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Saying that Serengeti is like no other artist in the rap game is ignoring the point that he is like no one else in the world of music. Plus, in a way, Serengeti ain't even like Serengeti. He's a rapper who assumes the persona of "Kenny Dennis," a Bears fan with a Ditka mustache plus a Chicago-sized love of brauts. Then there's his friend "Ders," played on the album by Workaholics cast member Anders Holm. This odd concept has been floated for multiple critically lauded left-field hip-hop albums, and none of that love springs from pretentiousness, because as Kenny Dennis III displays, this concept is even more fruitful than it is freaky. Here, Kenny and Ders set out to form a techno-pop group called Perfecto, and the results are a greasy-fried kind of depressing that stinks of denim, leather, grease, and smokes. Still, this trucker hat-wearing disaster isn't about to vote against his interest unless it's funky. "No Beginner" is barely able to get "Hot dog for lunch, hot dog for dinner" out of its fatty throat without a little phlegm, but that artery-clogging mantra sticks in the head as much as whatever DJ Mustard or Mike WiLL Made It are putting up the charts. "Buddy Guy" should come with a comma in its title as it uses its hometown bluesman's name to dress down the players ("Hey there buddy, guy/You should take a shower buddy, guy"), while "Lose Big" is an immaculately structured song, building with the drama of a Led Zeppelin epic, even when it's a boom-bap tale of a good breakfast at the diner. This convoluted concept continues to be executed so well that it almost enters the realm of an approachable album, but III is still an acquired taste among Serengeti's "Kenny" LPs because it's the slowest, and more than any of the earlier releases, it draws upon Chicago blues and other American roots music for its beats. The Bears may have had a bad 2014, but Kenny will be all right, because that scrappy weirdo always seems to be all right. Awesome, even.
|Label:||Joyful Noise Records|