The 10 Best Episodes of Kenny Beats’ “The Cave”

Following the series’ fourth and final season, revisit some of its best episodes – from Doja Cat to Danny Brown.

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Since 2019, Kenny Beats has been bringing a wide range of guests into “The Cave” – his production studio in which overthinking is discouraged and Yerba Mate is always flowing. The super-producer’s YouTube series has amassed a loyal following – and an average viewer count per episode in the millions, along with  delivering over 46 freestyles, ranging from masterful and meme-worthy, but all memorable nonetheless.

The concept is simple: Kenny has 10 minutes to make a beat – with the entire build-out screen recorded so the viewer can see the entire explicated process – and the artist gets 10 minutes to write between 16 and 32 bars.

The result? A fresh, fully original track at the end of each bi-weekly episode.

The only rule? D.O.T.S – Don’t overthink sh*t.

With Kenny’s production prowess at the forefront, The Cave was initially a neon-lit home for rappers to flex their lyrical prowess.  The series has since expanded in scope over the four seasons, opening its catalog of featured guests to include artists from the indie, pop and alternative spheres.

Built on banter and beats and infused with a refreshing DIY-ethos, anything goes in The Cave. Joji and Remi Wolf have gone the comedic route, Zack Fox spit some of his hardest-hitting bars while Teezo Touchdown delivered a full concert-style performance.

The beloved limited series has come to a final close after its fourth season, which saw Kenny bring on a handful of the most-requested guests. In honor of “The Cave”‘s commendable five-year legacy, take a look back at the 10 most memorable episodes.


Season 1, Episode 3: Rico Nasty

When Rico Nasty opens with a high-pitched scream – in this case, “KENNYYYYY” – you know it’s about to be a fire few minutes. A match made in The Cave, Rico Nasty and Kenny Beats cook up one of the slickest creations to come out of the cozy studio over a “nasty joint” and plenty of roasts. “I’m in a foreign car so watch where you ashin’ / I might catch a h*e, I ain’t talkin’ ’bout Ashton,” she spits in her signature staccato before closing out with “I’m that b*tch, in money I only trust.”

Season 1, Episode 6: Vince Staples

“I want something toxic with some 808s,”  Vince Staples describes his desired beat to Kenny as he sits at his computer. The episode consists of Staples and Kenny going back and forth about their cooking capabilities, Kenny’s outfit – specifically his too-long pants  – and the placement of Kenny’s producer tag on the beat. After Kenny gets the “toxic” 808-heavy beat built out, with the tag timed to Staples’ liking, the rapper hops in the booth for a verse that wraps up with one of the most iconic Cave choruses: “Dead homies, bread on me / And Kenny Beats is the police.”

Season 1, Episode 7: Doja Cat

Doja Cat pulls up to The Cave in search of a “hard but cute” beat, something she describes as “some ironic shit.” When Kenny pulls out the bells, it’s an instant yes from Doja, who is chilling on the chair behind him, sunglasses on, writing “the most bipolar” bars. Doja whips up a verse fairly quickly, requesting Kenny add on “a rhythmic laugh” on for the final touch. “You got icky breath / Yeah I’m nuts / Yeah, I’m straight cashews / I just put this p*ssy all over his face tattoos / Kenny never turn the f*cking bass down dude / Tryna give a b*tch tinnitus in the breakdown dude,” she spits on the verse – before concluding with a merch plug.

Season 1, Episode 12: Denzel Curry

To this day, Denzel Curry’s episode – which marks the final stint of the series’ first season – is one of the most-viewed episodes with almost 7 million views. Curry, one of the most requested Cave guests, rolls up solo, with no friends, foes or family members with him, unlike the guests who came before him. The 16-minute finale is loaded with healthy repartee, with the collaborators and close friends discussing sneakers, sampling and other rappers. “Goin’ against Goku, who the f*ck told you? / Everybody in the whole game tried to mold you / Clay dough, Play-Doh, Curry don’t play, though,” he asserts. The rapper also shouts out Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Lil Nas X, Charmander, Bruce Lee and Ed Sheeran on the punchy two-minute freestyle. “I don’t really give a f*ck, a n***a is the next / Like MTV is BET, you see? / Or WET ’cause Kenny’s on the beat / Get it? WET, White Entertainment.”

Season 2, Episode 1: Danny Brown

After season 1 left rap fans fiending for more, Kenny played it right getting Danny Brown to open up the sophomore season. The Detroit rapper and Kenny go way back, making for a 15-minute episode dominated by banter. “Who comes on here and writes with a Pixel, though… it’s a phone just for raps,” Brown tells Kenny. “My Air Maxes cost what’s on your taxes / Smoke so much weed, me breathin’ is miraculous / Dog, it ain’t calculus, f*ckin’ common sense / Sixteen, it’s crime scene, murder with no evidence,” he preaches on the first verse. Sandwiched together with his infamous laugh, Brown jumps back into the beat for a second verse. “N***as just rappin’ ’till them Gats is clappin’ / Your reaction, regret what just happened / While I be just lampin’, lightin’ up and laughin’,” as he closes out with another laugh.

Season 2, Episode 8: Thundercat

The second season also sees Kenny begin to flex his beat-building versatility and bring on artists outside of the stereotypical hip-hop sphere such as Omar Apollo, Joji, Marc Rebillet and Thundercat. After downing three Yerbas in less than five minutes, the musician/producer is ready to assist Kenny with the beat, bass in hand. After the two concoct a chaotic yet captivating beat, carried by Thundercat’s bass strumming atop Kenny’s punctuating percussion, Kenny reminds Thundercat that he actually does have to go in the booth and spit something over the melody. And he does. “Let me borrow your car real quick (Yeah, girl) / I need to borrow your car real quick / Yeah girl, yeah girl / Kenny in the studio tryna suck d*ck,” he monotonously delivers, alternating between staring at the wall and laying on the couch. “You know man, life comes at you quick / I miss my cat,” he closes out.

Season 3, Episode 1: Isaiah Rashad

Isaiah Rashad, another highly solicited Cave guest, opens up the third season. Over one of Kenny’s cleanest beats, Zay finishes his verse quickly with no questions asked. “I used to ride,” the rapper opens over the smooth beat. “Yessir, got revenge in my bones / Hope I don’t kill your kid,” he picks up momentum. “Batman, I’m at home in The Cave (Ayy, I’m at home) / And I’m equipped as this.” Kenny begs Zay to step off the mic, telling him this just might be the show’s best freestyle yet. “Five years ago we were in a different studio before I had The Cave and I was playing beats for Zay and not one beat hit,” Kenny reminisces. “Now we can make a song in under 15 minutes.”

Season 3, Episode 12: Benny the Butcher

Griselda’s Benny The Butcher steps in to conclude the third season of “The Cave.” The 2022 episode marks the first collision between Benny and Kenny, who cooks up a gritty, East Coast cadence for the Buffalo rapper. “You know exactly what floats my boat,” he hollers from behind the computer. After rapidly wrapping his verse, Benny schools Kenny on the Griselda legacy, explaining what style of beats each rapper prefers. “Since I signed to you and hip-hop, I’ve been living great / And I’m still with The Rock, can’t forget my n***a Hank / All the millions with HOV, now acquired expensive taste, n***a,” Benny asserts over the piano-driven beat. “Season 3 is over. Everything is finished. Goodbye,” says Kenny as he exits the booth.

Season 4, Episode 1: Ski Mask the Slump God

To kick off The Cave’s fourth and final season is one of the series’ most requested guests of all time. Ski Mask the Slump God and DJ Scheme pull up to The Cave after the series’ two-year-long hiatus. Kenny kicks it off by showing Ski what his idea for the beat is (spoiler alert: a Powerpuff Girls sample) telling Ski he can scrap it completely and ask for something totally different. “Sir Kenneth,” Ski pushes back, eventually giving in and trusting Kenny to do his thing. “B*tch, I’m in The Cave, my fossil big / F*ck that, in the belly of the beast / Never fold, never crease,” he fires off, wittily playing off the “sugar, spice and everything nice” sample. Scheme presses Kenny for never updating his studio – to which Kenny says he “has another one” and The Cave is merely a museum. Needless to say, the fourth season was worth the wait.

Season 4, Episode 3: Paris Texas

Paris Texas requests two beats, one of which is an “ASMR” beat and the other a more “chewy pluggnb, Styles P, New York sh*t”. Felix and Louie Pastel show Kenny – whom they suggest spend five minutes on each beat – an ASMR slime video to kick off the beat-building. “None of that goop sh*t,” Pastel clarifies. For the first beat, the rappers whisper over dreamy synths. “I’m in The Cave like Plato,” Louie asserts. After the midway transition and a “YEAHHHH” from Felix, the pluggnb melody erupts and Pastel begins throwing dollar bills. “Captain Crunch in the bunch, oops, b*tch, it’s all berries / You n***as movin’ slow like Gary,” Felix continues. “I’m exhausted,” Kenny says as the rappers step out of the booth.

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