[96] Big Daddy Kane – Long Live The Kane

6 Feb

Released in 1988 – the year I came of age musically – Long Live The Kane showcases the very best and worst of the 80s wrapped up in one fascinating conundrum of an album.

Long Live The Kane

Long Live The Kane

Rapper Big Daddy Kane swings from staggering displays of rhythm and rhyme to the very depths of tone deaf cheese and back across the ten tracks that make up this seminal collection.

The first three songs snap, crackle and pop with humor and intelligence, catchy hooks and well crafted beats.  There are head spinning annunciations and laugh out loud pop culture references as Kane spells out his credentials at the expense of “sucker DJs”.

Even if rap has never been my favorite genre, I can’t help but be thoroughly entertained by the confidence and control on display here.

Then it all goes horribly, painfully, inexplicably off the rails.

The bland saccarine ballad that is “The Day You’re Mine” would be bad enough if the only problem was its utterly predictable sappiness, but the sung (rather than rapped) chorus is so hideously off key that it puts my previously unrivalled hatred of Liam Gallagher’s flattening of every note he ever whined into a new perspective.

After the innovation and energy of the opening, this mid-album stinker is flat out infuriating.  (I will however admit to being thankful for the fact that the song has a grammatically correct title . . .)

This atrocity is followed up by another less than stellar effort, Kane’s verbal acrobatics and deep tone watered down in his sharing the spotlight of “On The Bugged Tip” with lightweight cartoon rapper, Scoob Lover.

But, just when I’m wondering if Big Daddy has packed the back 70% of his album with filler, along comes the infectious earworminess of “Ain’t No Half Stepping” and just like that the album is irrevocably back on track, not letting up to the closing beats of “Word To The Mother (Land)”.

Once again Tom Moon has not steered me wrong when it comes to a genre with which I have just a passing familiarity, introducing me to an artist whose wordplay and attitude are obviously enjoyable and and deservedly legendary.

Next Week:  Big Star – #1 Record / Radio City

Owned before blogging? No. (9 of 96 = 9%)
Heard before blogging? No. (14 of 96 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (78 of 965 = 81%)

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