Happy Birthday Big Daddy Kane. King Asiatic Turns 50 Years Old (Video)
Earlier this year, LL Cool J and Rakim both celebrated their 50th birthdays. Today (September 10), another game-changing lyricist joins the party. Big Daddy Kane (aka Antonio Hardy) turns 50. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Long Live The Kane. At 50, Kane’s longevity is cemented.
In terms of commanding mic controlling, Big Daddy Kane staked his claim early. The Brooklyn, New Yorker emerged in the mid-1980s battle-scene carrying a unique balance of lethal confidence and natural smoothness. Antonio Hardy is able to rap extremely fast, making a nonstop case for his supremacy as an MC. After linking with Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, King Asiatic began work on 1988’s Long Live The Kane, one of the highest-regarded Hip-Hop albums of all-time. Big Daddy was a master at blending audiences, by offering something for lyric-seekers, routine lovers, ’70s R&B fans, as well as those simply thriving upon vibe. Arguably more so than other elite G.O.A.T. contenders, Big Daddy Kane took a gold-certified style, and adapted and tooled with it on each LP, from the seductive (Taste Of Chocolate) to the hardcore B-boy (Looks Like A Job For…). Never a Top 10-selling artist, Big Daddy Kane is a stone in the sand reminder that skills may be the tortoise to the hare, and artists can reach sales benchmarks simply based upon quality. Following 1998’s Veteranz Day, Big Daddy Kane has shunned solo albums for 20 calendars. However, as evidenced in the Dave Chappelle’s Block Party music documentary, Kane’s live show—which he offers regularly—dwarfs his Rap peers, 20 years his junior. The confidence, moves, and slick air remain intact. In critical guest spots ranging from Big L to Little Brother, Kane teases Heads with deft lyrics that are to the level he produced in the ’80s and ’90s. Like a champ with the belt, Big Daddy Kane walks uncontested—a GOAT in his own brain, and the minds of legions of many others.
Beyond the discography, Kane is a 30-plus-year ambassador of cool. He embodies the self-confidence, bravado, and charms of Hip-Hop as a smooth operator. Check him out finessing the Live With Regis & Kathy Lee at a time when Hip-Hop was not regularly broadcast into morning livingrooms:
As anybody who’s spoken with the legendary MC can tell you, Kane carries this demeanor with him today.
This year, Big Daddy Kane tore up a Funkmaster Flex freestyle and tore down an NPR Tiny Desk concert. With a confirmed spot on Ghostface Killah’s upcoming Lost Tapes LP, Kane remains raw in the 2-0-1-8.
Celebrate King Asiatic’s greatness with DJ J. Period mixtape that he hosted more than 15 years ago:
Happy birthday, Kane. Your fans at Ambrosia For Heads wish you many more.