March 18, 2008


Photos by Chris Utroska
It has been almost a year since the last time I interviewed Dave Seregenti, and a lot has happened in that time. The man has since released two amazing albums, including Dennehy (Lights, Camera, Action!), which was just released on iTunes & Emusic. He also has at least a half-dozen new projects in the works, which will begin to drop this summer. Serengeti’s been one of my favourite emcees for a while now and if you’ve yet to check out his music i urge you to definitely do so.

So Dave, what did you have for dinner tonight?

I had a late lunch, spicy crazy noodles.

Why is it that Americans seem to love spicy food so much?

We are so angry, full of hate and regret, and bored.

Haha, so what are your thoughts on the current presidential race?

I hope Obama wins, a president with my complexion gives me more confidence.

When you were first starting out, who were some local Chicago rappers you looked up to?

In my high school days I used to flex and break, we went to this set at the Bop Shop I believe. The night was ending, I was smoking reefer, the lights came on, Juice started doing an acapella freestyle, it was the most amazing thing on earth. I also liked Ynot, his verse on “Can-I-Bust?” was great.

Tell me about the very first show you ever played.

The first show I played was in Carbondale, Illinois with my buddy Hi Fidel; he brought me up and I did three songs, I was very nervous. My first solo show was in St. Louis at this place called the Pepper Lounge, I let it loose. That was part of my first tour, for the Dirty Flamingo, we did about 12-13 dates, it was fun. I want to tour more.

Are there any tour plans in the works or local shows coming up?

I plan on going on tour very soon. I have these four upcoming projects that I am very excited about and that I’d like to hit the road to support, so hopefully at least by late autumn. I think I’ve exhausted playing in Chicago; Chicago can be a very un-rewarding place to be at times.

“I just started working on this Degrassi thing with my man Chris Ill”

Tell me about all these upcoming projects you have.

I have an album called Friday Night (due out in June) with Hi Fidel, the whole record takes place over one Friday Night, its a tale. The Story of the Golden Floyd is due out in July. I also have a group I formed called Yoome, Tony Trimm did the production and me and a woman named Renee-Louise Carafice do the vocals, the album is entitled The Boredom of Me (out in August). Me and Polyphonic have a new record called Terradactly (out in March 2009), I also have an untitled project for a label, and I just started working on this Degrassi thing with my man Chris Ill.

Lets hear more about this Degrassi album! The best TV show us Canadians have ever produced. I didn’t even know it ran on U.S. TV.

Yeah the Degrassi project is dope, Chris Ill hooked it up, Degrassi came on Public TV everyday at like 3 o’clock, man I loved that show, it was like two years behind. I wished I went to Degrassi, such a dream, Degrassi is dope, Canada is the best.

Are you going to be rapping about characters on the show or from the perspective of one or what? Which generations of the show did you watch?

I don’t want to give it away; I should of kept my mouth shut, damn, but I watched jr and high, not the new one.

Have you played any shows in Canada before?

I’d love to play in Canada and I haven’t; however, I plan to soon, hopefully I’ll be well received.

Yoome: Tony Trimm, Serengeti, Renee-Louise Carafice
Yoome: Tony Trimm, Serengeti, Renee-Louise Carafice

The Yoome tracks sound amazing, what can you tell me about Renee-Louise Carafice, how did this project evolve?

Thanks man, me and Renee, or Randy as I call her, have evolved into best friends. We started working together, as in our gig, then we started doing music together, we’ve made three other albums together, N.eel, Compact Discs and The Story of the Golden Floyd. We build forts, go bowling, go on movie marathons and experience extreme laughter, we made the Yoome and received a small deal, where as the record is due out in August. Should be nice. She has a solo album called Renee Louise Carafice Tells You to Fight due out soon also.

Your latest release is actually a re-release of sorts, when did you first come up with the characters and idea for the Dennehy album?

I came up the Derek person on a roof in St. Louis, I came up with the Kenny universe on a road trip to Carbondale IL, stemming from the Little League World Series,…”this is so and so and his favorite yadda is yadda…” wow what if someone’s favorite actor was Tom Beringer, the light bulb went on.?

Any chance we’ll ever see a Dennehy movie?

I’ve actually written a script, my friend and life partner Tony Trimm was to help me shoot a scene, but the answer is yes, I’d love to do a movie.

Since you do pretty much all of the voices, it seems like it would be perfect as an animated movie.

Yeah film would be great.

Serengeti - Dennehy (Lights, Camera, Action!)

Who does the voice of Kenny’s wife Juelie on the album?

The voice of Juelie comes from a woman named Larissa, a Ukrainian Chicago woman with a background in theatre.

I know Kenny drinks it for the taste, but how many O’Douls would you have to drink to get drunk?

I don’t know about the Douls, I’m thinking 30-40? I drink Merlot.

You jokingly made a post a couple of months back about a new album coming out on anticon. Is there any truth to that rumor or was it purely in fun?

I would never make up a rumor about myself; that would be weird.

Which album of yours are you most proud of?

Well I like Don’t Give Up and Noticeably Negro, consistent theme, I’m really proud of these new ones too.

Any plans on working more with your little brother Extra Credit?

Extra Credit my man, he’s playing baseball now, its probably best he focuses on sports and the future. Music at a young age could lead him astray, this is a very delusional thing I’m into, wouldn’t want to pass this thing on.

You’re crazy prolific, how do you find the time for everything?

I think about this all the time, its sort of a problem if nothing is planned out.

Do you ever get overwhelmed with planning releases and keeping all of your projects straight?

Most def, extremely overwhelmed, I hate it, its very uncomfortable, extreme stress and sleeplessness, the curse of the mid-north.

So what’s next for Serengeti?

Tours, releases, divorce, a great spring.

Bonus: A Video Interview by Mr.Elbo

For more Serengeti info check out:
UGSMAG’s Serengeti articles
Serengeti’s myspace
Yoome’s myspace

9 Responses

  1. Serengeti is the best! So many great albums and amazing lines!
    Dennehy is the best album! I can’t wait for that degrassi project!

  2. I agree Chaps, Serengeti has some hilarious lines. For any fans of the obscure reference punchline I definetly suggest peeping this guy.

  3. Nice interview! Serengeti is dope!. “Don’t Give Up” is one of the best albums i’ve heard in a long time. Excited to check out Dennehy, sounds crazy.

  4. a record called terradactyl?
    i like him already!. ..i dont know much of his stuff. definately gonna check it out.