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Written by: Robbie Ettelson
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.
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