Serengeti has followed up one of 2011's most moving records, Family and Friends, with the absurdist tale of Kenny Dennis. Written from the perspective of Serengeti's 45-year-old alter ego, a bratwurst-gorging, sports-crazed Chicagoan, the Kenny Dennis EP is well-crafted hilarious escapism. On "Rib Tips," Kenny tells the story of his hard-working younger brother, Tanya, jumping out of birthday cakes and dancing for gentlemen in little shorts with an umbrella. He also emphatically points out that "Tanya had to make a living...you can't judge Tanya!"
Perhaps the greatest character trait of the straight-shooting Kenny is his passion for O'Douls, which he drinks for the love of its taste, not because of any alcohol problems. The knee-slapping "Shazam" is Kenny's fiery diss track to Shaquille O'Neal over an onstage slight from 1993. Allegedly Shaq, at the time signed to the same label housing Kenny's group tha Grimm Teachaz, made fun of Kenny's mustache at a Jive Records showcase. Whether or not this happened is irrelevant in the context of the diss track, replete with ’90s basketball references, surfacing two decades after the incident.
The Los Angeles transplant Serengeti is a multifaceted dude, as evidenced by this bizarre character study and his side project s/s/s (alongside Sufjan Stevens and Son Lux), which is set to drop later this month. The stellar production on Kenny Dennis comes courtesy of Anticon's Jel and Odd Nosdam who add shimmering layers to the shits and giggles.
- Album: Kenny Dennis
- Artist: Serengeti
- Label: Anticon
- Songs: (1) Rib Tips (2) Don't Blame Steve (3) Shazam (4) Top That (5) Kenny Dennis (6) Flat Pop