album? You gotta really consider that and just not be in your feelings. It’s just about you and your situation the world is big and everybody is connected through the internet and through music + iTunes which didn’t exist when we was first coming up. We was just going from broke we wasn’t envisioning like I gotta care what this person do, I gotta compete if my f****** album cover is on Spotify none of that s*** mattered but now people make they product with that in mind and that kinda f*** em up I think. So you gotta kind of not give a f*** and just do you!
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