Dom Kennedy

Dom Kennedy
Dom Kennedy

Kennedy performing at the 2011 Paid Dues Festival in San Bernardino, CA
Background information
Birth name Dominic Hunn
Also known as DOM
Born August 22, 1984 (1984-08-22) (age 27) Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California
Genres West Coast hip hop
Occupations Rapper
Years active 2008–present
Labels OpM - Other People's Money (Independent)
Associated acts Pac Div Casey Veggies Skeme J Skillz Drew Byrd Brandun DeShay cARTer Sir wizard
Website DopeItsDom [1], Twitter [2], Myspace [3]

Dom Kennedy (born Dominic Hunn)[1] is a West Coast rapper from Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California.[2] Since 2008, Kennedy has released 5 Independent record label studio albums, most notably his 2010 "critically acclaimed mixtape"[3] From the Westside with Love. His 6th studio album From the Westside with Love II released on iTunes June 28, 2011.[4] As his debut commercial album, From the Westside with Love II is also Kennedy's first album associated with The OpM Company, Kennedy's self established record label.


Early life

Dom Kennedy was born on August 22, 1984 in Los Angeles, California. In an interview with music media outlet IMFlashy, Kennedy describes his childhood growing up as "normal".[1] After his parents' divorce, Kennedy moved with his mother to Leimert Park.[3] Upon graduating high school, Kennedy enrolled in junior college, majoring in business management. He studied a few classes briefly before eventually leaving to focus solely on his music.[3]

Music career

Working with his cousin Jason Madison,[3] Kennedy released his debut mixtape album 25th Hour in 2008, instantly producing a buzz throughout the south side of L.A. In particular, the song "Watermelon Sundae" was widely played on local radio stations and performed live throughout the area, bringing more attention to Kennedy's music ambitions. Around this time, Kennedy's cousin Madison was a film student at Loyola Marymount University,[3] sparking the beginning importance of visuals in Kennedy's later projects.

After his 25th Hour debut, Kennedy released 2 additional mixtapes in 2009; Best After Bobby (the title referring to "Bobby" Robert Kennedy), and Future Street/Drug Sounds. For the Best After Bobby mixtape, Kennedy collaborated with West Coast heavy hitter DJ Sour Milk and the Los Angeles Leakers, producing an instant buzz in underground circles across the country.[5] Within the first hours of dropping the mixtape, Kennedy amassed over 10,000 downloads,[5] officially solidifying his name among some of the top rappers in L.A.

However, with the release of From the Westside With Love in 2010, Kennedy became a major hit throughout the underground hip hop scene L.A. Gaining over 100,000 internet downloads,[6] Kennedy began receiving praise from many established figures within the game. As reported by Texas based, major music festival South by Southwest, "Dom Kennedy has been verbally endorsed by many, including The Hundreds, Kenny Burns, Rick Ross, Taz Arnod of Sa-Ra, 9th Wonder, Murs, The Game, Justice League, DJ Mormile, Alchemist (producer), and Don Cannon just to name a few".[6] With the success of From the Westside With Love, Kennedy became a major player on the independent circuit, traveling for performances throughout and outside the country; including a show in Dijibouti, Africa.[2] Kennedy also began releasing an extensive amount of visual material at this time, including From the Westside With Love music videos for songs such as "1997", "Locals Only", and "The 4 Heartbeatz".

In early 2011, Kennedy released his 5th studio mixtape The Original Dom Kennedy, a tape meant to reflect Kennedy's individuality and sound as an artist. In an interview with MTV News reporter James Lacsina, Kennedy described the project as something that was a testament to himself in the rap game as well as the city he proudly represents:

"...with The Original Dom Kennedy, it was a time for me to take a stand in music. The way we grew up and our lifestyle, being kids from the inner city of Los Angeles. I just felt like that was missing,"


Kennedy also took a personal stance in the mixtape against major hip hop DJ and producer Funkmaster Flex.[2] On his song "The Homies", Kennedy takes shots at Flex's disparaging remarks regarding the late California rapper Tupac Shakur: "Shit I heard Funk Flex say that Pac ain't shit/ and I hope when you see him that he slap your mouth/"


Kennedy is often heard proclaiming his hometown rep one liner "Leimert Park what's cool". As a kid, Kennedy describes himself as being highly influenced by artists such as "The Notorious B.I.G., Outkast, and LL Cool J"[1] through the fact that by simply listening to their music, he could feel a sense of where they were from.[7] With his music, Kennedy does the same thing, bringing the feel of the inner city streets of L.A. to anyone willing to listen. In an interview with Hip Hop DX, Kennedy talks about the influence behind the L.A. sound in his music:

"If anything, and I can only speak for myself, I think that I’m trying to do it like DJ Quik did it, or Ice Cube did it, but this is just my way of doing it therefore I guess it’s natural. But I’m not trying to do anything, you know, different or to say, ‘This is new.’... I set out to do it the way they did it, just in my own way".[3]

Kennedy has rapped over a wide range of past and present hip hop beats in his career, consistently bringing the element of L.A. and West Coast hip hop to his music.[8] Such beats include Big Poppa[disambiguation needed ] on the track "Notorious Dom" (25th Hour) and Best I Ever Had (Drake song) on the track "Best You Never Had" (Best After Bobby). South by Southwest reports major music executive John Monopoly as saying "He is going to get signed".[6]


Dom Kennedy after his performace at the NC A&T’s Aggiefest 2011 in North Carolina

Kennedy has performed in a wide variety of venues from local clubs in L.A. to the campus of Georgetown University.[9] In 2010, Kennedy performed a major, hip hop music festival Paid Dues in San Bernardino, California.[10] Other performer included those such as People Under the Stairs, Curren$y, and Jake One.

In 2011, Kennedy performed at premier film festival South by Southwest's Music Matters Show in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The show was hosted by cable entertainment network Black Entertainment Television.[11] Both his performance and that of East Coast rapper J. Cole's were featured online by major, hip hop music magazine The Source (magazine). Kennedy performed his first show outside of the U.S. also in 2011 in Dijibouti, Africa.[12]

Following the release of From the Westside With Love II, Kennedy headlined at The Key Club in West Hollywood, California alongside fellow West Coast rappers Overdoz, Epic Twelve, and Black Cobain.[13] Marketed as the show on "7.1.11", the event was sold out, prompting another show the following week, marketed as the "7.7.11" show.[13]

Endorsements & Marketing

Outside of the music realm, Kennedy is also an avid promoter of fashion, appearing on the Sneaker Pimps Tour in Los Angeles back in 2007.[14] "Sneaker Pimps is the worlds largest touring sneaker hip-hop lifestyle exhibition",[15] featuring celebrity autographed sneakers as well as live music performances by collaborating artists. Past artists to appear include: Nas, Lupe Fiasco, DJ Premier, Public Enemy, Bun B, Redman, Pete Rock, along with many others.[15] In 2009, Kennedy co-signed with California based clothing line and marketing agency The Hundreds.[16]

After the release of his Original Dom Kennedy mixtape,[17] Dom was featured on the cover of Jenesis Magazine as part of their 4th Year Anniversary.

Kennedy is also one of the front running young rappers associated with the JUST BE COOL Campaign and LAx Paperboys. He is often heard promoting the global, lifestyle brand through lines in his raps such as "just be cool". During an interview with BarrelHouse BKLYN, Kennedy describes the movement as something that started with a crew of inner city kids in L.A. who "just wanted to do something positive".[18]



  • 25th Hour (2008)
  • Future Street/Drug Sounds (2009)
  • Best After Bobby: Mixed by LA Leakers (2009)
  • The Original Dom Kennedy (2011)
  • From The Westside With Love (2010)

Commercial Albums

  • From The Westside With Love II (2011)

Guest Appearances

  • "The Life I Know" with cARTer
  • "Cooking Up" with cARTer
  • "Cali's Finest" from cARTer's mixtape Legal Trappin
  • "The Preview" with cARTter
  • "Friends. Women. Money" from Fly.Union
  • "Like That" from Fly.Union mixtape Value Pack 4
  • "Don't Forget the Swishers" from Pac Div mixtape Don't Mention it
  • "Everybody Knows Us" from Pac Div mixtape Don't Mention it
  • "Fat Raps Remix" from Big Sean's mixtape Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG
  • "She Needs Me Remix" from Kendrick Lamar's mixtape Overly Dedicated
  • "GoodTalk" from Smoke DZA mixtape George Kush Da Button
  • "No Stress" from Skeme's mixtape The Statement
  • "LA Night" from Skeme's mixtape Pistols & Palm Trees
  • "Racing Stripes" from Curren$y's mixtape Smokee Robinson
  • "Real Estates" from Curren$y's album Pilot Talk II
  • "Counting My Money" from OverDoz. mixtape Live For, Die For
  • "Time" with Juicy J
  • "2 Sports Cars" with CurT@!n$
  • "Right Back" with brandUn DeShay
  • "Weekend Chic" with Polyester
  • "Get Through" from Casey Veggie's mixtape Sleeping In Class
  • "Miss Donna Karan" from L.A.U.S.D. mixtape L.A.U.S.D. Presents: Curly Tops & Nautica Jackets
  • "L.A. To Chicago" from G.o.D. Jewels mixtape Glory or Death
  • "Hennesy Beach" from Curren$y's mixtape Verde Terrace
  • "There They Go" from Freddie Gibbs' mixtape Fuckin Wit Fred


External links

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