You’ve seen his name on the Block Party poster and you’ve definitely heard his production. It’s time to get to know Kenny Beats.
Greenwich, Connecticut would not seem to be the typical brewing ground for rap’s “prodigal son.” Kenneth Blume III, better known by his stage name Kenny Beats, is proof that is an untrue assumption. Beats is best known for is his work with rap icons such as Rico Nasty, JPEGMAFIA, and Vince Staples.
Long gone are Beat’s EDM days. Nowadays, Beats produces rap, and his signature “Whoa, Kenny!” producer tag has become infamous among fans. Beats isn’t your average producer; he views collaboration as a conversation between the artist and himself; to put it simply — he isn’t trying to sell you a beat. It’s this conversationalist mentality that’s led to some of the most creative albums in rap. Beats worked alongside icon Vince Staples to produce the Long Beach rapper’s much buzzed about FM!, which ranged from Bay Area-tinged beats (“Outside”) to tracks that make you want to party on the beach (“FUN!’”). Further, he’s part of the genius behind up-and-coming rapper (and fellow Block Party artist) Rico Nasty’s distinct metal-tinged style. Beats has produced hits such as “Trust Issues” and “Smack A B***h”, and is currently producing her upcoming project Anger Management (he’s also one of her best friends). He’s also worked with KEY!, Freddie Gribbs, ALLBLACK, 03 Greedo, and 10k Caash, among others.
Standing at 6’7”, Kenny looks more like a NBA player than a producer, and has the drive of one. He dedicates his life to his work; in 2018, he worked on over 100 songs. Kenny doesn’t only supplie the beats — he works with the artist throughout the entire process, from recording to mixing and mastering. Beats has been referred to as rap’s “best studio therapist” as he’s not just a producer to these artists, but a friend and a confidant. He prides himself on the ability to not work for the artist, but cultivate with them. And the result — some of the most inventive rap to hit the scene.
Live shows by him are few and far between, which means Syracuse is extra lucky that he’s making his way up North to perform at this year’s Block Party. Don’t know where to start with Kenny? I’d recommend his multitude of Rico Nasty collaborations such as “Sandy” or “Puff Daddy” by JPEGMAFIA. It’ll only take one listen for you to understand what Kenny Beats is about.
By Mackenzie Glaubitz