There’s a story that Big Daddy Kane tells in the latest installment of TV One’s Unsung where he was scheduled to perform for an all female audience at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. His legend made it a must-have ticket. . . and um, not just for ladies.
Turns out the Brooklyn crew of fellas wasn’t having the segregation, and proceeded to climb up the fire escape of the theater and force their way in. They saw the show. Sure, it was for the ladies. But also, it was to see Kane.
That’s who he was.
And that’s what the episode is all about: an ode to Brooklyn’s flyest and most charismatic MC. The one who paved the way for Biggie and Jay-Z. The one who excelled at both battle raps and story telling. The one who combined hip hop lyrics with R&B showmanship along with his dancers Scoob and Scrap Lover. It was his influence, his aura, that made him the star that he was. That, and some of the best raps this side of the Atlantic.
The thing that you hear from his peers, and from Kane himself, is that he was ahead of his time. That his James Brown-based stage show was too high concept for other rappers. That his Uzi-like, articulate raps, combined with his healthy libido, separated him from the pack.
I say he was just dope.
Take a look at the entire clip after the jump, which features thoughts from Biz Markie, MC Lyte, Mister Cee, Ralph McDaniels and Kool Moe Dee, and reminisce on a time when hip hop still made sense, and a dark-skinned Romeo from New York’s biggest borough was large and in charge.