Today’s selection is from 1988, and from the artist Antonio Hardy-or as you may know him Big Daddy Kane.
Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane
Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Live_the_Kane
Fun Fact: During the early 1990s, Jay-Z is known to have been Big Daddy Kane’s hype man, and Kane helped him early on in his career – Ice-T says, “I actually met Jay-Z with Kane. Kane brought Jay-Z over to my house”. Kane himself says that Jay-Z wasn’t technically his hypeman in the true sense of the term –“he wasn’t a hypeman, he basically made cameo appearances on stage. When I would leave the stage to go change outfits, I would bring out Jay-Z and Positive K and let them freestyle until I came back to the stage.
|Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane
Least favorite track/tracks:
Overall (1-5 stars): 2
|Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane: 3.5 stars
Precon: My curiosity pick. I’ve only heard a little Kane, but he’s a proficient rapper, some would even say a hip hop icon, so I thought I should hear some more.
Favorite Track: Raw
I hear some Ced-Gee, KRS and Rakim in him.
Magic the Gathering Card(s): Giant Growth, Cabal Patriarch, Feldon’s Cane
|Big Daddy Kane-Long Live The Kane:
Preconceived Notions: There’s no way this isn’t hip hop. If it’s some other genre I’ll drink lotion. But since Mike already pointed out in the intro email that Jay-Z used to tag along with him, I’m sticking with my guns. I’m in less of a hip hop mood than ususal.
He did just say “I’ve got a black belt in rap-can-do” right?
Each of these first songs seem incredibly long to me
Oh man, I kind of like how creepy 80’s “The Day You’re Mine”. It’s straight up hilarious. It’s like Prince wrote a song for Color Me Badd. I know that no one watches New Girl, but this is the song that I picture Schmidt putting on when he thinks the clock is about to hit sexy-time. I’m glad he put one on here for the ladies.
Oh bummer, I just realized that the trailer for the Indiana Jones Blu-Ray was playing on the other screen I had just opened. I kept thinking that Kane was sampling and something awesome was about to happen
“I’ll take you there” is just going to turn out to be a big tease isn’t it. I’d rather just hear Mavis
Well there was a rhyme about Star Wars and Yoda, so there’s nothing to complain about there.
After Listening: I can understand how someone might have a nostalgic attachment to this record, but there’s really nothing that makes it stand out as being great. All of the really good parts are from other people/songs and the rest is just kind of lying there on the plate, like 3-hour old salmon. It’s starting to stink up the plate, but it’s still good enough to count as dinner. I’ll probably never listen to this ever again, but there wasn’t anything overtly offensive(with the exception of the hilarious “The Day You’re Mine”) just outdated. And all of these songs, for the beats behind them, feel waaaay too long, for me. Maybe if something had been changed up, I would have been more receptive. But it inevitably just devolves into people shouting each others names like some sort of makeshift awards ceremony. I know I’ve heard better than this…even in a genre that isn’t my favorite.
Favorite: The Day You’re Mine because it’s HILARIOUS and also because it’s the only one that stands out besides the one that samples “I’ll take you there”
|Preconceived Notions: Vaguely aware of Kane, in the sense that I find it plausible he existed in the late 80’s and have his name heard in passing as an influence on hip hop. Am I in for something with gold chains and Adias, or something forerunningly subversive? That I can’t answer…
After Listening: This record is hopelessly dated, it doesn’t mean the whole thing doesn’t have redeeming qualities…but wow, everything from slang which I’m pretty sure has been officially retired (word to your mom) in the community, to the extended shout out sections –wow. The production being a product of its time I suppose also falls into this category, but there’s enough funk elements to keep it at least on par with Run DMC and Public Enemy records of the period – in terms of backing anyway. Lyrically, sometimes the cheese factor works: I get the party kickin just like Bruce Lee. And other times well… If you are what you are what you eat than feed me dope cause I’m just about as dope as dope can get. I give Kane credit, as his lyrics are more often clever than not, and he can turn phrase –it’s just the phrases he’s turning are very much a prison of his day. So the question becomes more how much do you appreciate this exact time in hip hop and rap history, rather than about the individual tracks themselves.
Favorite Track: Long Live the King – I’m not sure if this is my favorite b/c it’s the 1st track on the album and hadn’t yet blended with the other tracks. It does have some great lines about Patti Labelle, Bruce Lee, and of course his declaration that he has a black belt in rap-kan do..which keep you alert. The backing has a lot of funk and a James Brown sample holding things down.
Least Favorite Track: The Day You’re Mine – one of the all-time stinkers RC has ever listened to. The meter is terrible, the beats are stagnant…and then there’s the “singing” on this. Holy god awful crap I know professional singers that can’t hit some of those atonal dissonances. Who the hell listened to this and was like “yeah man, you’re in key- sounds great”? Must have mixed this one after too many nights mixing drinks- and 5 mins?!! What. The. Hell. It’s an obvious “hey man this album needs a love song” track generic in its best moments and generally terrible.
Overall 2.43 This is tough, I doubt you’re going to find many people saying that Kane isn’t talented-and that this record wasn’t influential. At the same time though, hip hop and rap are very much music in the present from the jargon used, all the way to the beats in production- it’s a genre of music in the moment. And while some acts like Run DMC, and Public Enemy have a degree of aging gracefully- b/c of their iconic positions in that history of rap…I don’t feel Kane is either fun enough nor socially consciousness enough though to escape simply sounding dated. A good album perhaps for insight into the history of the genre’s evolution, but I can’t see too many people wanting to make this a part of their 2012 routine.
|Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane
Preconceptions: Big Daddy Kane? 80s NYC original hip-hop! This is going to be fly and fresh!
After Listening: The songs all kind of harmlessly flow all together until the stinkers slam the breaks on the process.
Bruce Lee: Set It Off & Long Live the Kane have aged the best of these tracks.
Overall: While some classic hip-hop we have listened to has aged like a fine stilton, Long Live the Kane is a block of Velveeta left in a car parked in Bed-Stuy for a week in August.