Kenan Hercules is an important member of the massive, BOTB-winning hip hop collective Gwan Massive. The 31-year-old drummer/producer better known as KenoSobi is also a cog in Gwan Massive-related projects like world-fusion outfit d'Visitors and his own Gutta Melodies production team. After spending nearly a decade working on other artists’ music in his home studio, Hercules finally pushed things aside, called on Tampa MC/producer Bobby Treacherous to man the mixing board, and crafted one of 2014's best local hip hop albums, Stand For Something, which he dropped in February.
"I finally said, let me focus on me and make an album," he told CL in a recent email. "Bobby heard my cry and [helped] me focus on being an artist and not running behind the board like I usually do."
Hercules credits Treacherous with combining live drums and other live instrumentation with 808's and heavy synths while encouraging his exploration of new rhythms and unorthodox patterns. And Stand For Something gets some help from several of Tampa hip hop's biggest names, too.
Revered MCs Jinx, Mike Mass, and Keith Elite all make appearances,on the 16-track LP, as do other players, like Tribal Style's Mugabe Tenn and The Apes' Monica Delegado (who designed the album art). Treacherous also makes a few appearances ("Come To Da Spot," "Can't Be"), but his greatest contribution is his production capabilities and his knack for putting together a seamless listen repping the quality coming out of the Bay area. "He heard my cry," Hercules said of Bobby T, "and said he could bring my crazy idea to life."
Pick up a copy of Stand For Something at this weekend’s album release party, or download it for a low fee at kenosobi.bandcamp.com. You can also take a listen below.
DETAILS: KenoSobi Album Release Party featuring Gwan Massive plus The Villanz, Aja Lorraine, Jinx, The Rukus, Breakdown, O.P. Supa and Wally Clark, Fri., May 16, 9 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $7 general ($15 admission includes a copy of the album).