Dom Kennedy Yellow Album
The 27 year old Dom Kennedy’s 2nd major release comes in the form of Yellow Album, a mixtape that screams “I’m from L.A.” , but in a very different way than his current L.A. based peers. He’s not Tyga, YG, Hopsin or Kendrick, though we do see an appearance from Kendrick on #3 We ball. With that being said, he has the kind of flow that is not too concerned with intricate lyrics or crafty bars. This isn’t a knock on DK, it’s just his style. If anything he’s closer to Ice Cube than anyone else coming out of L.A. at the moment. Yellow Album showcases a good line up of guest appearances, including Ricky Rozay, Freddie Gibbs and Kendrick Lamar. So with all of that being said let’s check out the tape. Oh, wait…if Freddie Gibbs didn’t ring a bell stop reading and go listen to “Mexicans with Guns” feat. Freddie and Bun B…Ok now you may proceed.
#3 We Ball feat. Kendrick Lamar
DK opens up the track with a sputtering vers’ chronicling his crews swagger and his connections as he has made guest appearances with moguls such as Big Sean, J Cole, Juicy J, YG, Cassie Veggies and Currency. He covers the fairly simple beat with short bursts of non-descript yet powerfully delivered adjectives. As always Kendrick’s verse was, as would be expected, more decorated. Kendrick raps “What happened yesterday baby girl fix your mood
Cause I don’t like my head with some attitude.” Finding out who did the outro verse made me laugh out loud, but Rick Flair wrapped it up on a awesomely aggressive note.
#4 My Type of Party
This is probably the most celebrated song off the mixtape as he dropped the music video about a month ago. I don’t share the public’s opinion; I don’t love the track. It’s not bad, but I just feel that more could have been done with DJ Dahi’s beat. It’s one of the more polished set of bars on the tape. In short his idea of a party includes your standard rapper’s list of tools of belligerence. In the end I think that I just find the track too repetitive for the amount of attention it received.
#5 Girls on Stage
This is probably my second favorite song from the tape, mostly because we get a chance to see DK’s slick sense of humor. He delivers his lines with the sly attitude of someone who knows his status is the main reason for his success with women. Yes indeed this is “The thick girl anthem.”
This is my favorite track on the mixtape, you don’t need to flex with a hard beat to show skills. In the first verse DK brings a us a little bit of his background, while rapping “Money don’t make me, you don’t wanna see a nigga pull out off safety.” He knows the money didn’t create him and that the life he lived is the one that shaped the rapper he is today. It’s always nice to see a bit of self reflection on a mixtape. But his second verse is the best on the whole tape. I won’t ruin it for you but he goes into becoming a man, the struggle of stardom while his childhood friends are still stuck without a direction. And he finishes is up with a few double tap styled lines, which he always does well. By the way the hook is perfect for the track, including a soft voice over a gentle guitar riff.
#11 Hanging feat. Freddie Gibbs
Kennedy goes in with Freddie Gibbs on a high pitched Polyester beat. I like the beat, and have a feeling the Freddie Gibbs had some kind of influence over its production considering his background. This is one of the tighter tracks from the tape. It’s clean, well produced and Freddie Gibbs crushed it, i.e. “Never trust a bitch, that’s why I fuck with the lights on.” Both rappers had a verse apiece, and when you include the tight hook you have yourself a sweet jam.
Best of the Best- #5 Girls on Stage, #10 Lately
Worst of the Worst-#13 P H
Overall I thought Dom Kennedy did a nice job with the Yellow Album. That’s basically what it is, nice – above average, but not a mixtape that will gain an extreme amount of notoriety. He is clever and funny, and his rhymes are precise and short but lack creativity. In order to appreciate DK you have to take him for what he is. One thing that I really look for when breaking down a mixtape is some kind of stream of consciousness, a good flow that can set a mood for a polished mixtape. While you could see a hint of that in the Yellow Album, it wasn’t incredibly abundant.
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