Laid back west coast rapper Dom Kennedy returns with a new track for the last days of summer in the Jake One-produced “96 Cris.” The song’s mellow production and blend of melancholy and braggadocio lyrics is Dom Kennedy firmly in his wheelhouse. Longtime fans will be happy with the return to form, since the Westside MC has taken heat recently for the perceived dip in quality of his last few projects.
After dropping the unofficial soundtrack to summer 2012 in Yellow Album, Dom hasn’t released another album or mixtape that has received the same level of praise. That project was star-studded, featuring a pre-Good Kid, Maad City Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross–who Dom was rumored to be in contract talks with, and Freddie Gibbs. The massive independent success looked to be the beginning of Dom’s mainstream career, not the end.
Since then, while he’s been able to drop projects that have satisfied his fan base, he’s never been able to eclipse, or even equal, his 2012 peak. Even die hard fans have expressed disappointment in some of his more recent work, with 2015’s Best After Bobby 2 being a particularly low point in Kennedy’s otherwise consistent career.
With “96 Cris” and last week’s “U Got It Like That,” it seems like Dom has something new in the works. Let’s hope it lives up to the high standards of his earlier releases.