Few rappers would have the audacity to rhyme over a Biggie beat, much less have the skill to do it well, but... well, Los Angeles mainstay Dom Kennedy is audacious and talented. To wit, he likes to refer to himself as the Best After Bobby -- download the mixtape of the same name if you don't believe me.
Dom's heading up north tonight to whet our collective appetite for his follow-up to From The Westside With Love, called (cannily enough) From The Westside With Love II, out early this spring. He'll be tearing up 330 Ritch with a host of guest rappers, including Vallejo's Moe Green and Harlem native Skotch Davis. Below, the indomitable Kennedy shares some thoughts on regional rap, local venue nomenclature, and how we're all, in our own way, members of the Players' Club.
What have you been working on?
I been working on this From The Westside With Love II -- that's got my main attention right now.
Is there an overall California hip-hop aesthetic, or is it more regionally focused?
I think rap is regional, period. Everybody sounds different because it's all territorial. Everybody wants to be the one to represent their city, neighborhood, and street. There's no way you can speak for South Central and the kids in Fresno, or vice versa.
What do you think when you think of San Francisco hip-hop?
When I think of San Francisco rap I think of Rappin 4 Tay!
If my calculations are correct, you're claiming to be better than JFK but not as good as Robert F. Kennedy. Can you explain your Kennedy ranking system? What are the criteria?
Best Kennedy after Bobby because he died after John. So I'm better than Ted too. I don't know if that makes sense, but it sounds good.
What can we expect from your San Francisco show?
I'm expecting a great crowd at the SF show. It's my first time performing songs on From The Westside With Love in Frisco, which is tragic because it came out last March. But finally we get to enjoy it together.
Why do you think 330 Ritch is actually at 360 Ritch St.?
The address is probably messed up because the owner was confused the day he named the club.
Who do you like in the Super Bowl?