Yesterday local-bred rapper Serengeti (aka David Cohn) dropped the Kenny Dennis LP, his second album of the year and his latest entry aimed at expanding the universe of his alter ego. Kenny Dennis is a fiftysomething blue-collar Chicagoan with a thick accent and an equally thick mustache, and his fictional rap career has been a growing presence in Serengeti’s real one since ‘geti introduced him on the title track from 2006’s Dennehy.
Kenny’s become a main attraction on his own, but the year he came to life in “Dennehy” Kenny was part of a cast of characters milling about in Serengeti’s mind. Even back then Serengeti had such a strong idea for Kenny that Ben Westhoff kicked off his Chicago Reader profile of the then-up-and-coming rapper by describing the character in its zygote state:
“Kenny,” a northwest-sider with a mustache as big as Mike Ditka’s forehead, likes to lounge around the house in Zubaz pants and owns all of Brian Dennehy’s and Tom Berenger’s movies on laser disc. When he’s not playing softball with the guys he’s cruising around town looking for a decent Pontiac Fiero with a for sale sign.