The Kenny K Biography Project
Through my connections and friends in Tampa’s hip-hop community, I was introduced to the legacy of Kenneth “Kenny K” Waters – Tampa’s first hip-hop DJ. From 1987 to 1993, Kenny K was the voice of hip-hop in Tampa and for much of Central Florida. And not only was he popular in Tampa, but he was also one of the founding members of legendary hip-hop group Digital Underground and a pallbearer at the funeral of Black Panther Huey Newton.
Unfortunately, in February 1994, Kenny passed away, leaving a hole in the hip-hop community. Some say that hole was never filled.
With my acumen for writing and ability to ask the right questions, I proposed to some of the older hip-hop veterans that I be the one to finally tell Kenny’s story. To write an article or a book or film a documentary and build the most complete multi-media archive of his recordings, radio shows, and other media to finally let the world know his legacy.
This project was started in late 2014 when I interviewed Kenny’s brother, Keith. Since then, I have met with or interviewed several people who knew, worked with, or were influenced by Kenny K.
To date, I have talked with:
- Keith Waters (Kenny’s brother)
- Shock G of Digital Underground
- Chuck D of Public Enemy
- Gary Sheffield (Major League Baseball player from Tampa)
- Shawn Eggers of Axiom Studios
- DJ Sandman
- Nick Major
- Paradox (video here)
- Doc P of Digital Underground
- Mabili (aka MC X) of WMNF 88.5 (video here)
- Concept Incognito of WMNF 88.5
- The DOC from WMNF 88.5
- Steve “The Hit Man” Williams from WMNF 88.5
I have also appeared on USF Radio’s hip-hop show, Pirate Radio and with Mabili of WMNF 88.5 spoke with DJs Slick Worthington and Bobby Treacherous about Kenny’s legacy.
There are many more people I hope to interview. Kenny K was one of the most popular DJs in Florida in the late 80s and early 90s and his music and voice touched many lives. This page is only the introduction to the project. There is also a tribute page on TampaHipHop.com discussing Kenny K’s legacy.
Here is my interview with Chuck D of Public Enemy:
Here is a sample of Kenny’s shows and a bit of what we have finally put to digital:
Here is one of Kenny’s songs:
This is an ongoing project and right now, I am doing what I can as often as I can. If you would like to contribute or tell your Kenny K story, please drop me an email at mglortz[@]gmail.com