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Kenny Dope


Kenny Dope Bio

Legendry Masters At Work producer.

Kenny “DOPE” Gonzalez is one of the most prolific artists of the modern music age. The four time Grammy nominated musical genius has been entertaining and astounding the masses alike with his fusions of house, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, funk & soul, reggae, alternative pop and broken beats for 20 years. Known as a living encyclopedia of beats and tagged with the nickname “DEBO” by his closest friends, Kenny is a purveyor of sonic masterpieces.

In 1990, appropriately dubbed “MASTERS AT WORK”, Kenny “DOPE” Gonzalez and Little Louie Vega began a creative partnership. As the MAW sound became prominent and pervasive in the clubs, they became more sought after by artists and labels, eventually remixing artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Daft Punk, Barbara Tucker, India, Luther Vandross, BeBe Winans, George Benson, and Tito Puente. Others included Stephanie Mills, James Ingram, Eddie Palmaieri, Debbie Gibson, Bjork, Dee-Lite, Soul ll Soul, Donna Summers, Puppah Nas-T, and many-many more.

In this time frame, not only did Kenny collaborate with Louie on MAW projects. He was also solely producing and remixing tracks in the hip-hop and reggae scene. “Get Up” (Clap Your Hands), and “The Madd Racket” were huge club tracks and still are in the scene today. In the early 90’s Kenny produced the “Unreleased Project” featuring Shaggy on the “Gunshot” track. During this time Kenny also release tracks on Strictly Rhythm, Freeze, Nervous, Henry Street Records, and TNT under different aliases.

Kenny worked on collaborative work with Vega aside from work on his own solo endeavours. MAW’s Nuyorican Soul was born in 1993. Titled after their heritage (Puerto Rican), residence (New York City), and style of music (Soul). Nuyorican soul released its first single “The Nervous Track” on Nervous Records that year. “The Nervous Track” was the first broken beat record. This is where Kenny got to showcase the syncopated beat style he developed earlier. The second single “Mind Fluid“ was released in 1996 also on Nervous Records. The Nuyorican Soul album was completed and signed by music maestro Gilles Peterson. Every aspect of the albums creation had Kenny’s unerringly creative imprint written all over it. The album marked a particularly important moment, and the albums release in 1997 marked Kenny Dope’s transition into one of America’s most important contemporary producers.

Master at Work have been labelled “The most revolutionary house production team of the 90’s”, so imitated that their innovations are now cliché’s. Latin percussion, joyous vocals, and natural drumbeats are MAW trademarks levitating dance floors with the infectious feeling of ecstasy and energy. If ever there was massive dance floor filler, it was MAW’s 1997 record, “Nuyorican Soul”, and in 2002 the album, “Our Time is Coming”. with cameos by Patti Austin, James Ingram, and Stephanie Mills. It simply proves that MAW write and remix great songs that are organic and soulful. Highlights include the afrobeat-tinged MAW expensive “A Tribute to Fela”, Mills’s gospel fire on “Latin Lover,” and Roy Ayers’s glorious vibes solo on the title track.

Kenny Dopes break through as a solo artist came in 1995. One night disheartened by the music that was being released throughout the business, Kenny went home and pulled out a series of classic records. After 3 days Kenny had produced an entire album, “The Bucketheads” what he didn’t know was that this was going to be a huge turning point for him. With a plan to produce a record that was raw and fun, one track stood out, “THE BOMB (these sounds fall into my mind)”. With its driving drums, screeching sound effects and extended sample from Chicago’s “Street Player”, the song was an instant sensation. Gonzalez had gate crashed the European pop charts with his first major hit.

While production and touring accounted for most of his time, Kenny also founded Kay-Dee Records in 2003. The label came about when Scottish funk DJ legend Keb Darge came to Kenny with a challenge. After Keb heard MAW’s “The Nervous Track” he promised Kenny that he would come up with a funk version of the track. A short while later he came back to Kenny with “Nervous” by The New Mastersounds. Kay-Dee Record’s was born and the track became the first pressing on the label in 2003.

While production and touring account for most of his time, the last 2 decades Kenny Dope has had his hands full releasing literally thousands of tracks, remixing hundreds of singles, and globetrotting to DJ all over the world. Gonzalez continues to build his reputation …Whether its standing behind the control board playing to his followers, or searching for the next great re-release classic, the beat master will continue to shine as “THE” Master at Work.