Arts and Entertainment Editor
Imagine this: a pantsless comedian dances, bobbing up and down with his left hand firmly on the mic and his right in the air as a producer looks into the booth in horror.
Only something like this viral moment would happen to EDM (electronic dance music) turned hip-hop producer Kenny Beats. This happened on Beats’ own collaborative show with the group Don’t Over Think S*** known as The Cave. After a strong first season growing its cult fanbase, Kenny begins his second season of the show Friday, October 18, with Danny Brown.
I think the thing that makes The Cave such a special show is that you get to see a different side of an artist when they’re making music, which is usually a private thing when being recorded. By creating a show where the beat-making and banter is so heavily documented, I believe it could influence others to try their hand at writing music or beat-making. When it comes down to it, as an avid hip-hop fan myself, I really enjoyed watching and waiting to see who was coming on the show every Friday. I just can’t wait to watch what season two has in store for other fans of the show.
Kenneth Charles Blume III (aka Kenny Beats) is a Connecticut native born on May 10, 1991. He first attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, which led him to an uncredited internship with record label Cinematic Music Group. This internship allowed him to get his feet in the water producing for current-day hard hitters from the label TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment), such as Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. All of that hard work made him an upcoming producer for the rap scene. His most notable collaborative works to date are Vince Staples’ “FM!”, Rico Nasty’s “Anger Management,” and KEY!’s “777.” After these releases he became the sought-after producer he is now in the hip-hop realm.
The Cave was created earlier this year. The show’s first episode debuted on March 1, 2019, with guest JPEGMAFIA. The show’s format begins with Kenny bringing on a different rap artist each episode (such as Freddie Gibbs, Rico Nasty and Lil Yatchy, to name a few) and having them step up to the mic to deliver a 16 to 32 bar freestyle or verse. The artist raps over a custom instrumental, tailored to whatever they want, that Kenny would make within 10 mins of their wish. In episode six Crip/Rapper Vince Staples said, “I want something toxic, some 808s, no heartbreak at all, black-on-everything crime.” Somehow, Kenny pulled through with mechanical trap high hats, prominent bells and subtle darkened yells. Even after Staples and his girlfriend flashed gang signs throughout the entire video and poked fun at Kenny, this interaction garnered laughs on both sides.
When talking about this show, I can’t mention laughs without mentioning the biggest episode and song to come out of the first season. What I am referring to is episode five with comedian and (barely) rapper Zach Fox, who made it his mission to make everyone slightly uncomfortable as he put Kenny through a series of antics. This is something I believe you need to watch for yourself. However, for a glimpse into the episode, Fox, with his pants around his ankles and wearing a 90’s jacket, a top hat and sunglasses confidently rapped, “I’ma dip my balls into some Thousand Island dressin’, ‘Cause I got depression.” After this hot mess of an episode was released, it got over 3.7 million views. Due to the virality of Fox’s and Kenny’s interaction, they turned Fox’s freestyle into a fully-fledged song. To show that they weren’t making a joke out of mental illness they donated one-fourth of the song’s proceeds to the LGBT charity The Trevor Project (though posts have been removed at the time this was written).
Joseph Guzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org