A Salute To Kenny Lou of Screwball

This is the worst news I’ve heard in a long time – K.L. from Kamakazee/Screwball has passed away after an asthma attack. Kenny Lou might have seemed like “the other guy” from Screwball, but he was really the heart of the crew since the beginning. When they finally dropped the Y2K album in 2000 after years in the trenches and numerous delays, the rest of the team seemed to get the most attention. Hostyle was pushed into the spotlight with the “H.O.S.T.Y.L.E.” single, Poet had “F.A.Y.B.A.N.” and Kyron caused a media shit-storm with “I Shot Rudy”. K.L.’s solo joint on the LP – “Communications” – featured EZ Elpee on the beat and Killa Sha on the hook, but he seemed content to maintain his position as a true team-player. When things went sour within the group, he was the dude who had the heart to step-up to the plate and deal with it on the track “Loyalty”, as Jerry from Hydra explains:

Jerry Famolari: When we were on Tommy Boy, there were situations that created an uneasiness within the group. Tommy Boy was basically trying to divide and conquer. We had a Screwball package and our thing was we’re gonna do Screwball as the group, then there would be Poet’s solo album, Hostyle’s solo album, Kamakazee – which was KL and Kyron – and then there would be Kyron’s solo album and KL’s solo album. We were looking to get the most out of the group. The first guy we started working on was Hostyle. So we had about four records and we were trying to get additional money so we went and started showing Hostyle’s demo. Tommy Boy had the first look, so it was like, ‘Anything you guys do, let us see it before you guys shop it around’. We played them ‘H.O.S.T.Y.L.E.’ and they went crazy for that record, so they wanted to make it the single for the Screwball album. There was another record that we didn’t put on there because of that, so we took that off and it started creating a little uneasiness within the group. Every group has a front-runner, but it was tough because we put him up front for our first video. Tommy Boy saw what we saw in Hostyle. They were trying to talk to him behind our backs, certain things weren’t working out…Kyron got arrested, and things were falling apart so they were really trying to get Hostyle behind our back. He went and did some management deal with some girl, and KL and the group and I went crazy, and that’s where that song came about. Those rhymes were held-in for a while. Poet was the most bitter at him, and KL took the stab. KL just said ‘You know what? I’m just gonna unleash this, after I say this – then we’re cool’.

On the back of the Loyalty album we were told to look out for solo releases from all four members of the crew. K.L.’s was to be Da O.M.E.N., but based on what Jerry mentioned as far as how difficult it was to get the second record together, it’s tough to say how much progress was made on any of these (only Hostyle’s was ever released). Hostyle and Solo (aka Kyron) both went AWOL, but Kenny continued to rep the Kamakazee name and kept things moving with his cousin Blaq Poet. 2007 saw some new Screwball material hit the streets, and a mixtape called Screwball Classics recalled the old hits and introduced new members Scape and VS (aka Verse) to replace the “One-Eyed Maniac” and Kyron. On March 5 we heard Poet and K.L. spit live on the Squeeze ‘Em Radio 5 Year Anniversary Tenth Anniversary of The Halftime Show on 89.1 with DJ Eclipse. That might have been K.L.s final recording.

Seeing as though Unkut Dot Com has always supported the Screwball movement to the fullest, it’s only right that I compiled some of Kenny Lou’s finest work. Rest In Peace to one of the Bridge’s true veterans of street rap and a certified QB icon. And let’s not forget R.I.P. to Louis Chandler aka Screwball.

PHD feat. Kamakazee & Hostyle - “Kick That Shit & Get High”

The earliest incarnation of Screw, as The Grand P.O. brought his little cuz Kenny and his man’s Hostyle in for a freestyle session at Marley’s House of Hits. “No more public housing!”

Kamakazee - “Bridge 95″

The second-best “Bridge” remake (Trag and Imam take the title for their 2K version).

Kamakazee - “Snakes”

This might be K.L.’s finest moment. A massive beat let’s the duo do some major damage.

Kamakazee - “Spread It (Remix)”

Kamakazee feat. Nas & Cormega - “On The Real”

Jerry Famolari: They had done that with Marley before that, because that originally had Nas and there was a little bit of a situation where Nas wanted a certain amount of money, so they took him off and they put Havoc and Mega on there.

Kamakazee - “Said It Be 4″

Screwball - “Screwed Up”

The first official Screwball single, set to an insane Psycho Les track.

Screwball - “They Wanna Know Why”

Kamakazee feat. Blaq Poet - “Right Here”

His final solo single from a few years back. As Poet dedicates to Louis Chandler: “Screwball – Rest In Peace my dunn/we gon’ rep even if we get knocked down to one”.

Kamakazee - “I Hold Mine”

From last year’s Grim Team compilation.

Kamakazee feat. OffDaMental - “Taking All Bets”

One of the last Hydra singles, with Royal Flush on the flip.

Blaq Poet feat. K.L.,Teflon & J-Roc - “Mind Of A Criminal”

The second of K’s two spots on Poet’s ‘Rewind-Deja Screw’ CD.

Cormega feat. Hostyle & K.L. - “Street Conflict”

An older track with the Molemen that appears on the last Cormega album.

Nut-Rageous feat. K.L. - “What’s Poppin’”

I’ve been killing this track for months. Nut-Rageous and K.L. are a good combination like Pos K and Puba.

Screwball feat. Cormega - “Loyalty”

Hostyle gets ethered.

Screwball feat. Prince AD aka Killa Sha - “Communications”

An underrated Kenny Lou solo shot from the first LP.

Screwball - “On Point”

This was the b-side to Mega’s ‘Fuck Nas’ single. Mike Heron on the beat.

Screwball - “Seen It All”

DJ Premier delivers the goods this Screw classic. Hu-Haa!

Screwball - “Fuck Y’all Niggaz”

The final chapter in the Screw story? I doubt it.


40 Comments so far
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Nice work Robbie, I’ll link this up today.

Comment by Drew Huge 03.30.08 @

R.I.P. KL – Snakes with Marley Marl has to be in my all time fav. joints.

Comment by ED209˚ 03.30.08 @

Damn, this is some great work Robbie. Rest in eternal peace, KL. Those of us that copped those Kamakazee and Screwball 12″s with the Hydral label on ‘em and then copped the Tommy Boy album are all hurt by this news. Dude was a slept on emcee and it’s a shame that this is the only way some heads will finally realize how dope he was or how integral he was to Screwball. One,

Comment by Dart_Adams 03.30.08 @

It was the Halftime Show him and Poet came on but in any case, he didn’t seem right when he was spittin’; his breath control was all over the place.

R.I.P. KL.

Comment by PbNJz 03.30.08 @

REST IN PEACE KL!! WE WON’T FORGET YOU BROTHA!!!!

Comment by CHAZE 03.30.08 @

what cut is KL talking about where he dissed Hostyle?

Comment by Dred 03.30.08 @

Condolences and love to the Chandler family. Rest In Peace KL.

Comment by AO 03.30.08 @

R.I.P. KL A TRUE M.C.

YO ROBBIE, YOU GOT THAT ‘SPREAD IT’ ORIGINAL VERSION?
THE ONLY TIME I SAW IT WAS ON A DODGY BOOTLEG…

Comment by MISTER BLITZ 03.30.08 @

R.I.P KL, thanks for this post Robbie

Comment by Jaz 03.30.08 @

Does anyone have ‘Head On’ and the original version of ‘Spread Out’ please?

Comment by Jaz 03.30.08 @

sorry, I meant Spread It

Comment by Jaz 03.30.08 @

Rest in Peace and Paradise, KL! You kept me bouncing especially with the “I shot Rudy” joint. To see other Fallen Soldiers cut down before and during their prime, peep the music video at http://www.myspace.com/SAxlerod

Comment by SAxlerod 03.31.08 @

Sheesh, another great emcee gone. Rest In Peace Kamakazee… Respek for the post Robbie.

Comment by Disorda 03.31.08 @

Made two corrections – it was The Halftime Show that KL and Poet appeared on, and the song going at Hostyle was “Loyalty” from the second LP.

Comment by Robbie 03.31.08 @

Damn, this is messed up.

RIP to KL…dude was live!

Props for the post/dedication Robbie…I knew you’d do a dope piece on a QB veteran.

Comment by AFFEX 03.31.08 @

Oh….Man…. They Say God Always takes The Good ones Away …maybe There’s A Bigger Mission 4 KL up in heaven….My Up Most Condolences goes out to the whole ScrewBall Family….R.I.P…(Peace & Love)…Just A Fan…….!

Comment by Headquarterz 03.31.08 @

RIP K.L…..nuff respect. Salute to Screwball

Comment by KLO 03.31.08 @

Horrible news. RIP K.L. “Snakes” was on heavy rotation at my crib a few months back.

Comment by Eons 03.31.08 @

holla, hiphop heads know him :
da legendary screwball
bless you homie KL !!!
much love and peace !!
raw & unkut shit.
Rest.In.Paradise !
HIPHOP LIVES …

Comment by Greums Da God 03.31.08 @

RIP to KL man, he was apart of what was undeniably one of teh most hardcore and respected rap groups this side of Gangstarr and M.O.P., he truely will be missed all over teh world and especially amongest those who knew him, my prayers are with his family and him as he makes the journey to the next world….

Comment by BIG D O 03.31.08 @

kl rest in peace from the romanian group -fundatzia-k……

Comment by mack-b. 03.31.08 @

RIP to KL and condolences to his family and crew; it is unfortunate that SOME people will only listen and support his music now that he is physically gone. Screwball’s music will live on. Peace.

Comment by bronxbred 03.31.08 @

RIP KL

Comment by A 03.31.08 @

rest in peace…. NIGGAZ goona rep that my man 2moorow at the MEGA show.. SCREWBALL forever motherfuckers.. u will b missed

Comment by bknowgood 04.01.08 @

Yeah i was with K.L. 2 weeks ago helping him promote some stuff he was working on.. he keep telling how Hip Hop brings people together even though some people say its negative..

its shame he passed so young… we were in the mist of a project with him and Nut-rageous who had done a song called wat’s poppin which was receiving some great feedback worldwide, as matter of fact Dj Premier mixed the song being that he like it so much… a remix featuring Blaq Poet is in the works too!!!

R.I.P. K.L. Kenneth Lewis

Comment by Cuban 04.01.08 @

DAMN K.L. IMA MISS YOU BABYBOI…
WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH A LOT TOGETHER WITH THIS SCREWBALL EMPIRE AND YOUR LEGACY WILL LIVE ON IMA MAKE SURE MY DUDE..
IMA MORN YOU TILL I JOIN YOU….
4EVA IN MY HEART
VS-AKA-VERSE-AKA-KIM
SCREWBALL 4LYFE LOYALTY
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
1

Comment by VS AKA VERSE 04.01.08 @

Bad news blues(sigh)..R.I.P K.L…you were dope.Will be throwing on my old Screwball records tonight..peace to the Screwball crew rock rock on.

Comment by P.M.ES 04.02.08 @

Terrible news…

RIP KL…

Mark 563
http://runtheline.blogspot.com/

Comment by Mark 563 04.02.08 @

shit. everyone’s droppin’ too quick. thanks for the retrospective, robbie, and thanks much more for shining so much light on KL and Screwball while he was still here.. R I P.

Comment by minott 04.02.08 @

R.I.P. KL.
after sleep comes the awakening.
enjoy your vacation. you did more than enough.
only screwball in my phones. quality.

NO MORE PUBLIC HOUSING!!!

Comment by razcoe-thepoorkid 04.03.08 @

yo-yo this my homie rite here nevr be fogotton

Comment by killa-sha 04.11.08 @

Rest in peace and God bless.

Comment by Brooklyn 'Lo 04.11.08 @

On the real.. All you crab niggahs know the deal… KL FOREVER!! MARZER. HALFTIME!

Comment by MARZ ONE 04.15.08 @

RIP DADDY WONT NEVER FORGET YOU DADDY AND ONE DAY ILL TAKE A VACATION UP THERE WITH YOU AND MONEY IS NOT GOING TO COST ANYTHING THIS IS YOU SON KENNETHLEWIS OMAR LOVEYOU4LIFE

Comment by kenneth lewis 11.28.08 @

YEA AND POET I WANT YOU TO RAP YOURE LIFE OUT AND SHOW THEM WAT YOU GOT THIS IS KL FROM 12 STREET AND HOPE YOU COME BACK FROM GERMANY

Comment by kenneth lewis 11.28.08 @

Y? is all i can say KL best friend true friend we gonna keep the fire burning my G cause dat was da plan. Screwball 4 life KL made it all possible made it a family

Comment by Scape Scrilla 12.08.08 @

thanks for this Post. SCREWBALL FOR LIFE !!! REST IN PEACE K.L.KAMAKAZEE.

Comment by DJ MODESTY 10.07.11 @

[...] a.k.a. Kamakazee of SCREWBALL ????? – March 28, 2008 Queensbridge’s own Kenneth Lewis a.k.a. KL died of an asthma attack. I spent some good time with Screwball up at their label/recording studio Hydra back when they were working on their classic album ‘F.A.Y.B.A.N.’. KL was the cousin of my long time friend Blaq Poet and I became cool with the whole crew; collabing with them various times. I was proud when they got all up in the papers and on the news channels with their controversial joint “Who Shot Rudy” (a song about murdering Rudy Juliani.) KL is definitely a true fallen soldier of HipHop and I’m glad he was able to leave his mark in HipHop before he passed away. See also: Unkut article [...]

Pingback by » HipHop’s Fallen Soldiers (Part I) R.A. The Rugged Man 11.02.12 @

[...] go to the people at Unkut.com for not only providing a much more detailed look at KL’s life (as they have been huge [...]

Pingback by Loop Diggin’ Thursdays 4.03.08: R.I.P. Sean Levert & KL | 411Mania 02.14.13 @

[...] go to the people at Unkut.com for not only providing a much more detailed look at KL’s life (as they have been huge [...]

Pingback by Loop Diggin’ Thursdays 4.03.08: R.I.P. Sean Levert & KL | 411mania.com 02.15.13 @



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