This Friday, we are proud to be hosting a party in association with Slowdown Sounds and The Mint Club. We’ve got some of the finest hip hop and funk dj’s from the area spinning their favourite classic hip hop tracks, b-boys and girls doing their thing, and if that wasn’t enough, we’re beyond excited to welcome the one and only Big Daddy Kane.

Big Daddy Kane

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Hip hop heads will know just on hearing his name why they need to be there.

One of the greatest, most influential, MC’s of all time, Big Daddy Kane came up through the legendary Juice Crew alongside Marley Marl, Masta Ace and Biz Markie. It’s difficult to overstate his impact on the genre. His first two albums, Long Live the Kane and It’s a Big Daddy Thing were definitive moments during hip hop’s golden age. Just listen to Ain’t No Half Steppin’ and marvel at how fresh it sounds. Quality doesn’t fade. No wonder then that it appears on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest hip hop songs of all time.

Big Daddy Kane hit the accelerator on the genre with his unparalleled ability to layer complex rhymes at a rapid pace. Check out Wrath of Kane to hear how skilfully he navigates the rhythm at speed.

Big Daddy Kane ShoeIt’s no Big Daddy Kane has always been a show-man, with a reputation as one of the sharpest dressers in hip hop and one of the original playa’s in the game. Back when she was considered to be one of the biggest stars in the firmament Madonna picked Kane to be photographed in her coffee table book of erotic pictures (called, somewhat unimaginatively, Sex). Every genius has a limitation though, and in BDK’s case, it might be his limited edition loafer (available for a mere $155 dollars if you’re stuck for present ideas for someone you don’t like much).

But you can’t easily fit one kind of label on BDK. As well as lady’s man and king of bling, he’s commonly acknowledged as one of the most fearsomely vicious battle rappers the world has known which, seeing as he started in the era of the Bridge Wars, is no mean achievement. BDK maintains that Kool Moe Dee bottled out of stepping to him, and the beef with Rakim that never quite made it toe to toe has attained the status of hip hop myth. According to hiphopdox.com, in 2014 BDK made it clear he was ready and willing to finally settle it. For half a million dollars.

To see why they may have been a little cautious, listen to the skills on the seminal “Just Rhymin’ With Biz” – not a battle, but the lyrical trade off between the two MC’s is second to none. Younger heads may not realise just how many classic vocal samples come from BDK. Yes, yes, y’all…. you don’t stop…

Big Daddy Kane probably wouldn’t describe himself as a conscious rapper, but he’s never shied away from incisive commentary. Another Victory is a case in point.

The 90’s were perhaps not quite so stellar in terms of solo work, but BDK continued to be key as his influence was heard in the work of those who came after him, not least of all Jay-Z who got a leg up from him in the early part of the decade – listen to his feature on Show and Prove from 94. From 2000 on, there’s been something of a renaissance, with some solo work, and guests on artists including Tribe Called Quest, Jurassic 5, DJ Babu, Joel Oritz and fellow Juice Crew alumni Masta Ace (on the somewhat under-rated album Son of Yvonne).

So many artists cite him as a key influence, it’s impossible to list them, but there’s a great tribute track from the Roots on The Tipping Point where Black Thought produces a pretty impressive impression of BDK on the second verse. Ice T, Kool Moe Dee and Eminem are all on record as listing him as one of the greats.

I can’t quite believe he’s coming to Leeds. You will never, ever, get the chance to see an artist of this stature so up close and personal again….

See you all at the bar.

Words by Vicky T