Since making a formal introduction on his debut The 25th Hour in March 2008, Dom Kennedy has been the epitome of his unique brand of Left Coast cool. With his first retail offering, From The Westside, With Love II, the Leimert Park representative invites listeners to his world.
FTWWLII is a throwback-styled album for the digital age, from the sultry funk of “Come Over” to the smooth groove of the lead single “Grind’n,” produced by Taylor Gang beatsmith Cardo. Not content with riding solo, he lets Big K.R.I.T. ride shotgun on “2MPH,” and trades bars with The Cool Kids’ Mikey Rocks and Asher Roth on the impressive “New Jeeps.”
Despite many of the album’s cuts revolving around the topics of finances, females and the lifestyles of the flashy and fabulous, Dom’s stoic demeanor bounces off the relaxed soundscapes with such aplomb that the results are loose yet refined, whether waxing poetics on his aspirations on opener “Dom’s Prayer” or alongside Casey Veggies and ScHoolboy Q on the apropos “Beats, Hoes & Rhymes.” From The Westside, With Love II may not revolutionize rap music, but it is another welcome addition to the revitalized New West. —Meka Udoh