Friday, September 12, 2014

Hip Hop Nostalgia 101, Session 40: A 25 Year Retrospective, Big Daddy Kane's "It's A Big Daddy Thing" (1989)

After blessing us with his classic debut, 1988's "Long Live The Kane", the one and only Big Daddy Kane returned one year later with his anticipated second album, the appropriately titled "It's A Big Daddy Thing".



Release date: September 12, 1989




1. It's A Big Daddy Thing
Produced By Prince Paul

Much like his debut, Kane starts this with a dope, apply titled opener (it's only fitting that it would be the title track). This one is a little more fast paced than "Long Live The Kane", but just as dope if not better, especially on the lyrical end.
*Grade- A+



2. Another Victory
Produced By Easy Mo Bee

Yes indeed, the (still) underrated Easy Mo Bee was behind the boards in 89, providing Kane with this hype piece of work. While telling the competition that if you step to him, it's just another victory under his belt, he was also telling em' don't even bother to step up, no doubt (nothing wrong with being competitive). In a truly nice touch, I liked how he gave shout outs to fellow artists Kid N Play, LL Cool J, Stetsasonic, EPMD, Public Enemy, BDP, and Salt N Pepa towards the end. One thing Kane did well was promote unity.
*Grade- A+



3. Mortal Combat
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

"Just slow down, you don't wanna throw down/I get busy, get ya dizzy like a merry-go-round"


Those were just two of many dope, quotable lines in this Kane produced banger. "Mortal Combat" was the right title for this track, mainly because of the aggressive way he was "kicking" the rhymes.
*Grade- A+



4. Children R The Future
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

Ok, I've always liked this one. Lyrically it's on point and the title was a pretty accurate statement (then and now), however, the ONLY issue I had with this was the beat. It's not wack by any means, but it didn't quite vibe with the subject of the song. It's still very good though.
Grade- B+


5. Young, Gifted And Black
Produced By Marley Marl

"Rappers I replace, rub out, and erase/Competition you must be on freebase"


Over one of Marley Marl's finest beats ever, Kane comes with one of his most lyrically sharp performances ever. It was short, sweet, and straight to the point, no nonsense. The title of this classic says it all and of course, it STILL holds up today. 
*Grade- A+



 Courtesy of rapgenius.com, Kane speaks on the creation of this song.


6. Smooth Operator
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

Sample check #1
  

Sample check #2


"Genuine for 89". Absolutely. This remains one of the smoothest songs I've ever heard and only Kane could've made a song like this work, successfully blending extreme confidence and swag before there was such a thing. Oh yeah, legend has it that this classic was part of some "friendly competition" between Kane and fellow MC Rakim (you ever noticed the "I'm so smooth" hook, which was from Rakim's "Put Your Hands Together"). Either way, another one of Kane's finest moments.
Grade- A+



7. Calling Mr. Welfare
Additional Vocals By DJ Red Alert
Produced By Easy Mo Bee

Sample check

"There's no type of path to follow/It's all about a dollar, fuck being a scholar"


That one line describes this hilarious, but informative song. Simply put, pushers, dope dealers, pimps, and the like could be enjoying the lavish life one moment, but when reality sets in, you got no choice but to suck up your pride and call for assistance, hence the title Mr. Welfare. I also can't forget how funny Red Alert was throughout this song.
*Grade- A


 
8. Wrath Of Kane (Live)
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

Hot damn, this was an incredible live performance. Kane was on fire here with such grace, breath control, and energy. This one performance featured things you really don't see at live shows anymore: true crowd participation (the women in attendance definitely showed their love here) and attention. Wow.
Grade- A+



9. I Get The Job Done
Produced By Teddy Riley

"A champ like Tyson, a captain like Kirk, no/Employee of the month cause yo I do work!"


This classic was hard enough for the fellas, but strictly made for the ladies. Mr. Riley provided Kane with the right musical atmosphere to get the job done, complete with the "New Jack Swing" era on the horizon.
*Grade- A+



10. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now
Produced By Prince Paul

Sample check

"Takin' no mediums or small at all/We gotta walk not crawl or else take a fall"


Quite the "feel good" song right here. On display was the full uplifting of the Black community. We had come a long way as the 70s turned into the 80s and it was no turning back at that point. Plus, McFadden & Whitehead's "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" was already a classic by 89 and I feel Kane was also paying homage to them by use of this sample. Great stuff here.
Grade- A+




11. Pimpin' Ain't Easy
Featuring Nice & Smooth, Scoob Lover, and Ant Live
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

This marked the debut of Greg Nice and Smooth B, better known as Nice & Smooth. This was a good song, and I'm sure they were going for laughs here. They succeeded, lol.
Grade- B+


12. Big Daddy's Theme
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

Just a smooth, "pimped out" instrumental.


13. To Be Your Man
Featuring Blue Magic and Chuck Stanley
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

Another one of the earlier "hip hop ballads", not necessarily a reprise of "The Day You're Mine" from his debut. Blue Magic and Mr. Stanley played the hook and background, Kane just (smooth) talked his way through this song (remember songs like this). Another one for the ladies.
*Grade- B


14. The House That Cee Built
Produced By Mister Cee

This was a true showcase of Mister Cee behind the boards and on the turntables.
*Grade- B


15. On The Move
Featuring Scoob Lover and Scrap Lover
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

This one served three purposes: to have fun, please/entertain the ladies, and showcase Scoob & Scrap Lover.
*Grade- B


16. Warm It Up, Kane
Produced By Big Daddy Kane

"Competition may find it spectacular/Scheme and fiend to take a bite like Dracula"


Another banger that followed the same pattern as the title track, "Mortal Combat", and "Another Victory", just to name a few, and it's just as dope. Kane said "he's deadly as Scarface, but bright as the Cosby Show". Nice lines.
Grade- A+



17. Rap Summary (Lean On Me) Remix
Produced By Marley Marl

I've always preferred the original version (which I will post below), but this remix is just as good, but not better though. Whether it's the original or remix, it always makes me think about (and want to watch) the classic movie "Lean On Me", and Kane's rendition was the perfect lead song for it. 
Grade- A+


Original version

The remix



These trips/sessions down memory lane are ALWAYS great, and as Kane said, "my oh my things ain't what they used to be", and he was dead on with that. This certified Gold album, his most successful album to date, still holds up today and I'll tell you one thing, it gives "Long Live The Kane" a run for its money, no question. Kane was one of the hottest MCs in all of hip hop at the time, enjoying lots of deserved success as the 1990s drew closer. Speaking of which, we would definitely see the "changing of the guard", so to speak, as the 90s emerged, and this would effectively impact Kane for the rest of his career. At this point, King Asiatic Nobody's Equal was on top of the world with an album that'll stand the test of time, just like his debut. Thank you Kane for these classics.


Final Grade- A

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