Big Daddy Kane

Début Album: "Long Live the Kane" Review

By Martin A. Berrios

If you really know your Rap music then you’re surely aware that The Notorious B.I.G. or dare I say it, Jay-Z didn’t architect the infamous Brooklyn swagger that made the borough famous. They couldn’t have; the formula was already created and perfected in 1988. Point blank Big Daddy Kane is the Don Corleone of what those two legends would later embody. From the jewellery game, the braggadocio charisma, the gear, the women; Kane set the blueprint that hundreds of rappers would later trace.

Originally released on June 21st 1988, Long Live The Kane would be a stunning début. Kane would indeed dwarf his previous lyrical efforts with one of the greatest flows ever heard on “Set It Off.” Additionally, his single “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” would go down as one of the best records of all time. Sonically Marley Marl held down the entire effort with the beats. His funk heavy samples harmonized with Kane’s cadences perfectly; adding that needed energy to keep up with the speedy bars. The assistance from DJ Mister Cee and his two dancers Scoob and Scrap Lover would make his cipher complete.

With the twenty year anniversary of Long Live The Kane upon us, we speak to the man himself. King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal gives us a run-down on this classic; track by boastful track. Read and learn Rap chumps.

“Long Live The Kane”

Produced By Marley Marl

Big Daddy Kane: That was a song that I wanted to do because a friend of Mister Cee’s presented us with that sample (“Hey, Last Minute” by The Meters). We went through the mills with us trying to convince them to give it to us; they finally gave it to us. That whole time period I had been writing to it. We went and laid it down. Mister Cee had this idea of these scratches he wanted to do; we pretty much had to pitch it. We swung over to Marley’s and dumped it. Just the title alone just set the tone for the album. Once we did it we knew it was going to be the name of the album.

“Raw (Remix)”

Produced By Marley Marl

Big Daddy Kane: That was like really my breakout song; that came before the album and before I got the deal with Warner Brothers. When Warner Brothers picked up Cold Chillin’, they only wanted [MC] Shan, [Roxanne] Shante', and they would take Biz [Markie]. Then Fly Ty put out “Raw” on Prism Records and once they saw how good it was doing independently they said "We’ll take him too and put it in this movie we got coming out called Colors."

With “Raw” it was the type of situation where I just did the joint with Biz (“Just Rhymin’ With Biz”), and it was hot in the streets and it had a nice buzz. But the only thing was people would see me coming around with Biz and doing shows but Biz started off the song and introduced it. It seemed like it was his song. What was happening I had a new song but I wasn’t getting any work because everyone thinks its Biz’s song. So I was telling Ty please let me put another single out and I guess he got tired of me asking and told me “Aight get in the studio.”

I went to see my man JC who used to work at Downstairs Records. He was like “Yo these new James Brown imports came in.” He played the Bobby Byrd joint ("Hot Pants...I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming") and I was like give me that one right there. I bought two copies and came and showed them to Mister Cee. I told him I want the part with the off beat snare. There was a chick I was talking to in Albany Projects and she was getting tired of me going to the studio. She was like “Why don’t you chill here, I got records here that might be beats.” So I’m looking through her stuff and heard the horns from “Mama Feelgood” with Lyn Collins and I was like I need that for “Raw.” I took it to Marley’s house. When he heard it he was like “This is the Juice Crew, this ain’t Public Enemy, what’s up with all the noisy sh*t?” But it all worked out.

“Set It Off”

Produced By Marley Marl

Big Daddy Kane: Honestly I was like in this James Brown zone like “Sex Machine.” I wanted to do that whole can I count it off type of thing with a Rap song. I started rhyming before even the beat even dropped. That was the idea. I was so stuck on the idea that I had dropped two verses before we realized we didn’t have a hook (Chuckles). But it sounded dope as is.

“The Day You’re Mine”

Produced By Marley Marl

Big Daddy Kane: I wanted to do one of those love Rap type of joints. I think I kind of made a mistake on that one; not with the song but I should have let TJ Swan do the chorus. I think me and Swan were beefing at the time, we were upset at each other. So I said f*** it, I’ll sing it myself when I should have just let Swan do his thing. It would have sounded a whole lot better for what he was doing for that time period.

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