Kenny “DOPE” Gonzalez is one of the most prolific artists of the modern music age. The four time Grammy nominee is known as a living encyclopedia of beats & has been entertaining the masses with his fusions of house, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, funk & soul, reggae, alternative pop and broken beats for 20 years.
Kenny is Brooklyn born & bred! In 1985 he began his musical career as a buyer for a local record shop & began amassing his collection of over 50,000 records. In the late 80’s, along with his friend and partner Mike Delgado, Kenny organized a series of neighborhood parties under the alias “Masters at Work”. Brooklyn’s DJ-Producer Todd Terry attended these parties and the two soon became friends. Kenny met King Grand & the two formed a group called “KAOS." In 1987 Kenny and Todd produced the groups album titled “Courts In Session." Soon after he started his own independent label Dopewax Records that has released over 100 tracks & is still thriving today!
In 1987 Kenny allowed Todd Terry to release a record using the Masters at Work brand that he had built up over time and the huge club hits “Alright Alright” and “Dum Dum Cry” were released. Todd returned the favor by introducing Kenny to DJ Little Louie Vega. Vega was influenced by salsa, house and freestyle and Kenny in hip-hop and reggae, after comparing notes the pair decided that combining their wide range of influences could be an interesting experiment.
In 1990, appropriately dubbed “MASTERS AT WORK," Kenny and Louie 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. Bjork, Dee-Lite, Soul ll Soul, Donna Summers, & more!
During the 90s Kenny was inspired by seeing jazz dancers in England & it gave him the idea for syncopated beat (dubbed broken beat). This is when Kenny developed “the broken beat” style.
Master at Work are currently labeled “The most revolutionary house production team of the 90’s”, Latin percussion, joyous vocals, and natural drumbeats are MAW trademarks levitating dance floors with infectious energy. If ever there was massive dance floor filler, it was maw's 1997 record, “Nuyorican Soul."
Kenny Dope's break through as a solo artist came in 1995 when he produced "The Buckethead" album. The track “THE BOMB was an instant sensation & Gonzalez had gatecrashed the European pop charts with his first major hit& a now timeless classic.
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. Whether its sitting 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.
One of our favorite Battle Hymn regulars, Eli Escobar has been a familiar face on the New York scene for the last two decades. Whether tearing it up at clubs across the capital (and beyond) or throwing down super-charged disco bombs on labels like Nervous and Strictly Rhythm, Escobar rarely steps out of his four-four beat. As one third of the Tiki Disco parties in Bushwick, as well as running his own Night People label, Escobar has been putting his own twist on the city’s house and disco soundtrack, joining the dots between yesterday’s golden era classics and today’s club anthems.