In 2006, hip-hop was turned on its head by the arrival of Chicago's Kenny Dennis, a proudly married, mustachioed and middle-aged rapper repping no-nonsense lyrics and a salt-of-the-earth swagger. This unlikely hero delivered a handful of classics via the album, Dennehy, and then disappeared. But in 2011, Kenny's cult of fans were given a gift: the long-lost 1993 LP There's a Situation on the Homefront from his theretofore unheard boom-bap crew Tha Grimm Teachaz. (Kenny was then known as KDz, Tha Killa Deacon. The group was briefly signed to Jive Records.)
As it turned out, that gift was twofold. Inspired by the Anticon-backed release of that unearthed gem, Kenny has teamed up with producers Jel and Odd Nosdam to make a brand new record, a reintroduction of sorts, dubbed the Kenny Dennis EP. The freshly recorded bangers include: "Rib Tips," which not only sets the record straight on the Teachaz' early demise but pays tribute to Kenny's hard-working little brother Tanya; "Don't Blame Steve," a plea for forgiveness for Cubs fan Steve Bartman, who altered baseball playoff history in 2003 when he knocked a foul ball out of a Chicago outfielder's grasp; "Kenny Dennis," in which our host shows off his straight-shooting ideals, bragging about shushing rude kids on trains and helping out stranded motorists; and "Flat Pop," a low key fast rap about sausages, sports and soda.
The EP also sports two vintage Teachaz-era songs, including the roughneck boast "Top That" and his shockingly blunt Shaquille O'Neal diss, "Shazam." (The basketball giant made fun of his mustache at a showcase for their mutual record label back in the day.) Of course, Kenny holds few grudges in 2012. He's got his wife Jueles. He's got his brother Tanya. He's got his buds, his Bears, his Bulls and his bratwurst. For Kenny Dennis, that's all he needs.
* download card included with all vinyl orders of this release. vinyl pressing limited to 500 copies. CD version includes exclusive bonus tracks.