Dom Kennedy – From the Westside, With Love II | Album Review

The new West Coast movement looks to be in full swing in 2011. With Kendrick Lamar becoming the talk of Compton, upcoming acts such as Nipsey Hussle and Jay Rock remaining consistent and the enriched Hip Hop circuit stronger than ever, the days of wondering where the West had gone are soon to be over. So it can only strengthen the coasts brand by having another hungry starlet add his name to the contingent from the sunnier sides of the US.

Dom Kennedy of Leimert Park, LA, has been doing the rounds on the coast with some dope free mixtapes not to mention some high profiled collaborations with the likes of Curren$y, Kendrick and more. Kennedy’s From the Westside, With Love II hopes to add further weight behind the current wave of Westsiders currently on the brink of fully dominating this summer.

Much like many before and after him, Kennedy adopts many of the vintage sounds which have put the West Coast style of music on the map. With enough stretching synths and bass, the one BET Certified Fresh star sprinkles some slick gangsta tales over the high end beats from The Futuristiks, Scoop Deville and others. Classic ’90s gangsta sounds and get money mentality ‘Grindin” conveys the typical get money motif which is executed with a vigorous bounce rather than a hardened expression and ‘Money Don’t Stop,’ ‘Beats, Hoes and Rhymes’ with Casey Veggie and Schoolboy Q also follow in similar vein.

It’s the freeflowing, exhuberant flow of Dom which really drives the album, the rapper’s playful and enthusiastic tones working well with the enriched Western beats. ‘I Love Dom’ oozes enough playa charm to work effectively whilst ‘She Ain’t Loving Me’ boasts of his squeeze’s appeal of his material possessions.

Dom Kennedy isn’t the owner of the most commanding voice, so for the most part, performances by Kennedy aren’t groundbreaking and at times produce lackluster material such as ‘O.P.M.’ – but when his arrangement of soulful influences, West Coast sounds and his local drawl all work together, it results in more memorable outings. ‘Platinum Chanel’ evokes more grand proclamations, further enriched by a ’70s swagger and ‘2MPH’ with Big K.R.I.T struts with some Southern and Western confidence.

Other than the New School exuberance shown on ‘New Jeeps’ with Asher and Mikey Rocks, From the Westside … is a love letter to the classic days of lowriders, long summers and weed rolling which pioneers Dr Dre, Too Short and Snoop Dogg all ushered in during the ’90s. Dom pays a fitting tribute, with enough laid back rhyming which will adhere to more than those on the coast. Kennedy’s album adds further proof that the khaki wearing, chronic smoking days can still succeed in a post-Death Row era

Dom Kennedy – From the Westside, With Love II
Released: June 28, 2011
Label: The OpM Company
Buy: iTunes US / iTunes UK

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