Dom Kennedy Explains The Origins Of Nas-Inspired Tattoo

Dom Kennedy talks about his Nas-inspired tattoo and the direction he took on "The Yellow Album."

LA Stereo recently caught up with Dom Kennedy to discuss his latest project The Yellow Album. During the interview, the west coast emcee discussed how Nas's 2006 album Hip Hop is Dead inspired his first tattoo, which reads "In Loving Memory of Hip Hop." He explain that tat came out his struggle to find an identity as artist at the beginning of his career in 2008.

"My first tattoo I got right here [on my left wrist] and it says 'In Loving Memory of Hip Hop.' It was inspired by Nas's album Hip Hop is Dead," he said. "It just kind of struck me and I made it my own. I mean, I put out my first project in 2008, so when I got the tattoo, I was probably 24. Before that I was trying to figure out who am I, what do I want to say, who do I want to talk to you [in my music]. When you're young and shit, especially in LA, you don't really know, and at this point in rap, it's so watered down…there ain't been no originators in like forever. Everything is just reference, to a nigga's flow, this and that, even my shit, too. At a certain point, I was definitely original with it, but it was definitely like west coast influenced. The Yellow Album was like, 'Nigga, we not doing none of that.'"

Dom went on to discuss his approach to his music on his latest project. He said that while the project doesn't always find him sticking to the rapping, he wanted to take his brand of Hip Hop in a different and unique direction.

"If Hip Hop was something that people did go at it [and] gave they all every time like they used to and try to inspire the next artists, try to be responsible and take it on some, 'We just hustling just to do this, it's the money' kind of come-up, when it was that time, it would be a Hip Hop album," he said. "People hear my Yellow Album and some people [are] like…'Aw, that ain't all rap'…maybe I did that for a reason because I didn't want you to like it, and that's what bothers people. Singing on a beat is just another instrument to the beat, first of all. A lot of people don't understand that, but I understand that on a different level, which is why I understand what I sound good on…I don't even rap on The Yellow Album; it's all conducting beats. Who's simple, is it me, or is it you? Could I say 20 million words in one line, just to say one thing, or would I rather just say one thing beautifully?"

Check out the full interview below.

RELATED: Dom Kennedy Says "Yellow Album" Will Be A More "Mature, Forward Thinking" Album

14 Comments

  • Anonymous

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  • NAS THE DON

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  • Fuck You

    Just like his songs, he's not saying shit

  • BLACK

    HI DX...I THINK THIS INTERVIEW WAS ABOUT HIS APPROACH TO HIS MUSIC, NOT ABOUT HIS TATTOO. THANKS.

  • JETLIFE116

    probably gonna get some hate for this...& i'm a huge Dom fan but i did not like The Yellow Album, couldve put more G-Funk into idk just sounded meh

    • Anonymous

      I liked the album as a whole but i do agree with your statement. His last mixtapes all had more of a g-funk west coast vibe. This one, not as much.

  • Anonymous

    what's with niggaz always naming their albums after colors? This the new trend or something? First Game's red album, now this...

    • Doubl Negative

      Non Phixion released a classic record, the Green CD a while back. Also, I've got the Illmatic logo tattooed on my wrist.

    • BK

      Prince had an album called The Black album in the mid 80's google it.

    • FURYAN

      FUCK DOES IT MATTER WHO NAMED WHAT WHAT ?? LAME NIGGA BE QUIET !!!

    • okt

      game wasnt the first, jayz had the black album, there was probably someone in the 8os that did too

    • Anonymous

      Rappers look at what works with other rappers and copy the sh!t out of each other, skinny jeans, white girls in video clips, Gutairs ,electro pop,its becoming whiter and whiter look at Kid Cudis new white boy hair cut.

    • Anonymous

      first...??? beatles done that decades ago weezer did it 2 decades ago jay z did it a decade ago

    • Anonymous

      at least Game kind of had an excuse since he's a blood and the title was related to his affiliation

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