(Photo: Courtesy Other People's Money Records)
“I’m just exploring,” announces Dom Kennedy on the opening track of his second free commercial effort, The Yellow Album. Dom states his experimental intentions early to prepare listeners for an experience unlike any the Leimert Park legend has piloted in the past.
While Dom’s sonic exploration often yields gems and buried treasures alike; the tone-setting second track “Been Thuggin” and the ethereal “PG Click” are shining examples of Dom’s versatility. But while his sound continues to evolve steadily, his subject matter seems to have hit a creative ceiling at laid-back player’s anthems and charming odes to the ladies.
One of The Yellow Album’s greatest strengths is the depth of the talent pool Dom pulled his collaborations from. Whether linking with fellow Cali natives Too $hort and Kendrick Lamar or building tracks with up-coming producers Chase N. Cashe, Fly.Union and THC, Dom surrounds himself with the best throughout the tape. Rick Ross and Freddie Gibbs force Kennedy to step slightly out of his creative comfort zone with solid guest verses, but the moments when Dom ventures to far off course are saved only by his impeccable flow.
Overall, The Yellow Album is proof that Dom has mastered his sound and suggests that he is currently searching for a new creative wave to challenge himself. He’ll need to dig deep into uncharted territory to find the emotional weight that will carry him on his next sonic wave.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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