Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big Daddy Kane

It's pretty much recognized that Big Daddy Kane is one of the all time greats, especially when you consider his material from 87-89 alone. His smooth, no-nonsense demeanor, as well as the articulate/witty wordplay on the mic was slightly ahead of its time (and it definitely influenced the likes of Jay-Z and others). Not only did he experience a somewhat fast track to fame, he also had one of the quickest drops in hip hop history, and once he dropped the VERY underwhelming "Taste Of Chocolate" album in 1990, that was essentially it for him unfortunately. Let's go back down memory lane shall we!

This is one classic debut right here. Just about every song on here is a classic in some form and it still holds up exceeding well today. You can still throw on songs like "Raw (Remix)" and "Ain't No Half Steppin" and still get open!!

Rating- 5 stars

5 favorite songs- Ain't No Half Steppin, Raw (Remix), Long Live The Kane, Just Rhymin With Biz, & Set It Off

A classic follow up to his debut album. He seemingly got better on this album, as he balanced the hardcore rhymes, tracks for the ladies, and political topics with such ease. Also, the original version of "Lean On Me" should've made this album, and that's not to say that the remix isn't good. It is, but the original is the superior version.

Rating- 5 stars

5 favorite songs- I Get The Job Done, Smooth Operator, Young, Gifted, & Black, Warm It Up, Kane, & Another Victory

And now we enter the unfortunate fall off period, and all of the following albums I don't own, but have heard.

Oh God, do we even have to discuss this album? Saying he (almost) completely changed his style in a blatant attempt at commercial success is a complete understatement. I'm not sure if it was before or after this album, but his appearance in an issue of "Playgirl" (which I haven't seen and have NO desire to do so) did him NO favors with the hip hop community. Regarding this album, it's not his worst, but it's damn sure not one of his best either. And what the hell is up with that album cover? The look on his face tells the story in my opinion, and it describes this album entirely: uninspired.

Rating- About 2 stars

I have no favorite song on this album, however, "Dance With The Devil" was a highlight, "Cause I Can Do It Right", "It's Hard Being The Kane", and "Who Am I" were all decent.

Wow, and the changes kept coming. Was Kane a hip hop artist or an R&B singer. I bet if you showed this to someone from today's generation, they would immediately assume it's an R&B album. This was NOT the Big Daddy Kane that we were used to hearing, and it resulted in the worst album of his career.

Welcome to 93, a year where hip hop was going through changes, as the East Coast was slowly but surely going through a resurge and Death Row was on top of the hip hop world (also an era where "gangsta rap" was one of themes of the day). It seemed as though Kane was trying to fit in with the rest, and it just wasn't him. Mostly forgettable stuff here.

(Update: I revisited this one a few months ago, and it's slightly better than I remembered, definitely his most underrated album, probably 3.5 stars.)

Oh man, this album cover is one of the worst I've ever seen. This was released on the same day as the late great Notorious BIG's classic debut "Ready To Die" (September 13, 1994) and literally NO ONE was checking for a new Big Daddy Kane album at this point, as the times had clearly passed him by. But hold up now, that's not to say there weren't any redeeming qualities on this album. "In the PJ's" and "Lyrical Gymnastics" were very good, and you had a somewhat forgotten posse cut in the form of "Show & Prove", with a young and pre-Reasonable Doubt Jay-Z, Ol Dirty Bastard, Sauce Money, Scoob Lover and Shyheim.

Hip hop itself was entering into a more commercial period when this album was released in October of 1998, and again, the times continued to pass Kane by, as this album, while fairly decent, was released with little to no hype or promotion. It's like it just dropped out of thin air, literally.

Rating- 3 stars

"Uncut, Pure (Remix)", "Entaprizin", "La-La-Land", and "Terra N Ya Era" were the highlights on this album.

Well, you would think with a less than stellar track record like this, an artist couldn't be considered an all time great, but as I mentioned in the intro, his contributions from 87-89 will stand the test of time and they remain what his legacy is based on. 

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