Big Daddy Kane
Since his ground-breaking debut of Long Live the Kane, hip-hop has never been the same. Big Daddy Kane is on any critic’s top three list and has a flow that helped revolutionalize the game. Check out Big Daddy Kane as he talks about real hip-hop and his recent dedication at VH-1’s Hip-Hop Honors.
Interview by Rob Schwartz

WHO?MAG: You were one of the artists that really brought the importance of “a flow” into rap. Do you feel that new artist are building on what you brought or still trying to ride other people’s styles?
BIG DADDY KANE: I think that there are a lot of different artist that have changed up the flow with hip-hop in so many different and unique ways such as Method Man, Busta, even Biggie the way he slowed it down. Busta is a master of riding melodies. It’s almost like he’s singing. I feel they have been affective throughout the years.

WHO?MAG: What made you first get involved with hip-hop?
BIG DADDY KANE: Actually it was an older cousin I had who was someone I looked up to when I was in junior high. We started rapping and I was only doing it because he was doing it. I didn’t really take it that serious until I met Biz (Markie) in ’84.

WHO?MAG: Comparing hip-hop now to how it was 15 years ago, what would you say were the most positive and negative aspects?
BIG DADDY KANE: The most positive aspect would be the business side. A lot of young cats are really being taught how to come into the music business as a young entrepreneur by starting they’re own record labels, clothing lines, restaurants, and what have you. I think that the negative aspect would be the quality of music and a lot of the negativity that’s projected in the music.

WHO?MAG: Do you feel that the old school and the true school artist are getting the recognition that they deserve or getting more forgotten?
BIG DADDY KANE: I feel that it’s pretty much dead and forgotten. If you talk to the youth today, old school to them is like Biggie & Pac. Very few of them can relate to a brother such as myself, KRS-ONE, Rakim, G Rap and hardly any that can relate to the Furious Five or The Sugarhill Gang, and damn sure don’t know about the Cold Crush and the Funky Four. I think it’s pretty much forgotten, but thanks to shows like Hip-hop Honors, we’re starting to get some of the proper recognition.

WHO?MAG: VH-1 was always considered adult-contemporary pop. How do you feel about their involvement with their new Hip-Hop Honors?
BIG DADDY KANE: It’s beautiful because it’s something that is well deserved and also coming from VH-1, it reaches a whole different audience opposed to just the urban audience. However, I would like to see some other people get involved and document the history before it gets lost.

WHO?MAG: Lately the turnover for artists has been very slim. What is your key for longevity?
BIG DADDY KANE: I would say originality. Just being myself. What you hear and see from me is just me. There is nothing that is trendy that the label said they want me to sound like. It’s what I feel and what believe. I feel that there is an audience that has accepted me for being me and they want to keep hearing old songs that I have done because of what it represents.

WHO?MAG: What do you want Big Daddy Kane to be remembered for?
BIG DADDY KANE: Definitely as one of the great lyricist and someone who had an impact over the people. I would like to be known as touching people’s lives.

WHO?MAG: Where do you see the hip-hop industry 10 years from today?
BIG DADDY KANE: It’s only getting bigger because it’s now a universal language that can be used in so many different ways and fusions with other genres. It’s only getting bigger.

WHO?MAG: Can we expect a new Big Daddy Kane album anytime soon?
BIG DADDY KANE: I doubt it.

WHO?MAG: What’s next in store for Big Daddy Kane?
BIG DADDY KANE: I’m featured on the Foxy Brown album, Kay Slay album, and I just finished a film called Dead Heist.