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Name: Adam Bernard
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Artist Of The Week - Kirby Dominant
Monday, December 01, 2008

When you see an emcee on stage with a sly grin on his face rapping an ode to prostitution with a thumpingly danceable beat behind it you can’t help but take notice. I know I did. The emcee in question was Kirby Dominant and the California native had the crowd hooked with his song about his appreciation for those ladies that partake in the world’s oldest profession. After the show I immediately got in contact with Kirby D to find out more about his music, what inspired the prostitute song, and why you’re more likely to hear Aphex Twin coming out of his headphones than DJ Shadow.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with some background info. Who is Kirby Dominant, where is he from, and how’d he get into Hip-Hop?
Kirby Dominant: Kirby Dominant is from Oakland, CA. I’ve been rappin since age ten. I am a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Urban Economic Development. It was at Berkeley that I began to take music seriously after meeting the Mystik Journeymen, who later went on to form the crew Living Legends. At this time I also meet and joined a crew called The Kemetic Suns.

Adam Bernard: I first found out about you at a show at The Knitting Factory where you were the only non-NYC act to hit the stage. How do you go about rocking a crowd that is clearly there for their hometown heroes?
Kirby Dominant: Well, I feel that people always want to see something different, even if it may not be their cup of tea. I used to live in NYC and they've always been very receiving of me. I think I can be sort of a spectacle sometimes, so I'm great to watch regardless of recognition.

Adam Bernard: During the show you debuted a little ditty about wanting the company of a prostitute that I still haven't been able to get out of my head. What was the inspiration for this song?
Kirby Dominant: The song was influenced by a song that was a hit back in '97, at least in the Baltimore / DC area at the time I was living there. I don't know who made it but it's called “The Percolator.” Another influence was that old school 80's track "I Need a Freak" by Sexual Harassment. When I wrote the song I was fascinated with instant sexual gratification, just immediate sex; no conversation, no convincing a girl to give me some, no head games, just a beautiful exchange of sexual pleasure. So it just enhanced my appreciation for call girls, strippers, etc. They symbolized the perfect girlfriend for me at the time. So there you have it.

Adam Bernard: I know the prostitute song is also a part of your work melding house/electronica music with Hip-Hop. Talk to me about that. Why do you think these genres will work well together?
Kirby Dominant: I think Timbaland has been doing it for years and it's been working and let's not forget Afrika Bambaataa with “Planet Rock.” It's always been there, but it’s starting to have a resurgence. I became fascinated with electro music in like '97 when a friend hipped me to Square Pusher and Aphex Twin. I was hooked. When everybody thought DJ Shadow's drums were the shit I was bumpin those guys and they were shitting on Shadow all day. It put me in another realm and I wanted to incorporate it into my music. I also love to dance and house music is the best for that so I had to have some that in my music, as well.

Adam Bernard: How much will the project differ from your previous work?
Kirby Dominant: Every project I make is pretty different from the next. My last album, Starr, was soulful Hip-Hop with some downtempo sounds. The new stuff is more electro 80's dance rock drivin. I'm very excited about it. I produced the whole thing myself, which is a first for me.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the other projects you’ve released?
Kirby Dominant: My first album titled Rapitalism: The Philosophies of Dominant Pimpin, came out in '98 and since then I've made albums with Kemetic Suns crew member King Koncepts under the name Konceptual Dominance, Canadian emcee Moka Only, and with my group Paranoid Castle with Canadian producer Factor. In 2005 I made the critically acclaimed mixed tape Niggaz and White Girlz with my group Kirb and Chris, and in 2006 I dropped my second solo album Starr: The Contemplations of a Dominator, which featured Grammy Award winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Now I'm hitting you off with the Prostitute EP, which is actually a precursor to my full length album due in 2009 titled Electromicrophone: The Story of Testosterone.

Adam Bernard: What's the scene like out by you?
Kirby Dominant: To be honest there are a lot of good artists out here, but I would like to think I'm the epicenter. Me and my boy Chris shook a lot of things up out here with our album Niggaz and White Girlz. You gotta check it.

Adam Bernard: Who else should people be checking for that's out your way?
Kirby Dominant: I am working with these two white girl emcees in Frisco, actually in the Haight, called Toast. I'm producing their whole album and it's coming along pretty nice. So look out for them.

Adam Bernard: Finally, c'mon, be honest, do you really want a prostitute?
Kirby Dominant: Every now and then me and my girlfriend both like to take a stripper in that back room. Don't you? Doesn't everybody? {laughs}

Related Links

Website: rapitalism.com
MySpace: myspace.com/kirbydominant


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:35 AM  
  • At 11:06 AM, Blogger Dro Ameh said…

    hiAdam, is there a download link for the prostitute song??

  • At 11:08 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    Not that I know of, but definitely hit up Kirby about the EP.

  • At 8:01 PM, Blogger Tim said…

    need to get that prostitute ep!!!! how can people get it? any tracks would be sick.

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