Big Daddy Kane Flexes His Lyrical Prowess On Long Live The Kane | Album Review
How Classic? 4 out of 6
Big Daddy Kane released his debut Long Live The Kane on June 28, 1988, in the middle hip-hop's golden age. Despite Kane's asthmatic condition he became known for fast syncopated rhyming over similarly fast-paced beats with light touches of James Brown. Kane's lyrics on this album generally center around his skills and abilities on the microphone and cutting down those of other Mcs, although some tracks like "I'll Take You There", "Word To The Motherland" talk about love and Afrocentricity respectively.
Lyrically Big Daddy Kane handles his mic duties and then some on tracks like "Raw" and "Set It Off", with the latter featuring an infectious squealing sound over a pumping up-tempo beat. While on "Rhymin' With The Biz", Kane gets a visit from his friend Biz Markie, who he had known since 1984. Kane and Biz's chemistry is obvious when they share a track together.
The crowning jewel of the album is the classic "Ain't No Half-Steppin'' which is a slower tempo than much of the album which suits Kane's flow better when he gets to deliver his metaphors at a more digestible pace. This memorable track is made up of two samples, Heatwave ("Ain't No Half-Steppin'"), and the Emotions ("Blind Alley").
All in all this is a solid debut which lacks direction but certainly has its moments of both lyrical and production highlights. However, it's on the latter that Long Live The Kane falls short of greatness because Big Daddy Kane's lyrical prowess is nothing short of outstanding.