The Smooth Operator. King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal. Antonio Hardy to his mother. Oh yeah, you know I’m just talking ’bout Big Daddy Kane. Originally a member of the Juice Crew along with other such notables as Biz Markie, Marly Marl, Roxanne Shante, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Kane ain’t no half stepper. His smooth lyrical flow is all the more impressive when you factor in the guy’s lightning fast capabilities. Going beyond the music, though, this is the cat that helped popularize the high top fade and obscenely fat gold chains. And, truth be told, he had some of the tightest dancers and moves in the game at the time. I’ll go you one further, even–His debut, Long Live the Kane, is one of the top 10 rap albums of the 1980s, no question.
Back in the day, I saw two major rap tours when rap was just starting to seep into the national consciousness (mid-80s, son). Both were group tours, and between the two, had damn near everybody that was anybody. This is where I saw Tupac as a back-up dancer for Digital Underground, Slick Rick before he was arrested and Heavy D when he still had the Boyz. BDK was the second bill at one of these shows, and the crowd, particularly the ladies, went buck wild when he took the stage. I probably don’t need the image of him kicking it shirtless and in spandex in my brain like I do, but suffice to say, the guy certainly made an impression.
I’ve since seen the Kane perform once since then at a small club along the DC waterfront. Even though he literally showed up three and a half hours late and only played for maybe 45 minutes, the guy still tore up the stage. In recent years, he’s popped up here and there in cameo roles, including stints with DJ Jazzy Jeff and showing up on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Now is the time for to get your learn on, children. And Big Daddy Kane will take you there.
mp3: I Get The Job Done (Big Daddy Kane)
mp3: Set It Off (Big Daddy Kane)