KennyHoopla is Kenneth La’ron, a singer, songwriter, and rapper from Cleveland, Ohio. Born on August 5, 1997, the 24-year-old musician has already worked alongside Blink-182’s Travis Barker and scored a deal with Arista Records. He’s a rising star worth knowing about, and NoCap has all the facts right here.
Who Is KennyHoopla?From a young age, Kenneth showed an interest in music. In an interview with DIY Magazine, he shared an early memory of recording “a horrible freestyle on this cassette toy my mother got me” when he was about ten years old. In the same interview, he cites Passion Pit, Now, Now, and Teen Suicide as three of his favorite artists, and it’s easy to hear the inspiration from these groups in his own songs. While originally from Cleveland, Kenneth currently resides in Wisconsin. He’s been based out of the Northern state while working on his recent releases, including Survivor’s Guilt: The Mixtape, his collaboration with Travis Barker.
KennyHoopla’s MusicLike many indie artists, Kenneth started out on SoundCloud, a popular free music-sharing platform. He uploaded his first recordings to the website in 2016, gaining a following with his early singles. On October 5, 2016, he put out Beneath the Willow Tree, his first EP, also via SoundCloud.
“Lost Cause”Kenneth’s next release was 2019’s “Lost Cause.” He dropped three versions of the song – one solo, one featuring Grandson, and one featuring Jesse. Each of the versions of the song has a unique sound and feel – the version with Grandson is vaguely reminiscent of 90s industrial music and new wave, but the drums draw clear inspiration from both trap and rock. The version of “Lost Cause” with Jesse has more of a pop-punk and new wave sound. The vocals are enveloped in a telephone-style vocal effect, and the instrumentation is minimal, driven by drums and bass. Both the Jesse and Grandson versions of the song have several million plays on Spotify.
“Estella”In 2020, KennyHoopla released his first collaboration with Blink-182’s Travis Barker – “Estella.” The anthemic pop-punk song emulates Blink’s early music, and Kenneth’s longing vocals are juxtaposed with chugging guitars and Barker’s frenetic drumming. The track is KennyHoopla’s number-one song on Spotify with over 16 million plays. “Estela” was later featured on Survivor’s Guilt: The Mixtape.
“How Will I Rest in Peace If I’m Buried Under By a Highway?”Another track from 2020, “How Will I Rest in Peace If I’m Buried Under a Highway,” has a new wave-inspired sound. Carried by chugging drums and bass, the song’s four-on-the-floor feel is reminiscent of The Cure and Joy Division. However, Kenneth sticks to a pop-punk vocal delivery, giving the song a unique sound. “How Will I Rest in Peace If I’m Buried Under a Highway” has over 18 million plays on Spotify. In addition to its new wave influences, it’s easy to pick up on traces of the sound of bands like Bloc Party and Interpol in the song.
“Survivor’s Guilt: The Mixtape: Track by TrackKennyHoopla’s most recent release is Survivor’s Guilt: The Mixtape, a joint effort with Travis Barker. The 8-track record has done well on streaming platforms since its release, and thanks to its infectious tracks, KennyHoopla keeps steadily gaining more fans. Let’s explore the mixtape track-by-track.
- “Silence is Also an Answer” has a desperate, anthemic, and arena-ready sound, punctuated by distorted drums and distant screamed vocals. The new wave influences are less present on this track – it’s full-fledged pop-punk.
- “Estella” is the second track on the EP. It’s one of the only songs on the tracklist to be previously released as a single.
- “Turn Back Time” features 2000s-inspired instrumentation that draws comparisons to bands like The All-American Rejects and, of course, Blink-182. Fans of Blink will hear Travis Barker’s heavy hand on the production of this track.
- “Survivor’s Guilt” has Travis Barker written all over it. The chaotic drum groove is the highlight of the song, as well as the doubled vocals and yells, screams, and whoas throughout.
- “Hollywood Sucks” is another single that has major Blink-182 vibes. The hook-laden track has wry, witty lyrics about being miserable in LA – “Hollywood sucks, can you not move your Prius – you are not fucking Jesus, he hates LA.”
- “Inside of Heaven’s Mouth, There is A Sweet Tooth” is another pop-punk song with palm-muted guitars and delayed vocals.
- “Smoke Break” has a midwest emo sound that can be compared to bands like Remo Drive and Mom Jeans. It’s the sound of Blink-182 updated for 2021.
- “9-5 (Love Me)” is a singable pop-punk anthem that builds midway through, exploding into a Blink-style round reminiscent of “Miss You” and “Feeling This.”