(Video) RIP Kenny Rogers. Bet you didn’t know Kenny had beats…
RIP Kenny Rogers. He’ll go down in history for a number of reasons. A golden voice. One of America’s pop music icons (yes, The Gambler is ICONIC). An incredible run as a music/food entrepreneur (respect). He also possesses an upper-echelon hair/beard combo, both of which truly standout in their class, but TOGETHER? A league of their own. Some of the finest hair a head has ever donned. And seeing this LP cover, casually majestic mane & rusty grey beard prominently displayed, while sifting through record bins would always make me smile while on a digging mission.
Musically, this particular record is special not so much because of the actual songs in their entirety but because this is one of the greatest “free bin” DJ beat records of all time. I remember starting out digging in the late 90s & talking to the OGs about breaks & samples & they were like “yo don’t sleep on KENNY” & I was like yeah right & then one day I saw it in a free bin & was like okay well I could just toss it out if it was “a trap” as my man Gordski used to call records that looked like they should have something good on them but actually don’t (you know the ones I’m talking about). Anyway, it turned out that it had (by my count) 3 dope breaks/beats on it. I found another one the next week sitting on the side of Barrington St, and saw it every week of my life after that (I’m not even joking… maybe it wasn’t just me who didn’t like the entire songs with all due respect to the man). I took the 2nd copy home & marked them up to double up. I’d cut & extend the breaks & people would ask “what’s that??” & then I would let the songs continue to where it really went “full Kenny” and they’d be like “damn this is not what I expected”. It was an early lesson in my digging days of “not judging a book by it’s cover”. There are dope beats to be found everywhere.
But I’ll be damned if you can’t judge this to be one fantastic LP cover. And every time I saw it, every week, it would carry with it the spirit of digging that still lives with me to this day. Still looking in unsuspecting places and still looking for the perfect beat. And there he was, “KENNY”, there to tell me, again, “keep going”. ✌🏻