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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 21, 1988 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Even though he spends a good 90% of the album boasting about his skills and abilities on the microphone, and cutting those of other MCs, Big Daddy Kane consistently proves himself a thrilling artist on his debut album, Long Live the Kane, one of the most appealing creations from the original new school of rap. This debut captures the Big Daddy Kane who rocked the house at hip-hop clubs and verbally cut up any and all comers in the late '80s with his articulate precision and locomotive power -- the Big Daddy Kane who became an underground legend, the Big Daddy Kane who had the sheer verbal facility and razor-clean dexterity to ambush any MC and exhilarate anyone who witnessed or heard him perform. There are missteps here, to be sure -- especially "The Day You're Mine," on which Kane casts himself as a loverman over a stilted drum machine and lackluster, cheesily seductive singing (offering a glimpse of the particular corner into which he would eventually paint himself). But there are also plenty of legitimate early hip-hop classics, none of which have lost an ounce of their power, and all of which serve as reminders of a time and era when hip-hop felt immediate, exciting, fresh, and a little bit dangerous (in the figurative, rather than literal, sense), and when hip-hop spawned commercial tastes of the moment rather than surrendering to them. Although his next album would be nearly the artistic equal of the debut -- and, in many ways, even bettered it -- Big Daddy Kane would never sound as compelling or as fresh as on this first effort. © Stanton Swihart /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 15, 1989 | Rhino - Warner Records

If Big Daddy Kane's debut album painted him as an enormously talented battle MC, his follow-up, It's a Big Daddy Thing, finds him aggressively expanding into new territory and gunning for a wider audience outside the hip-hop faithful. Unlike later efforts, most of it is rousingly successful, making for an album that's arguably just as strong as his near-classic debut. This is where Kane starts to take his place as one of hip-hop's first sex symbols, thanks to the gliding "Smooth Operator," the somewhat dated ballad "To Be Your Man," and the Teddy Riley-produced new jack swing track "I Get the Job Done." If the latter is a blatant attempt at crossing over, with a vastly different sound than anything else on the album, it's also a player's statement of purpose. Elsewhere, Kane plays the anti-drug, pro-education social commentator, bringing his Nation of Islam beliefs further into the spotlight on tracks like "Another Victory," "Children R the Future," "Calling Mr. Welfare," and "Rap Summary (Lean on Me)." "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" sits a little uneasily alongside that progressive-minded material, not just for its obvious subject matter but for the line where Kane declares himself "anti-faggot"; nonetheless, it remains something of a favorite among fans who look past that slip. And of course, there are plenty of showcases for Kane's near-peerless technique, including "Mortal Combat," a live version of the rare B-side "Wrath of Kane," and "Warm It Up, Kane." There's some filler in the second half, like the amusing, blaxploitation-styled "Big Daddy's Theme," but overall It's a Big Daddy Thing is a strong, varied album that captures every important side of one of rap's major talents. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 21, 2011 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 21, 2011 | Rhino - Warner Records

Big Daddy Kane gave one of his most consistent efforts with Taste of Chocolate, his third album. Kane not only had first-rate technique and rhyming skills working to this CD's advantage, he also had quite a bit of excellent and varied material to choose from. Though he still spends too much time bragging about his microphone skills, such hard-hitting numbers as "Mr. Pitiful" and the sobering "Dance With the Devil" show just how substantial he can be. This time, Kane is joined by a number of distinguished guests, including Barry White (who is typically charismatic on the rap ballad "All of Me"); Malcolm X's daughter Gamilah Shabazz (with whom he duets on "Who Am I") and the raunchy comedian Rudy Ray Moore. When Kane and Moore exchange insults on "Big Daddy Vs. Dolemite" things get outrageously entertaining. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1994 | Geffen*

It looks like the return of the loverman on the cover of Big Daddy Kane's sixth LP, Daddy's Home, though hardcore fans who bought it anyway were treated to a tight, tough record that alternated classic Kane with a few surprisingly successful detours and enough space to salute the next generation of East Coast hardcore. He set it off on an excellent opener, breaking up his usually quick flow for a few gems of carefully phrased, lyrically lurching rap that make him sound like the return of the drunken master. "Brooklyn Style...Laid Out" and the hands-in-the-air jam "In the PJ's" are great double features for Big Daddy Kane and Big Scoob. For the irresistible "Show and Prove," Big Daddy Kane invited a pair of young rappers, Jay-Z and Ol' Dirty Bastard, well before they would appear on their own records (both MCs' styles are definitely in place, and Jay-Z gets in a few zany speed raps). One detour that didn't work was "Don't Do It to Yourself," an attempt at duplicating West Coast G-funk that doesn't come across. Despite a few choruses that sounded a little tired, Daddy's Home proved that Kane was still in prime form. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 23, 2009 | Rhino - Warner Records