In The Mix: Kenny Dope's Pool Party
With the summer just a few weeks away, artists across a variety of genres continue to release hits they hope might be the “song of the summer”. Throughout the past month, we’ve seen a number of potential nominees. As spring pushes on and the weather continues to get better, we take a look at a live DJ set located in Miami from a producer no stranger to spinning records.
Single of the Week: Nearly three months after releasing the widely successful “God’s Plan”, Drake is back with another hit. On April 6th, the Canadian rapper released a new catchy track called “Nice For What”. The track is an upbeat hip-hop tune sampled from a number of different songs from late 90s/early 2000s artists like Lauryn Hill and Big Tymers.
Drake has likely given us the number one song of the summer as it has already made its way to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list, surpassing “God’s Plan” which currently sits at number two. The catchiness and tempo of the track make it perfect for any summer playlist and shows signs of hope for Drake’s upcoming album, Scorpion, which is set to release in June of 2018.
Music Videos of the Week:
Ariana Grande – “No More Tears Left to Cry”: Ariana Grande has finally emerged in 2018 just days before performing live at Coachella. “No Tears Left to Cry” is an upbeat dance track with shades of hip-hop. Grande transitions between singing in her impressive, frequently pitch-changing voice and short 90s-style rap verses. The video for the track is creatively spectacular. With a collection of trippy visuals and gravity-defying dancing, the video for the song is an aesthetic masterpiece. The track is an impressive combination of catchy rap verses and a showcase of the depth of Grande’s voice. The song and video are both stunning, proving the Ariana Grande is back.
Flatbush Zombies ft. Joey Bada$$ – Vacation: The Flatbush Zombies (Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliott) made waves in the hip-hop industry back in 2016 when they released their first studio album 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Over two years later, the zombies are back with the release of their new album Vacation In Hell. “Vacation”, featuring fellow New York rapper Joey Bada$$, a track made for summer vibes has finally released an accompanying video. The track features verses from Erick, Joey, and Meech as well as Juice producing one of the best hooks of any Flatbush track. The concept behind the video is the ideal vacation. The video, featured with witty subtitles describing lyrics in the track, alternates between showing Erick and Juice exploring a tropical island via Jeep and Meech and Joey enjoying a lavish yacht. The video also features multiple women covered head-to-toe in glitter, identical to the two women that are shown on the album’s cover art. Both the track and its video will make you want to drop what you’re doing and book a vacation of your own.
Te Boté (Remix) – Casper, Nio García, Darell, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, Ozuna: A few weeks ago, Casper, Nio García, and Darell released a remix of their original track “Te Boté featuring stars Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, and Ozuna. Shortly after, the group released a video for the remix showing all six artists in a rap-style video. The seven-minute long video gives each artist their own share of screen time as they each are shown singing their respective verses. Each verse shows a new artist, in front of different colored fluorescent lights, adding their own flare to the track. The track features a beat similar to that of French Montana’s “Unforgettable” with each artist adding the title, “Te Boté (You Bounce), in each of their verses. The video is a visibly pleasing addition to the catchy song as it allows each artist to shine in their own way, each with a different color accompanying them.
Each year, Nervous Records holds a music extravaganza in Miami called the Nervous Records Pool Party. The week of music showcases some of the top house DJs in the country who have produced tracks through Nervous Records. This year’s pool party featured prominent DJs like Cassy, Mike Nervous, and Kenny Dope.
Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, a 47-year old producer from Brooklyn, New York has been spinning records since the mid-1980s. A former member of Brooklyn house music group Master at Work, Dope began producing house beats from an early age. Most of his production features house music centered around heavy drum beats and up-tempo rhythms. He first teamed up with Nervous Records in 2014 with the release of Kenny Dope’s Nervous House Producer Pack, which resulted in him receiving an invitation to the pool party.
For much of the earlier part of Dope’s hour-long set, he samples Ca$h Out’s “Hold Up” laid over a traditional house beat. Dope is no stranger to samples, as he uses a variety of clips from music from the past three decades. Much of his work features sounds similar to the ones he showcases at Nervous Records Pool Party. Using samples and sounds from hip-hop music combined with old-school and traditional house beats, Dope has found a unique sound even 30 years after he began making beats.
As Dope’s set moves along, he focuses more on the dance aspect of his beats leaving behind his hip-hop samples. Along with some assistance from his table-side dancer, Kenny Dope keeps the Miami crowd moving throughout the entire set. His beats are perfectly catered to house fans as they stick to the simple house beats utilizing a variety of drum beats, often alternating between high hats and snares.
The later portion of Dope’s set takes the sound in a whole new direction. Introducing new piercing synths like catchy piano riffs and modern electronic sounds, Dope finishes his set with beats suited more for the modern house fan. From start to finish, Dope has the crowd dancing and grooving to his beats.
With his set at the Nervous Records Pool Party, Kenny Dope has shown that he’s still got it. With no official releases since 2011, Dope’s set showcases the traditional and modern talents of the DJ as he combines sounds borrowed from the late 80s up through present day. Although Dope is on the older side, he has found a way to keep audiences entertained for nearly 30 years. With his unique beats, Kenny Dope’s talent continues to flourish and the pool party showed a modern audience the natural skill of the 47-year old.