Antonio Hardy aka Big Daddy Kane has been around since 1986, dropping lyrical bombs as an artist in his own right and as part of the legendary hip hop outfit the Juice Crew. Tonight is the first date of a short UK tour and the venue is nice and busy as the Brighton Hip Hop cognoscenti are out in force to catch arguably one of the best ever MCs in Hip Hop. He was always known for his lyrical dexterity and powerful multi-syllabic (or compound) rhymes, saying things like “I’m sure to score, endure for more without a flaw, cos’ I get raw!” without losing his breath and perfectly riding the beat. Plenty of MCs including Eminen have said how much Big Daddy Kane influenced what they do, and you can hear his influence in Jay-Z (Kane used to put a young Jay Z on stage while he took a short break or costume change back when he was doing shows in the 90’s).
He always used to put on entertaining shows (especially when he had his backing dancers Scoob and Scrap Lover to back him up) and tonight, although he’s on stage with only a DJ dropping his tunes, he still has a winning presence and understands the showmanship element of his craft. The Kane classics are all performed and it’s exactly what we want to hear, so we get “Warm it up Kane”, “Lean on me”, “Ain’t no half stepping”, “Set it off”, “Wrath of Kane”, “Raw” and his verse from that classic hip hop posse cut “The Symphony”. He takes time out to namecheck and play selections from deceased Hip Hop artists Jam Master Jay, Big L, Biggie, Tupac and ODB and tells us how much of a lively crowd we are and he hopes the rest of his tour is like this.
He’s also been working on some new material and launches into a tune called “Last Chance”. His innovative battle flow still very much in evidence on this verbal reclaiming of his lyrical crown. Chuck D played this one on his radio show so you can check it out here. (29 mins 30 secs into the show).
Coming from a period in Hip Hop when artists wanted to put on a good live show as well as demonstrate their lyrical skills, The King Asiatic Nobodys Equal is still a top drawer. Long live the Kane!