Ain’t Half Stepping (1988) and the hundred mile an hour energy of the Wrath of Kane (1989) are just two of the brilliant tracks from the discography of one the biggest names in the rap game, Big Daddy Kane.
New York born Antonio Hardy took the game by the scruff of the neck with his debut album Long Live The Kane (1988) displaying his ability to drop vicious on point double time raps while still keeping the flow. Truth be told Kane was one of the best names at a period of time where names like the phenomenal: Rakim, Biz Markey and Chuck D were also plying their brand of rap.
Despite over two decades since coming into the art that is hip-hop, BDK remains a name that is held in the highest esteem. BDK has inspired names synonymous with rap from: Jay Z (who was in a fact BDK’s hype man) to Tupac and of course Eminem. His brand of hip-hop saw him drop bangers from the late eighties and through to the 90’s with seven albums up until (1998).
A full fifteen years passed before BDK dropped his last album Back To The Future (2013) but since then he has been very quiet in terms of fresh music but with a discography with so many hits, touring remains a big part of his musical work load.
2014 and Flavour caught up with BDK in London as part of his European tour.
Funnily enough or perhaps obvious enough (due to writing rhymes) in conversation BDK is measured and thoughtful in his responses with a foible being an ever so slight pause before answering questions.
“I think my second album it’s a Big Daddy Thing” he states when I ask him about his defining album as an artist, “I think that really defines me as an artist”. An album that was filled with production from luminaires like Marly Marl this sophomore treat proved what everyone knew-that BDK was a lethal emcee.
“When I came out hip-hop was still fairly new and it was pretty much the artists who dictated the pace of hip-hop.” He states nostalgically, “Now however hip-hop is more of a corporate thing and basically with anything be it music or clothing once it becomes corporate then quantity takes over quality. The music has to keep up with the demand for hip-hop.”
“You do not really run into too many artists who say they do this for the love of hip-hop it’s mainly about ‘gotta get me dat money man’. I just think the artists that have a passion for the art form put the blood sweat and the tears into their music.”
Maybe it is for the reasons of demand usurping this most dynamic of art forms that he seems reluctant to bring forth a new batch of material.
“Right now I am more involved on the television side of things. I am not really focused on music at the moment. DJ Premier however has been talking with me and he wants to do an album. Maybe one day that will happen but right now it’s not where my mind is at the moment.”
With that briefest of interviews BDK is out to jump onto the Jazz Café stage decked out in all white ensemble with a waistcoat to match. Once on stage BDK transforms into the loquacious verbal assassin-it’s less measured and purely organic bars as he and just his DJ have the crowd bouncing like they had never heard hip-hop before: a legend of hip-hop.