Long Live The Kane

Big Daddy Kane

Warner Brothers, 1988

http://www.officialbigdaddykane.com

REVIEW BY: Ben Ehrenreich

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/29/2006

Big Daddy Kane is frequently considered one of the best MCs of all time. His debut album, Long Live The Kane,my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 is a hip-hop classic and displays Kane’s unbelievable gift of gab.

1988 was the first golden-year of hip-hop (1994 being the other), a fantasy year that saw albums like It Takes a Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, By All Means Necessary, Strictly Business, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, Straight Out the Jungle, Straight Outta Compton and Critical Beatdown. Not that this is important, but considering how depressing hip-hop in 2006 has been, I thought I would reflect.

Long Live The Kane is not the best album to come out in 1988 but it is still a revolutionary piece of work. Big Daddy Kane exhibits his lyrical prowess over an album entirely produced by the legendary Marley Marl. The album starts off with three absolutely rambunctious tracks: “Long Live The Kane,” “Raw (Remix)” and “Set It Off,” which showcase Kane’s trademark punch lines and metaphors that set fire to his microphone.

Things slow down a bit with “The Day You’re Mine,” which is the birthplace of the smooth-talking pimp Kane later perfected. “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” is a landmark and alone is evidence of why Big Daddy Kane is considered one of the greatest; the song contains a laid-back groove courtesy of Marley Marl that Kane obliterates by changing his rap style to a nonchalant cadence instead of the laid-back lyrical spitfire he usually is.

Not every song is killer, but the majority of them are. This album is a landmark for east coast MCs and has influenced people like Jay-Z and Nas, and a couple of minor blemishes aside, this is a must-own for all hip-hop heads, especially those who crave the good old days.

Rating: A-

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© 2006 Ben Ehrenreich and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Brothers, and is used for informational purposes only.