It takes some balls to throw your lyrics over beats from one of the greatest rap albums of all time, but on track two Dom Kennedy takes on Dr. Dre, spitting over Tha Next Episode. But then takes on beats made famous by Jay-Z, Pharrell, and LL Cool J.

Dom Kennedy taking on Dr. Dre is appropriate: Kennedy turned down a major label offer from Interscope, preferring instead to retain full artistic control and be independent. That makes him a hero on this blog, which was created to celebrate indie artists. I’m one of the few bloggers still staying true to that ethos; most of my old compadres got deals with larger companies or, in most cases, just faded away.

So this is a mixtape in the tradition of the great Clipse “We Got It 4 Cheap” series: Upstart swagger insisting it’s better than the best. But is it? Of course not. And isn’t even Dom’s best work—but there’s some of his classic, laid back sound here. Honestly, it sounds like he just ran into a studio and freestyled, which makes it kind of fun to listen to.

“I should be on the cover the magazines/Player of the year, yeah that has a ring” Dom says, before he recognizes how he doesn’t have a record deal. Yeah. But you’ll always have a place on this site.

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