Review Summary: The most convincing proof of Kane’s status as one of the best MCs3 of 3 thought this review was well written
In the mid 80s, Big Daddy Kane met Biz Markie who would later introduce him to producer Marley Marl who would later put together one of the best known collections of hip-hop talent: The Juice Crew. Big Daddy Kane would go on to establish himself as the most successful member of the crew starting with his debut Long Live the Kane.
Big Daddy Kane can switch his style up from slow (Ain’t no Half Steppin’) to fast (Raw) to faster (Set it Off) and not skip a beat, sounding just as good and convincing at any speed he chooses. The biggest hit on Long Live the Kane
was undoubtedly ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin’ over a mellow beat provided by Marley Marl and some well placed scratching, Kane boasts about his skills and offers some internal rhyme schemes and great lyricism.
Kane rips the mic furiously on ‘Raw’ and ‘Set it Off’ with a rapid-fire delivery and for ‘Set it Off’ Marley Marl provides a James Brown sample and up-tempo drums where Kane delivers the following verse:
Go with the flow, my rhymes grow like an afro
I entertain again and Kane'll never have no
Problem, I can sneeze, sniffle and cough
E-e-e-even if I stutter Ima still come off
As evidenced by the album cover, Kane considered himself a ladies man and on his love song ‘The Day You’re Mine’ he began digging a hole for himself that would only get deeper over the years. With it’s synth bassline, stuttering drums and R&B chorus, ‘The Day You’re Mine’ seems completely out of place on this album. Kane shows his range talking about afro centricity on ‘Word to the Mother(Land)’ and envisioning a utopia in ‘I’ll Take You There’ where “crack ain't nothing but a hole in the wall”
and “Ethiopians can eat in Red Lobster for free.”
The track ‘On the Bugged Tip’ is another low point here, with a guest spot from Scoob Lover, it’s just a silly track with lines like “So Scoob Lover, you know your rhymes are kickin', get on the mic, cuz you know you eat chicken.”
Those are the kind of lyrics you’d expect from Biz Markie… and you get them on ‘Just Rhymin’ with Biz’: “Big Daddy, huh huh, my man my mellow Get on the mic cause you know you eat Jell-O.”
Not surprising since Kane probably wrote that verse for Biz, the thing is Biz never took himself too seriously, that was his schtick; but Kane tries to be a ladies man, a socially conscious rapper and a battle MC so hearing him clown around like this is a bit ridiculous.
Long considered on of the best hip-hop albums ever but released in 1988 which was one of the best years for releases in the genre, not only is this NOT one of the top five hip-hop albums ever, it’s not even top five for 1988. Kane’s lyrical abilities are superb and he can often flip words in mind-boggling fashion but he is unable to sustain it for the duration of an entire album, Long Live the Kane
was as close as he ever got.
Ain't No Half-Steppin'
Set it Off