On Thursday, Adidas partnered with Shoe Palace to host an exclusive #TLKS session featuring Dom Kennedy and his two OPM artists, Jay 305 and NikoG4.

Through word of mouth via social media, only a select handful of fans were lucky enough to attend the event, which consisted of a panel with the three L.A.-bred artists. Paintings of Dom Kennedy in the latest Adidas House of Classics campaign hung all around the small intimate space at the Shoe Palace pop-up on Melrose.

In an exclusive interview with L.A. Weekly, the OPM founder spoke on being the star of the Adidas campaign. “It’s a great opportunity,” Kennedy states. “I’m doing a three-month summer campaign with Adidas based on their classic shoes. You know, I’ve always considered myself more than just an everyday new artist. I’m more of a classic artist myself, so I’m happy that they would associate the word classic with OPM and Dom Kennedy.”

Dom also revealed his favorite Nipsey Hussle song to be “The Hussle Way,” which comes off Nip’s 2009 mixtape Bullets Ain’t Got No Names Vol. 3. When asked how he plans to live out The Marathon Continues legacy, he states, “By doing my best and staying true to myself. Helping other people achieve their dreams and keeping it real as possible. Always represent L.A.. My upbringing in South Central, Crenshaw district, making sure kids know the opportunities are always gonna be there for them as long as they willing to hustle and go after it.”

The Adidas #TLKS (talk series) aim to “fundamentally redefine and rewrite the rules of talks. To make them modern. More shareable. More participatory.” With tonight’s edition hosted by Denise Jones, the panel was live-streamed on Instagram live to both Shoe Palace and Adidas’ pages.

(Yellow Nguyen)

Rocking a simple plaid button up over a T-shirt, adidas sweatpants, adidas crew socks, and the all-white classic Rivalry low tops, Dom revealed his love for Los Angeles, starting with the people. 

“Just the people. L.A. is a beautiful landscape, but the people make it everything. When I look at L.A., growing up in the 90’s was an exciting time. After I got out of high school — when the internet broke out, it was a rush to be heard. A rush for independence. Clothing brands, t-shirts was a statement. I studied fashion before the music. L.A., the good, and people. Cars are a big part of L.A. too. Everybody has a car. Through traffic, you see personality through their car and what they listen to. We drive so far, your art and transportation collide at one time.” 

During the conversation, Dom also revealed his Young Nation Vol. 2 mixtape will be dropping in a few weeks. This quickly shifted into a shout out to some of the greats Los Angeles hip-hop has been graced with over the years.

“When you think of Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Dom Kennedy or Nipsey Hussle, you gotta understand that’s 10 years in the making. Those struggles, those stories, those are real. Those are never to be duplicated. The work that has to be put in to get to that point, that’s not for everybody. Now people are benefiting from that, but will they last? Of which the same height, that’s up to the individual. Will they be taking that serious? Will they be timeless artists? Will they make music that transcends boundaries in countries? That’s up to them.”

Guests were welcomed with an open bar and Vurger Guyz (a vegan food truck) outside. They also projected Adidas’ latest campaign video, which features Dom’s forthcoming record titled “Confidence.” 


LA Weekly