RON KENOLY, JR.
RON KENOLY JR.
Ron “Bingo” Kenoly Jr. mad solo debut with blatant rap/hip-hop cd that adopts the alternative lifestyle known as H.O.G. Life. The CD, H.O.G. Life, is not just the name of a CD; it's a lifestyle. H.O.G.’s is an acronym for "Hooked on God”. Just like his namesake in the 1976 movie "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings", Bingo Kenoly (his dad loved that movie and named him after it), is a trailblazer. The fictional Bingo Long's team was denied a place in the Negro Leagues, but flourished and found an audience anyway. Bingo Kenoly and his brother Sam (as the Kenoly Brothers duo), were never embraced by the Christian music community because of their cutting-edge blend of solid R&B beats with Christian themes but they found a following anyway. Now, Bingo is seeking to shake them up with a blatant brand of rap, hip-hop and old-school soul rhythms that celebrate his intense religious faith.
Kenoly and his Christian buddies started calling themselves H.O.G.’s instead of dawgs (a term of endearment among the hip-hop community) when they were back in high school. The 15 songs on the CD express Bingo's inner thoughts and personal struggles living the H.O.G. lifestyle. On the song "No More Secrets" alone, he talks of getting two girls pregnant when he was 17, smoking weed and turning his back on God.
While he's seeking a wide audience for his music (Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" has shown that the urban world will support a dope gospel track while the gospel-oriented Stellar awards withdrew West's nomination for "Jesus Walks" amid controversy from the gospel community that felt West was not a good Christian representative), Bingo also wants the church world to stop dissing Christian hip-hop. "I want to change the mindset of people who think you have to be weak or to be a punk to be saved," Bingo explains. "A lot of Christian music has just been corny and junk. The reason that the mainstream laughs at Christians is that Christian rappers are always trying to be carbon copies of those in the world... Only Jay Z can be Jay Z, only Biggie can be Biggie. ... The beautiful thing about the world is that even though they are intelligent, they know the difference between the real and the fake." There is absolutely nothing fake on "H.O.G. Life." It both celebrates the faith and challenges as Bingo tackles taboo subjects that the church world rarely put into song.
Bingo's dad, Ron Kenoly, a former R&B singer, is now a gold-selling praise and worship artist. Bingo and his brother Sam recorded "I Love to Love You Lord" for their father's Welcome Home CD. The song hit #1 in Fiji and New Zealand. The duo recorded three best-selling CDs that won them a cult following, a Stellar Award nomination and coverage in Ebony, Black Beat, and Right On Magazines.