Being independent has become the new hustle in the rap game. Dom Kennedy has carved out a successful career being an indie rapper. The Los Angeles-born rhymer celebrates his 31st birthday today (Aug. 22).

Dom Kennedy, born Dominic Hunn, grew up as a ball player with an interest in business. He went to a two-year college to study business management, which probably came in handy since he would go on to make his name as an independent artist.

He started buzzing when he dropped his debut mixtape, The 25th Hour, in 2008. The hype only grew as he continued to release mixtapes into the decade. The Yellow Album helped bring his laid back sound to the national audience in 2012, when he was touring across the globe.

Dom Kennedy's latest album, By Dom Kennedy, dropped this past June.

Watch Dom Kennedy's "After School" Video

10 Hip-Hop and R&B Books You Should Read This Summer