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Should you ask him what he does for a living, he'll answer that he's unemployed.
April 11, 2012 7:06 PM   Subscribe

David Cohn, AKA Serengeti, has been described as "the quirkiest, deepest rapper", and "a writer who happens to rap". He has put out several albums but has encountered virtually no commercial success whatsoever, despite some raw works on the topics of absentee fathers, heroin, and a fictitious UFC fighter. Chief among his creations is alter-ego Kenny Dennis, with origins in what has become his most famous track, "Dennehy". Kenny is a Chicago sports superfan with a mustache "the size of Mike Ditka's forehead" who loves actor Brian Dennehy, O'Douls, brats, and chops, 'sconsin, the Sears Tower, and his wife Jules, and who passionately defends Steve Bartman.

In an effort to further expand upon why a forty-something year-old white Southsider like Kenny would have any business rapping, Serengeti has explained a bit in interviews, but has spent much more time and effort constructing an elaborate backstory of an alter-ego of an alter-ego, in which Kenny was once KDz, a part of a early 90's hip-hop act known as "Tha Grimm Teachaz". The Teachaz were once on the verge of greatness with their single "I Getz", only to be upstaged by other breakout acts in '93, and Shaq, who took some shots at KDz's mustache and in turn got some shots back from the Teachaz on "Grimm Savyas" and later "Shazam", from the latest iteration in Kenny's story, 2012's Kenny Dennis EP. Ultimately, they were dropped by Jive Records and their album, "There's a Situation on the Homefront", was never released, until Kenny's younger brother Tanya found and distributed it in 2010. This further deepened the mysteries that had just been revealed in another album almost entirely devoted to Kenny, "Conversations With Kenny/Legacy of Lee", in which he is on the rocks with the wife, starts abusing Bud Light and hanging out at hip-hop shows with an aspiring rapper named Lee (who sells crack from his laundromat), and they debate dreams and reality.
posted by rollbiz (27 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bonus: This cracks me the fuck up every time. One of the best interludes ever.
posted by rollbiz at 7:10 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have been listening to the Grimm Teachaz album all week, and it's awesome. It's an uncanny parody/homage to early '90s hip hop.
posted by chrchr at 7:20 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


What always cracks me up is his first verse on "I Getz," especially the way he says "Frere Jacques."
posted by alexoscar at 7:23 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am lovin this. THANK YOU!
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:29 PM on April 11, 2012


not to mention the Bulls, White Sox, Blackhawks and da Bears.

These are my teams, yes.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:41 PM on April 11, 2012


This is awesome. Thanks.
posted by googly at 7:42 PM on April 11, 2012


I love this so much. Thanks for posting.
posted by littlerobothead at 7:49 PM on April 11, 2012


and who passionately defends Steve Bartman

Like any Sox fan would.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:50 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love "Dennehy," but I've never been able to get past the whole O'Douls thing. I get drinking an O'Douls or two as a substitute if you have to or whatever, but the unrelenting O'Douls drinking is hard to buy as anything other than a lazy solution to the issue of having to rhyme to Bulls.
posted by jimmysmits at 8:08 PM on April 11, 2012


This guy is seriously great.
posted by mekanic at 8:17 PM on April 11, 2012


Ok, long ears was interesting. I was about to write the guy off, but he's got a lil somethin.
posted by cashman at 9:33 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ouch. Some white people can rap but this is emphatically not one of them. I think the 7.8 from Pitchfork pretty much says it all here.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:35 PM on April 11, 2012


I'm a few tracks into There's a Situation on the Homefront and my mind is expanded. (Is this the first hip-hop period piece?)

I wish to subscribe to the newsletter. But there's not much guidance to the discography. Where to start? Family & Friends?
posted by Trurl at 9:43 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ouch. Some white people can rap but this is emphatically not one of them. I think the 7.8 from Pitchfork pretty much says it all here.

Hah!
posted by flippant at 9:57 PM on April 11, 2012


He actually *can* rap. As KDz in Grimm Teachaz, he raps very well. His bad rapping is a stylistic choice.
posted by chrchr at 10:24 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for more from Serengeti. I only know him for his work with Polyphonic, of which my favorite track is Sunrise, the final track on the album "Dont Give Up."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:30 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get it. His "real" stuff is good, but I really don't understand the Kenny character or the terrible rap style that goes along with it.

"Dennehy" had something going for it, until it kept on past the two minute mark. At that point, it just became annoying.
posted by asnider at 10:33 PM on April 11, 2012


I wish to subscribe to the newsletter. But there's not much guidance to the discography. Where to start? Family & Friends?

Honestly, he's terrible at promoting his stuff and making it accessible. It was hard to pull together even half of my favorite stuff due to lack of availability, press, etc.

Start with whatever you can find. Family and Friends is a great spot for recent non-Kenny Dennis stuff. It's all totally all over the place, but if you give it some time you'll figure out if it's your bag or not, I'm guessing...
posted by rollbiz at 11:06 PM on April 11, 2012


The Grimm Teachaz sound is actually pretty spot on for the time period. It sounds a lot like old Wu-Tang, which I assume is intentional. KDZ does a pretty good Method Man.

His stuff as Serengeti is pretty meh though.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 5:16 AM on April 12, 2012


Honestly, he's terrible at promoting his stuff and making it accessible. It was hard to pull together even half of my favorite stuff due to lack of availability, press, etc.

It looks like his whole discography is on Spotify.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:24 AM on April 12, 2012


Can't count the number of times I've glided around the roller rink to the sweet, sweet sounds of "Dennehey." Great track.
posted by pts at 7:01 AM on April 12, 2012


Ouch. I'm generally about as far divorced from this sort of music we don't even argue about custody anymore, and I got a much better deal with my own absent father than the one presented in the song, but Long Ears really, really resonated.
posted by Phalene at 11:09 AM on April 12, 2012


rollbiz: Honestly, he's terrible at promoting his stuff and making it accessible

Indeed. He seems to work with a number of small labels. The biggest one yet is Anticon, and that was for Terradactyl in 2009 and Friends&Family in 2011. I wanted to buy stuff from Audio8, but their website is just a pretty text picture, and I don't like paying as much or more than a new album for second-hand back-catalog stuff.

Amusingly, Google still links to some now un-linked Audio 8 pages, but the links from there aren't all intact. Arglebargle.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:38 PM on April 12, 2012


Ouch. Some white people can rap but this is emphatically not one of them. I think the 7.8 from Pitchfork pretty much says it all here.

The gentleman is black, sir.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:39 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


très colbert
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:48 PM on April 14, 2012


1 posts tagged with dennehy.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:50 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just making another post for this for some reason. Love it. Serengeti is a pretty good rapper but Kenny Dennis is a brilliant creation.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:25 PM on April 17, 2012


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