Big Daddy Kane’s It’s A Big Daddy Thing vs. Queen Latifah’s All Hail The Queen. Which Is Better?
One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as determined by hundreds of thousands of voters. Now, “Finding The GOAT” returns to ask a new question: what is the greatest of all time Hip-Hop album?
“Finding The GOAT Album” will consider 120 albums from three individual eras (40 in each), with options for wild card and write-in candidates. You and your vote will decide which album goes forward, and which one leaves the conversation. While there will no doubt be conversation between family and friends (virtual and real), only votes cast in the voting tool below will be counted, so use the power of your click.
In Fall of 1989, Big Daddy Kane trail-blazed a playbook for star rappers going into their sophomore albums. As a new artist with plenty to say, Queen Latifah cultivated her own debut to shift the paradigm in Rap. Which reigns? Your vote determines (click one then click “vote”).
Voting For This Poll Has Closed. Visit the “Finding The GOAT” page for current ballots.
It’s A Big Daddy Thing by Big Daddy Kane
Less than one year after Long Live The Kane, Big Daddy Kane was faced with the difficult task of following up greatness. The Brooklyn, New York MC’s first album combined his elite reputation in battle scene and underground with his visions of career grandeur. The 1989 sophomore, as it were, owned those dreams, and dismissed the burden of proving excellence, only to add more substance to the style. It’s A Big Daddy Thing expanded B.D.K.’s range, and recruited additional would-be star producers to the party. “Young, Gifted, and Black” and “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” resonated as deft messages of Black pride, and racial awareness. “Children R The Future” showed Kane’s virtuous intentions, as “To Be Your Man” added to his strong romantic reputation. However, Antonio Hardy had no shyness in dropping crudeness in the same breath, as heard on “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy.” The Cold Chillin’ artist was a fully-formed Rap star, and used his wide scope to nearly double the length of his first offering.
For historic purposes, the most enduring quality of I.A.B.D.T. is still the MC clinic. “Warm It Up, Kane” returned B.D.K. to letter-perfect elevated rhymes, glowing with self-confidence as Rap’s best. “Smooth Operator” took the same dazzling display, and applied the BK lyricist’s skills to a slow, gentle flow. King Asiatic was a technician—capable of going mainstream, but refusing to compromise his audience in doing so. The MC presented as pro-Black, a sensitive playboy, and a top contender who refused to relinquish his belt. The album’s sonic diversity was afforded from maintaining a close relationship with Marley Marl, but adding Guy’s Teddy Riley, as well as Prince Paul and Easy Mo Bee behind the boards. It’s A Big Daddy Thing raised the standard of sophomore solos, and truly bridged the distinct gap between Kane in the ’80s and the same MC’s experimental early 1990s. This one, he got it right, and showed that once you earn the baton, why not run with it?
Album Number: 2
Released: September 19, 1989
Label: Cold Chillin’/Warner Bros. Records
Highest Charting Position (Top 200): #33 (certified gold, November 1989)
Song Guests: Nice & Smooth, DJ Red Alert, Scoob Lover, Scrap Lover, Ant Live, Blue Magic, Chuck Stanley, Mister Cee
Song Producers: (self), Marley Marl, Prince Paul, Teddy Riley, Easy Mo Bee, Mister Cee
All Hail The Queen by Queen Latifah
After several years distinguishing herself within 45 King’s Flavor Unit, Queen Latifah’s debut ruled the open stage as “Princess Of The Posse.” The Newark, New Jersey MC approached her Tommy Boy Records opener with a strong sense of pride—as a smart, sensitive, skilled Black woman. “Ladies First” (the original mix, as heard on the LP) may be Rap’s most profound assertion that women are not equals, but supreme. Once accessories to the party and Rap crews, Lah’ and Monie Love pushed the boys to the side with the lyrically hard manifesto. Joined by another Native Tongues affiliate, De La Soul, “Mama Gave Birth To The Soul Children” combined feminism with Afrocentricism, in a groovy—not preachy—way. Years before she was a “cover girl,” Queen Lah’ relied on her mind and nimble flow to stand out in a crowded class.
Beyond the dense themes, All Hail The Queen showed Latifah’s fierce rhyme abilities. At her best, Queen and 45 King made penetrating raps about skills. “A King And Queen Creation” showcased Lah’s razor sharp ability to break syllables down, while “Dance For Me” showed that musically, Dana Owens ruled, as well. “Wrath Of My Madness” showcased Latifah’s crisp cadence and distinct vocals. The Brick City MC was unmistakably original. Nearly 20 years before she was a Grammy-nominated vocal Jazz artist, Latifah’s Hip-Hop breakthrough incorporated House, Dancehall, and fleeting moments of melody in an MC that mentally, skillfully, and personally showed tremendous potential. Moreover, this album—with 45 King at the helm, and figures like Prince Paul and Paul C. contributing, is a diamond in the rough for its music alone. Like Will Smith, Latifah’s on-screen success often discounts her microphone mastery. However, many can argue that All Hail The Queen never gave up the throne.
Album Number: 1 (solo)
Released: November 7, 1989
Label: Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. Records
Highest Charting Position (Top 200): #124
Song Guests: De La Soul (Posdnous & Dave), Daddy ‘O,’ KRS-One, Monie Love, 45 King, Dr. Shane Faber
Song Producers: 45 King, Prince Paul, Daddy ‘O,’ KRS-One, Little Louie Vega, Dr. Jam, Soulshock, Ultimatum
So what’s the better album? Make sure you vote above.