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Big Daddy Kane

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In the world of hip-hop, time races to an accelerated clock -- an emcee with two albums under his belt is called a veteran, and some of the music's true "grandfathers" and "pioneers" haven't yet turned thirty -- which makes Big Daddy Kane's career -- now entering its eighth year -- all that more remarkable.

And as his album Daddy's Home proves, the Big Daddy still has mad skills on the microphone, the kind that just get better with time. And still to this day, nobody has outdone his intense, high-speed rap style. Daddy's Home features a wide range of today's dopest production talent, including D.J. Premier, Easy Mo Bee, Da Rock, L.G., Kool T & Crush, and several tracks by Big Daddy himself.

The album opens with "Daddy's Home," a slow-tempo gangsta groove stomp through Kane's life story. Born to move the crowd, raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, the rapper now returns to the microphone with the urgency of a star player who's been sitting out the game for too long. "Brooklyn Style" picks up the pace, and introduces Scoob Lover, an emcee who got his start as one of Kane's dancers back in the early days. The track is a celebration of Kane's hood, and an affirmation of the power of simply being who you are.

"In the P.J.'s," the first single from Daddy's Home, is a shout out to Kane's people still living in the projects. It has an easy back-beat, over which Kane flows with his deep, leathery vocals, reminiscing and looking forward to "peace and harmony," but adding that "damn, man, drama's just in my nature."

His lighthearted side is evident on tracks like "3 Forties & A Bottle of Moet," which, in the tradition of the drunken style kung-fu masters, finds Kane proving that even when he's tipsy he can still rip it on the mike. "Sex According to the Prince of Darkness" is, as its title suggests, the Big Daddy's declaration of devotion to the fairer sex, and "Show & Prove" continues in the time-honored tradition of passing the microphone, and features raps by a number of surprise guests, such as Ol' Dirty Bastard and Shyheim, a.k.a. The Rugged Child (Wutang Clan). Elsewhere on Daddy's Home, Kane continues to push himself into new terrain; on "W.G.O.N.R.S." he displays a deeper concern for social issues than ever before, asking, "What's going on in our society?"

Kane's career began way back in 1984, when he met the legendary Biz Markie in front of McCrory's department store in Brooklyn. It was through Markie that Kane met the man who would produce his first hits, Marley Marl, as well as Roxanne Shante, who Kane would write and DJ for in 1986. Cold Chillin' Records, which already included Markie and Shante on their artist roster, signed Kane in 1987 and released the single "Raw." In 1988 he followed with the release of Long Live the Kane, which elevated the standards of hip-hop rhyming with its hyper-speed vocals. It was the first single, "Raw," that established Kane as the master of hardcore, speed-of light rapping.

Kane's sophomore effort, It's A Big Daddy Thing, yielded the hits "Smooth Operator" and "I Get the Job Done," as well as "Pimpin' Ain't Easy," with Nice and Smooth. He followed with Taste of Chocolate, featuring duets with Barry White, Malcolm X's daughter, Camilla Shabazz, and Dolemite. Next came Prince of Darkness, which included contributions from Q-tip and Busta Rhymes, as well as a duet with Kane's real-life brother Little Daddy Shane. Before releasing 1993's Looks Like A Job For..., Kane had also found time to make cameos on Heavy D's "Don't Curse," Kool G Rap's "Number One With A Bullet" and Public Enemy's "Burn Hollywood Burn" (with Ice Cube). He also contributed "'Nuff Respect," one of the most outstanding tracks on the all-star Juice soundtrack. On top of all this, Kane branched out into acting, co-starring in Mario Van Peebles' black western Posse and Robert Townsend's film Meteor Man.

With Daddy's Home, Kane brings his career full circle, back to where it began. With a beat, a rhyme, and a rapper named Big Daddy Kane. Take a listen to the album, and ask yourself, "What more do you really need?"

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