USC

‘Whoa Kenny!’: Kenny Beats Announced as ‘Conquest!’ Headliner

Producer Kenny Beats will accompany other acts including the USC Song Girls, The Trojan Marching Band, Break Through Hip Hop and more at the annual event.

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Acclaimed rap producer Kenny Beats is headlining USC’s annual “Conquest!” concert, the USC concerts committee announced Wednesday.

Beats is known for a signature sound that blends his history as an EDM DJ with his more recent rap pursuits. Over his nine-year-long stint in the music industry, the 30-year-old has worked with talented rappers such as Rico Nasty, 03 Greedo, Vince Staples, Ski Mask the Slump God and more, according to Universal Music Publishing Group. Beats attributes his successful relationships with these artists to his open-minded approach to collaboration, and at “Conquest!” tonight, that collaboration will extend to USC.

“We chose Kenny Beats as the headliner because he’s someone who makes a lot of hits, like most of the common hits today are produced by him, and we wanted to do something different,” said co-director of Concerts Committee Benjamin Kronenberg.

“I don’t know him, but Kenny Beats seems like a great performer, I’m very excited to watch,” said USC sophomore Sofia Piccioni. “He’s got a lot of listens on Spotify, 131 million!”

Beats’ opener, announced Tuesday on the @uscconcerts Instagram account, is a fellow DJ. Young Franco, a 27-year-old from Australia, landed the slot. Having worked with artists like Snakehips, Rudimental and RUFUS, Franco has been streamed over 18 million times, according to Insomniac.

The account also posted a headliner announcement that reads, “Kenny Beats & Friends.” Kronenberg said he knows who the special guests are, but he cannot say ahead of the concert.

“They are artists who he’s worked with,” Kronenberg said. “So I mean, out of like the hundreds of artists who he’s worked with or produced for, some of them are going to be here tonight.”

However, this hasn’t stopped students from making predictions. “I’m guessing the ‘Friends’ is [singer] Dominic Fike,” Piccioni said. “I hope it’s him.”

Another USC sophomore, Zaria Rouse, predicts that a USC alumna could be the surprise musical guest.

“Maybe [Kenny Beats] can do a collab with Saweetie because she went here,” Rouse said. “I don’t really know anything about [Kenny Beats] though, so hard to say.”

USC students will gather tonight at 5 p.m. in McCarthy Quad for the annual event, which has an expected attendance of 6,000 to 8,000, according to the Concerts Committee.

“Conquest!” is free for all students with Trojan Check and a student ID.