Wednesday, May 25, 2011


    “Who cares about being cool. 'Cool' is the new wack. 
    Cool is being authentic. Authenticity comes from your heart, not your head.”

    Authenticity, not cool (although he’s pretty fly), was the first word that came to my mind after meeting Dom Kennedy, and I must say, his personal style and music speaks true to his authentic nature. I first heard of the West Coast rapper a couple years ago from a video Levi Maestro shot of him and his style has since enticed me.

    Luckily, I got the opportunity to have a short Q&A session with the musician and we spoke on a variety of subjects, ranging from his favorite brands, such as RRL, Vans, New Balance and Redwing, to his opinion on Cali style. Although I can’t agree with him when says he loves LA style more than the Bay’s, I commend him for his attention to detail and LA swag.

    In addition to finding comfort in solid colors like navy and black and preferring not to wear tons of logos during performances, Kennedy has a strong affinity towards things made in the USA and quality clothing. Though he sometimes buys cheap clothing if he really loves it, he sticks to garments that are well-made and can be used multiple times -- I can definitely agree with him on that one.

    How does Kennedy define his style? In two simple words, he says a lot with the phrase “Ghetto Americana,” and says with conviction, “That’s my style, my life.”

    His definition of the term comes from his upbringing and describes it by saying that inner city kids always “put a twist on something, they make it flashy.” And although Kennedy kept it simple in his staples -- jeans, crewneck, and a hat -- he added just the right pop of color with the camo T underneath to keep the fit from looking too standard.

    What I found most interesting, however, was that Kennedy looks to the older generations for style. Most rappers these days are obsessed with "what’s now" and "what’s new", but Kennedy notes his uncle and grandfather as two key figures who greatly influenced his style. Take note, kids: old people have cool style, too! As Kennedy says, “If you watch older people, you’ll see future inspiration.”

    image source: Perry Sanesanong

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