Pigeon John

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Pigeon John
Birth name John Kenneth Dunkin
Also known as MC Pigeon
Born Omaha, Nebraska, U.S[1]
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Underground hip hop[2]
Occupation(s) Rapper
Years active 2001–present
Labels Syntax, Basement, Quannum Projects
Associated acts Brainwash Projects
L.A. Symphony

John Kenneth Dust (born John Kenneth Dunkin), better known by the stage name Pigeon John, is an American rapper based in Los Angeles, California.[2] He is a former member of L.A. Symphony.[3]

Early life[edit]

John was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He moved to Inglewood, California at the age of five. Being a mixed race child, he felt out of place in the predominantly white Omaha and the predominantly black Inglewood. His mother eventually moved her family from Inglewood to the nearby city of Hawthorne, where he attended Hawthorne High School.[citation needed] He was an avid skateboarder and would often listen to a variety of music on the radio while skateboarding, especially on the Los Angeles hip-hop radio station KDAY. Early on, he was influenced by an eclectic range of artists such as Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Phil Collins, and Madonna. He wrote his first rap, "Inglewood Skater's Dream", when he was only 12 years old.[citation needed]

As a teenager, John began performing his raps on open mic nights at the famous Good Life Cafe, a health food restaurant that provided a place for many underground hip-hop artists to display their talent, including Freestyle Fellowship, C.V.E., and Ellay Khule. John's first recorded performance (credited as MC Pigeon) was a collaboration titled "Judge Not" with the artist LPG, from their 1995 album The Earthworm.[citation needed]

John claims that his stage name was provided by Jesus who was driving around Inglewood: "He hopped out and handed me a dead pigeon. He whispered, 'Please have a good time, you're really bumming me out.' I watched him sink back into the cushioned seats and drive, quickly away. And that's when it happened, the pigeon started shaking violently and became awake, picked up and flew away. I don't think I had a choice... it was 'pigeon' or die."[4] He later explained that he was discussing his need for a stage name with a friend when the friend suggested "Chicken John", taken from the character Chicken George in Roots. The friend's mother then interjected that John didn't look like a chicken, claiming that he looked like a pigeon and should therefore be called "Pigeon John".[5]


In the early 1990s, Pigeon John and his childhood friend B-Twice formed the hip-hop duo Brainwash Projects.[6] Brainwash Projects contributed the single "Muchas Muchachas" to the Christian rap compilation "Sanktifunctafyd" released by N-Soul Records in 1995. Brainwash Projects eventually released a record titled The Rise And Fall Of Brainwash Projects on the independent label Jackson Rubio.[7] One reviewer characterized The Rise and Fall as "pure, uncut, holy hip-hop" but gave mixed reviews of its beats and lyrics.[8]

Pigeon John and B-Twice, and now KarateE! Mouse, eventually met other like-minded young rappers and formed the hip-hop musical collective known as L.A. Symphony. Members of the L.A. Symphony have at one time or another also included members of The Halieyoos Fishermen (Sharlok Poems, Trendi M.C., and J-Beits aka Great Jason), The Eternals (Cookbook & Uno Mas), Coy (Paul "Coy" Allen), and rapper/producer Flynn Adam Atkins. Pigeon John, B-Twice, and Great Jason have since left L.A. Symphony to pursue solo careers and other projects, but are still considered part of the L.A. Symphony crew. Pigeon John and Flynn formed a side project called Rootbeer. Rootbeer has released one e.p. in early 2009 called "Pink Limousine." The e.p. consists of five tracks including "Chimpanzee", "Girlies", "Pink Limousine", "Under Control", and "So Good." Years before, in 1999, Flynn and Pigeon's first song as the group, Root Beer, was "The Inevitable Return of the Pretty Boy Virgins".[9][third-party source needed]

Between 1997 and 2000, Pigeon John recorded the songs that became his first solo album, Is Clueless. The album was released in 2001 by The Telephone Company and then re-released in 2002 by The Telephone Company/Syntax Records with 3 new tracks and new artwork. He was also responsible for the compilation project, Coalition: the Hip-Hop Alliance, in which he was the executive producer. It featured some of the most diverse artists from all over the U.S., including his alma mater group, LA Symphony, CampQuest, Relentless, Royal Ruckus, New Breed, MG! the Visionary, 4th Avenue Jones, John Reuben, Sackcloth Fashion, Decimal and Count Bass D. Pigeon John then signed to Basement Records and released Is Dating Your Sister (2003) and Pigeon John Sings the Blues (2005). In 2005, Lyrics Born saw Pigeon John on the Cali Comm Tour and brought him into Quannum Projects.[citation needed] That same year, Pigeon John's single "Deception" was featured on a series of Nestle Crunch commercials.[10] In 2006, after signing to Quannum, Pigeon John released his fourth solo album, And the Summertime Pool Party. The album has received positive reviews from many sources, including LA Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and VIBE.[11][12][13][14]

A new album, entitled Dragon Slayer, hit physical and digital retail October 12, 2010.[15] With the aid of General Elektriks' Herve Salters, he produced the whole record, including, for the first time, sampling original instrumentation rather than flipping samples from records. "It's a whole new venture. It becomes bigger than being a writer, and you have to be an editor, in book-form. Working with Herve Salters makes my music feel new to me. It's been a great process, I love it."[16] His first single from the album, "The Bomb", was featured in a Volkswagen television commercial in early October. In 2014, "The Bomb" was featured in the announcement trailer for Dead Island 2.[17]

Personal life[edit]

John was married to Harmony Dust from 2002 to 2010.[18][19][20] They have a daughter named Johnny Ella.[citation needed]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


  • Pink Limousine (2009) (with Flynn as Rootbeer)
  • 18 Minutes (2014) (with Flynn as Rootbeer)


  • "Life Goes On" (2003)
  • "Originalz" (2003)
  • "Is Clueless" (2003)
  • "Nothing Without You" b/w "Sleeping Giants" (2004)
  • "The Bomb" (2011)
  • "Champagne on My Shoes" (2014)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • Freedom of Soul - "Not This Record" from The Second Comin (1993)
  • LPG - "Judge Not" from The Earth Worm (1995)
  • Flynn - "Spanish Harlem" from Louder (1998)
  • Flipside - "Sunny Days" (1999)
  • Knowdaverbs - "Call of the Dung Beetle" from The Syllabus (1999)
  • MG! The Visionary - "Scared As..." from Transparemcee (2000)
  • PAX217 - "Gratitude" from Twoseventeen (2000)
  • Soul-Junk - "Sea Monsters and Gargoyles" from 1956 (2000)
  • .rod laver - "All Around America" from Trying Not to Try (2000)
  • Murs - "The Two Step" (2000)
  • 4th Avenue Jones - "Truth or Dare" from No Plan B (2000)
  • DJ Maj - "Golden Motorcycle" from Wax Museum: the Mixtape (2000)
  • DJ Maj - "Deception" from Full Plates: Mixtape 002 (2001)
  • Flynn - "Endless Maze" from Burnt Out (2001)
  • Royal Ruckus - "Pocket Lint", "Jon&Stacie", "A Las Chicas", "Easily Forgotten" and "Let's Start a Boy Band" from Pocket Lint & Spare Change (2001)
  • Tapwater - "Debris", "Passion" and "The White Man" from Two Forty Five (2001)
  • Redcloud - "The Pigeon John Song" from Is This Thing On? (2002)
  • Sharlok Poems - "Driven by Facts" from Left (2002)
  • KJ-52 - "Revenge of the Nerds" from Collaborations (2002)
  • Future Shock - "Paperweights" from The Art of Xenos: Entertaining Aliens (2002)
  • DJ Maj - "God Music" from The Ringleader: Mixtape Volume III (2003)
  • 4th Avenue Jones - "U Rockin'" from Hiprocksoul (2003)
  • The Grouch & Eligh - "No More Greener Grass" from No More Greener Grasses (2003)
  • Adventure Time - "Whetting Whistles" from Dreams of Water Themes (2003)
  • Crankcase - "The Next Big Thing" (2003)
  • Luke Geraty - "Brandon's Folly" and "Pandemonium" from It's Cold Out Here (2003)
  • Mars Ill - "Planes and Trains" from Backbreakanomics (2003)
  • Kiz Charizmatic - "The Hype, The Hustle" from Rawthentic (2003)
  • Sup the Chemist - "Reaching" from Eargasmic Arrangements (2003)
  • Joey the Jerk - "Same Dark Sweater" from Average Joe (2004)
  • KJ-52 - "All Around the World" from 7th Avenue (2004)
  • .rod laver - "The Official Pigeon John Guest Appearance" from The Dialogue: Rudolph Wayne Vs. The Man (2004)
  • Shape Shifters - "Little Life" from Was Here (2004)
  • Neila - "Rules" from For Whom the Bells Crow (2004)
  • Braille - "It Won't Last" from Shades of Grey (2004)
  • Fat Jack - "Pay Back" from Cater to the DJ Vol. 2 (2004)
  • Apsci - "Stompin'" from Thanks for Asking (2005)
  • Blackalicious - "Side to Side" from The Craft (2005)
  • Bobby Bishop - "Show Love" from Government Name (2005)
  • Cheap Cologne - "Barry Manilow Is Alive and Well" from Something Random (2005)
  • Opio - "Granite Earth" from Triangulation Station (2005)
  • Project Blowed - "The People" from 10th Anniversary (2005)
  • Othello - "Shallow" from Alive at the Assembly Line (2006)
  • JRemy - "You Don't Know Me" from Backwoods Legend (2006)
  • Lightheaded - "Surprise Cypher" from Wrong Way (2006)
  • KJ-52 - "Revenge of the Nerds (Horns A Plenty Remix)" from Remixed (2006)
  • Lyrics Born - "I'm Just Raw (remix)" from Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live! (2006)
  • Wordburglar - "Breeze" from Burglaritis (2006)
  • Mils - "Upside Down" from The And Album (2006)
  • Cookbook & Uno Mas - "Take Control" from While They Slept (2006)
  • Daedelus - "Something Bells" from Something Bells EP (2006)
  • 4th Avenue Jones - "Zoom" from Hip Hope Hits 2006 (2006)
  • Acid Reign - "Never Fold" from Time and Change (2006)
  • Grits - "Open Bar" and "You Said" from Redemption (2006)
  • Grayskul - "Dance the Frantic" from Bloody Radio (2007)
  • Heath McNease - "Love Me" from The Heath McNease Fan Club Meets Tonight (2007)
  • Toca - "Liar" and "Hearts and Gold" from Toca (2007)
  • DJ Stibs - "WildNights" from ...And I Love Her (2007)
  • Mr. J. Medeiros - "Money" from Of Gods and Girls (2007)
  • Hi-Fidel & DJ Crucial - "Small Victories" from FF Express: The Company of Wolves (2007)
  • Kruse - "Daydreaming" from True Stories (2007)
  • Mr. J. Medieros - "Money" from Of Gods and Girls (2007)
  • Redcloud - "Death of a Salesman" and "Tapatio" from Hawthorne's Most Wanted (2007)
  • The Remnant - "Catch Your Breath" and "The Salute" from PB&J: Players, Babes and Jesus (2008)
  • Josh Martinez - "Beerhunger Lovestory" from The World Famous Sex Buffet (2008)
  • Yoni - "Fly" from End of an Era (2008)
  • The Gigantics - "Memory Loss" from Die Already (2008)
  • Grits - "Beautiful Morning" from Reiterate (2008)
  • General Elektriks - "Crush" (2009)
  • Peter Daily - "Bright Lights Remix" from The 9th. Street Sessions EP (2009)
  • Scout Da Psalmist - "Change Is Gonna Come" from Emceeing Again (2009)
  • Soulico - "S.O.S." from Exotic on the Speaker (2009)
  • The Grouch & Eligh - "All In" from Say G&E! (2009)
  • Eligh & Jo Wilkinson - "Honor Me" and "Safe" from On Sacred Ground: Mother & Son (2009)
  • Sapient - "Shoot for the Ground" from Barrels for Feathers (2010)
  • Factor - "They Don't Know" from Lawson Graham (2010)
  • Eligh - "Whirlwind" from Grey Crow (2010)
  • Heath McNease - "American Idle" from The Gun Show (2010)
  • CookBook & UNO Mas - "Where Ya Been All My Life" from C&U Music Factory (2010)
  • C2C - "Because of You" from Tetra (2012)
  • Chantal Claret - "Light It Up" from The One, The Only... (2012)
  • RationaL - "Dream On" (feat. Mr. J. Medeiros) from The BirthWrite LP (2012)
  • Dumbfoundead - "Freedumb" from Old Boy Jon (2013)
  • Blu & Cookbook - "Popeye" from Yes (2013)
  • Sleep - "Truth Serum" from Oregon Failure (2014)
  • The Grouch & Eligh - "Run" from The Tortoise and the Crow (2014)


  1. ^ Kettmann, Matt (September 20, 2010). "Pigeon John". Santa Barbara Independent. 
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Dan (21 February 2008). "Hip-hop star Pigeon John at Whiskey Dick's on Friday". Tahoe Daily Tribune. 
  3. ^ Langhoff, Josh (10 March 2011). "Pigeon John: Dragon Slayer". PopMatters. 
  4. ^ Anti (11 January 2007). "LAist Interview: Pigeon John". LAist. Retrieved 1 December 2007. 
  5. ^ Anti (21 January 2008). "Jordan, Jesse, Go!: Conventions". 
  6. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). "Brainwash Projects". Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 105. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  7. ^ "the rise and fall of the BRAINWASH PROJECTS". Published by Jackson Rubio. Available through the Internet Archive.
  8. ^ Jones, Justin W. (1 March 1999). "Brainwash Projects : The Rise and Fall of". The Phantom Tollbooth. 
  9. ^ "Mired mp3 Download page". 7 October 1999. Archived from the original on 7 October 1999. 
  10. ^ "Sweetdisaster Newsblog Archives". Sweetdisaster. 12 May 2005. 
  11. ^ Sullivan, Kate (December 6, 2006). "L.A. Music '06: Welcome to Indie Land: Retro-Futuristic Postmodern House Party". LA Weekly. 
  12. ^ (June 8, 2006) LA Weekly.
  13. ^ Entertainment Weekly. September 2006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ (October 2006). VIBE Magazine.
  15. ^ I.G.O.D. (25 August 2010). "Pigeon John Will Slay Some Dragons This October". the9elements. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  16. ^ http://pgamusic.com/Artist.aspx?ArtistID=88
  17. ^ Oct 6th 2010 7:15PM by Alvin Blanco Comments (6 October 2010). "Pigeon John Music Showcased in Volkswagen Ad". The Boombox. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Important Announcement | Treasures". Iamatreasure.com. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  19. ^ "Album Review: Dragon Slayer By Pigeon John « Christian Rock 20". Thechristianrock20.com. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "News - Q&A: Pigeon John (plus podcast!)". FILTER Magazine. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 

External links[edit]