When people are deciding the greatest MCs to ever pick up a microphone and flow, oftentimes the choices fall along generational lines. However, when it comes to Big Daddy Kane, all must recognize the greatness of King Asiatic, Nobody’s, Equal.
The word swag was not used in the hip-hop paradigm in the late ’80s. But no one personified that certain demeanor, bravado and confidence like Kane, born Antonio Harvey on September 10, 1968.
As legend has it, in ’84 Big Daddy Kane linked up with Biz Markie to co-write some songs, which some believed contained Biz Markie’s best-known lyrics. They both would become integral members of the Queens-based Juice Crew All-Stars headed by legendary producer Marley Marl.
This is a Music Video i made for the Big Daddy Kane Song: “I Get Raw” (Juice Crew) (Cold Chillin) Real Hip Hop!!! (SUBSCRIBE)
Within three years of meeting Biz, Kane was signed to his first solo deal with Cold Chillin’ Records. His first single was Raw.
The beat featured a snare/high hat-dominated drum track that was basically a loop from James Brown’s’ fabled J.B.s traveling band on his classic cut “Get On The Good Foot”. It also heavily samples the Godfather of Soul’s voice as well. It was filled with such energy and word prowess that Kane became an instant sensation on the streets of the East Coast.
That was followed by his first solo album “Long Live the Kane” from which the classic cut Ain’t No Half-Steppin’ was released. It’s a Big Daddy Thing, which relied heavily on ’70s funk and R&B samples and tracks included the hit single “Smooth Operator”.
However, one of Kane’s most classic verses of all-time came on “The Symphony”, which also featured Juice Crew members Masta Ace, Craig G, and Kool G. Rap.
Well excuse me, take a few minutes, to mellow out Big Daddy Kane is on the mic and I’ma tell about a minimum length, of rhymes of strength and power, so listen to the man of the hour Flow and go to a slow tempo and you know sing hoe,
As hip-hop began to become more and more mainstream, Kane found himself appearing on non-rap albums alongside the likes of Patti LaBelle and Quincy Jones, as well as starring in the Mario Van Peebles film “The Posse”, Robert Townsend’s “Meteor Man” and he did a photo shoot for Playgirl magazine.
Kane’s style of dress was an ’80s re-interpretation of the pimp and macks that propagated in urban neighborhoods in the ’70s, before the crack cocaine epidemic rendered them virtually obsolete.
From the 1988 album: “Long Live The Kane” Antonio Hardy (born September 10, 1968), better known by his stage name Big Daddy Kane, is a Grammy Award-winning American rapper and actor who started his career in 1986 as a member of the rap collective the Juice Crew.
Thick rope chains, high top fades, velour suits, and four-finger gold rings were but some of the styles native to Brooklyn that Kane would help become nationally recognized and replicated. Kane’s influence can be seen in the braggadociousness of Jay Z, in the demeanor of Snoop Dogg, the fashion sense of Nas, the ostentatiousness of Ghostface Killa and the wordplay of countless others.
From the mournful wails of black funeral precessions in the steaming hot South, through the work songs of those unfortunate spirits who toiled in the chain gangs of yesteryear, the soulful utterances of African-Americans and their forefathers are the soundtrack to the growth and development of America that have acted as the root of all other distinctly American music genres.
According to MTV’s Greatest MC’s of All Time list, Big Daddy Kane is No. 7 while Kool Moe Dee’s “There’s A God On The Mic: The True 50 Greatest MCs of All Time” honors him at No. 4.
The smooth lady’s man was also one of hip-hop’s first sex symbols. Today we pay homage to a man who is still one of the five greatest MCs alive and still rhyming. Happy belated birthday, Kane! Your moniker is accurate, nobody’s equal. Often imitated, never duplicated. Always fresh, never antiquated.