Serengeti – Kenny Dennis III
Joyful Noise, 2014
Kenny Dennis returns for another chapter of his wild and crazy life. “Hot dog for lunch/ Hot dog for dinner/ Don’t need breakfast/ I ain’t no beginner,” he intones on the opening track “No Beginner.” While this simple life of hot dogs for dinner might make it seem that Dennis is settling for complacency, the third-ish proper installment in Kenny Dennis’s journey chronicles his wild ride back to fame and fortune. Of course, in the case of KDz, fame and fortune consists of touring the mall circuit and winning talent shows with his new project Perfecto—a collaboration with his quasi-mentee Ders.
On Kenny Dennis III, Kenny lives by the mantra “Win big/ Lose big/ Can’t break even/ No even stevens.” For someone who has been out of the limelight as long as Kenny has, the newfound success is as addicting as the bennies he can’t stop popping and by album’s end Kenny is on the verge of losing it all. His lovely lady Jules, O’Douls, and probably even some brats. For those uninitiated with Kenny’s saga, it’s best to start from the beginning (or at least listen to “Dennehy” which paints a pretty lifelike portrait of the man with the mustache).
On the sonic side of things, Serengeti once again enlists Odd Nosdam to craft a set of diverse beats that keep Kenny Dennis III rolling even when the record devolves into a long stretch of spoken word tracks by Anders Holm (the same Ders from Workaholics) that are hysterical when they’re broken up (as they were on The Kenny Dennis LP) but approach zone-out territory here and would be totally lost if it weren’t for the fantastic beatcraft. It’s a surprisingly subtle record for a character with an ego as big as lake Michigan, and repeat listens prove it’s a worthy installment in life of this incredibly strange character. I’m eagerly awaiting Geti’s next non-Kenny Dennis follow-up to 2012’s C.A.R., but until then, I’ll take as much KDz as I can get my hands on.