Born Antonio Monterio Hardy on the 10th September 1968 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, Big Daddy Kane is a Hip Hop legend. His name never ceases to be mentioned when talk of the greatest rapper of all time is discussed, even though his career faded. The name we know him better as is derived, in his own words, from “Big Daddy” a Vincent Price character in an old Frankie Avalon movie, “Beach Party”. Added to this was “Kane” from the popular TV show Kung Fu.
The stand out MC of the Queensbridge based “Juice Crew” was one of the iconic Hip Hop figures in the late 80’s & very early 90’s with his high top fade & fat gold chains. Added to his combative rap style was an entertaining stage show where Kane engaged in intricate moves with his dancers Scoob & Scrap. So popular was his style it was copied by many, the dress sense of rappers went from jeans to sharkskin suits, big rope chains, Cameo hair cuts, dance moves & a smoother look. Vocally, Kane was copied to with his hard, agressive & lyrically gymnastic style that towered above the ABC rappers of that time. On the flipside BDK gained an immense following with the ladies which later saw him smooth out his vocals & music too.
Lyrics & vocal presence was his standout aspect, influences at first were his membership of the Nation Of Gods & Earths & later on the romanitcism of Marvin Gaye.
Each album after the hard hitting “Long Live The Kane” debut showed a shift to a smoother style, with the odd reminder of his rhyme skills. After the last album in ’98 there has been the odd mixtape track appearance, but rumours of a forthcoming album remain only that. Kane regularly tours with his live band which offers a mellow soulful-funk sound.
So, for the time being, go to the earlier back catalogue to remind yourself of how “Raw” Big Daddy Kane was.
Peep out Big Daddy Kane’s profile documentary from TV One Unsung here
(1988) Long Live the Kane (Cold Chillin’/Warner Brothers)
(1989) It’s A Big Daddy Thing (Cold Chillin’/Reprise/Warner Brothers)
(1990) Taste Of Chocolate (Cold Chillin’/Reprise/Warner Brothers)
(1991) Prince Of Darkness (Cold Chillin’/Reprise/Warner Brothers)
(1993) Looks Like A Job For… (Cold Chillin’/Reprise/Warner Brothers)
(1994) Daddy’s Home (MCA)
(1998) Veteranz’ Day (The Label/Blackheart/Mercury/PolyGram)
The official Big Daddy Kane website: www.officialbigdaddykane.com