In an interview with The Huffington Post, legendary hip-hop star Big Daddy Kane reflected on his career–and explained why his status in hip-hop seemed to nose-dive after his first two albums. Kane’s debut Long Live the Kane and the widely-hailed follow-up, It’s A Big Daddy Thing are among the most celebrated rap albums of all time, but after the release of A Taste of Chocolate in 1990 and Prince of Darkness a year later, Kane’s artistic credibility and commercial viability were derailed.
Kane says, initially, that was his plan. But it eventually stalled his career momentum in a way from which it would never fully recover. His visibility dwindled, and after 1994s Daddy’s Home, Kane’s releases became increasingly infrequent.
“Well, the string of releases essentially ended after the first four albums. We did Long Live the Kane and I caught the bug,” Kane said, reflecting on his career trajectory. “I realized pretty much everything I did wrong with Long Live the Kane and went right back in and did It’s a Big Daddy Thing, because now I had a more universal approach. I think Long Live the Kane was pretty much a real boxed-in mindset with me just doing what I represented in the hood.”
Kane considers It’s A Big Daddy Thing to be an album with a wider lens. “After the success of that, I was able to tour the world and see what was happening in other places, like Los Angeles and London. I had a broader perspective and I was able to really paint it in It’s a Big Daddy Thing.
“After that, I was unhappy with the label, so I dropped two trash albums to try to hurry up and finish up my 5-album deal so that’s why they were coming so fast after that. I was trying to hurry up and get out of the deal. I guess Warner Brothers caught on after Prince of Darkness and they just stopped me and made me freeze for a year. I was glad they did because at that point in time I started realizing that the streets were saying ‘Yo, they say you fell off. You wack.’ I had time to really regroup and get all the right producers like Track Masters, Easy Mo Bee, Large Professor and really do a good Kane album.”
Kane says the lukewarm reception to 1993s Looks Like A Job For… was mainly due to his own refusal to evolve as a rhymer–despite the stellar lineup of producers he’d worked with on the album.
“After the album came out I think I messed it up. I don’t blame it on Warner Brothers. I don’t blame it on the producers, I think it was my fault,” Kane says. “Looks Like a Job For… I think is a great album production-wise and structure-wise. I think that it was me who made the mistake because I was spitting a lot of dope rhymes, but I didn’t realize that with artists like Method Man and Biggie and Nas, the flow had changed. Cats were behind the beat more, they weren’t that rapid-fire like I was accustomed to doing so I think my style was out-dated.”
Check out some classic Kane below: