Big Daddy Kane: Black like a motherfucker so don't take me lightly. The ancient ruins, The former wasted, They shall rise up and restore The ruined cities. Desolate now for generations. (22-07-1999)
Sleeping on his last album, Veteranz Days, was very easy. There was no promotion and no radio airplay. Through Internet we found out there was a new album. But it took one year to finally find it in a shop. You buy the record because it’s a Big Daddy Kane record. Being a little bit sad he fell off. But with the show he gave us in Paradiso he proved that we are the ones who became lazy and fell and not he. The show was the bomb (Mr. Cee review).
“It’s Mr. Kane coming back to dominate/ I used to listen to his music back in ‘88/ Damn he’s still pumping/ When you think he ain’t nothing / That kid is just keep coming back / What is he? / The Terminator or something?”
– ‘Entaprizin’ from ’Veteranz Day.
Big Daddy Kane lived in the same neighborhood as the Biz Markie. When he got a record deal Kane wrote some lyrics for him. He also wrote songs for Shante.Mr. Cee is working at a local radio show and has a lot solo stuff going on. That is why he has not the opportunity to travel as much as they used to do.
Meanwhile: I was talking/joking around with Peter while sitting in front of Fat Beats BDK passed. Stopped talking: “Hey, just one of my heroes walked by.”
AQ: “After the heydays, how do you handle your emotions, that you are not on top any more?”
BDK: “Well the whole thing is that there is still a fan base that still buys your records and loves you. That is the part you have to learn to love, that there are still people that are looking for you. You see a lot of times with new artists, they come out and on top of the charts. And next year they ain’t doing nothing. You don’t even remember what song they put out. [Imitating] You go ‘They had that… you know that song that goes… tatatata. Euhm you know the song.’ That is the way you talk about them. But after ten / eleven years there are still people who remember your songs. That is a really beautiful thing. That makes you an official artist. That puts you on a Patti Labele, Luther Vandross and James Browntype of level. People still remember almost every word of those records made ten years ago.”
He’s right, the whole audience rapped every word of the songs Kane was performing. I don’t know how but even I was singing along with the records I even don’t have. It really amazed me what kind of impact his records have made.
Meanwhile: DTF chats with Kane: “One minute you’re walking down the street. Next minute you’re checking records together with Big Daddy Kane in a shop.”
AQ: “Are you amazed that peeps on the other side of the planet love you so much?”
BDK: “The last time I was out here I received a lot of love, I was really surprised. People knew every word of the songs even songs that I didn’t perform. Afterwards we spoke with a lot of people. They knew and had read every article and interview that was written about me. The people here (Europe) take HipHop very serious.”
Meanwhile: After the interview I ask the most important question, if he could sign my records. DJ Edzon-with-a-fucked-up-cold looked at it, went inside and came back with his ‘Smooth Operator 12"’. DJ Edzon: “Good idea.”
Picture a sound
In the movie ‘The Posse’ Daddy showed to be a talented actor. And he had a small role in ‘Meteorman’.
AQ: "So any new acting roles coming up?
BDK: "I did not do any in a hot minute. Well for movies you really have to be in the Hollywood scene all the time. To focus on a rap career and acting career is really hard. Hollywood is an out of sight, out of mind situation. Guru and me were talking about it last week, he’s starring in ‘Substitute 2’.
Count Dracula is not a very funny person. ‘Sesame Street’s Count Countula’ gives a funny twist to that image. And Big Daddy Cane gives him a funky twist, he plays ‘Count Macula’ in the forthcoming movie ofPrince Paul. ‘Prince Of Thieves’ is out on vinyl and as a video on the telly. BDK: “I think it’s kinda funny.” The Prince is a long time friend of the Kane. This is a kind of project that would be totally different when new cats would do it. ButEverlast, BDK, Prince Paul and De La Soultake it to another level. The movie is including Xibit, but that is a new cat. Everlast also has a funny part, he is playing a cop. Kane still would love to work with ‘Lauryn Hill’. Well who doesn’t want to work with her? And would love to work with Big Pun and Ronald Isley.
Meanwhile: DJ TLM gets a shout out for his next mix tape on my tape recorder and gives Kane his new mix tape. Out of the blue D steps to Kane who’s checking album covers and says: “Could you sign some records?” Are MC and me: “Yo what about, ‘excuse me and please’?”, D: “I said that!” Are MC: “No you didn’t”.
Memorial day? No, veterans day.
What makes the difference between an old school artist and a veteran? Veterans are those who fought battles in the past and now are memorizing and telling great stories out of the past. BDK:“An old school artist is some one that is leaning on his hits, fame and skills from the past. Veterans are the ones that can still hold their grounds. Still can win any battle with new cats.” Just like in many movies, veterans are the wrong soldiers to fuck with. Yes they fought battles, are reminiscing and tell great stories out of the past. But they are still fighting battles, experience new events and are still telling great old and new stories. His game is tightly, BDK: “Black like a motherfucker so don’t take me lightly.”
Meanwhile: Hanging around we all gossip, about him looking older, gained some weight and stuff. But hey, we became ten years older too. Big Daddy Kane is a laid back and relaxed man. And it was a strange and amazing experience to just chill with BDK. Making some pictures with the man and our crew. DTF with a big smile and together with the Daddy. Me to Are MC: “Yo, if you want to be on one picture with Kane, you have to stand within one meter of Kane. Not four.” Well Are MC couldn’t help it. He was still stunned about the whole situation.
In all the BDK buzz, you’re digging in the crates and find your records again. Checking his classics and his new material. While you thought he fell off, because the albums and Kane was seldom in the headlines anymore, you notice that the contents, the skills and the metaphors only grew.
Now ten years later, wiser, older and more experienced you re-recognise why the lyrics are so great. Although many stars have big videos out, even portraying them selves as Jesus, or try whatever to make the money. You can have Wu-Tang Clantotally hyped up and sold out venue having a massive chaos as a party with everybody happy. Or a Big Pun who is out of breath after three songs. If you think about it, it’s not often that some one dropped a tight ass show like BDK. He has a good articulation that makes it very clear to understand him and even to follow his new lyrics easily. He interacts and plays with the audience in a fresh way. Is on point and in deep concentration. Mostly American rappers are too stoned or drunken to pay any attention to the show. Genius of the Wu-Tang holds the record for delivering the most wack show ever performed in the Netherlands.
Why is it that big companies don’t believe in the older artists? They are only pumping big money in new fresh talent. ‘And next year? Well they have another nigger.’ BDK: “You have to ask that the industry people.” It’s not something that only happens with HipHop music. It’s what happens in general in black music with black artists. Artists like Fred Wesleyand Maceo Parker (James Brown’s band in the golden age) are signed to a record label in Germany, Minor Records. They are not hitting in the charts or in massive sales. But Fred and Maceo with their ages of grand pa’s still rocking venues, making and selling good records. And are headlining on festivals as North Sea Jazz Festival. It’s a steady income, it’s paying the bills. Having fun with tours and being busy with releasing new material on a steady basis. Quality doesn’t need to have radio airplay, ads or videos to sell.
BDK: “We are going to start our own record company, Mahogany Records. It’s in the works, we are just sorting out the paper work. I got two dope RnB acts. ‘Flush’ and ‘His and Hers’ and a rapper, ‘Rock’, he’s of the hook and real bananas. You have to check them.”
Surprise! Guess who is on the rise?
The sad thing was that ‘Veteranz Day’ was supposed to be his last album. Strange feeling of happiness that ‘The Records Label’ really fucked up their job. They did it even worse then don’t doing it at all.
BDK: “I got caught up in a big mess, with a really fucked up label. They didn’t know nothing about rap. They didn’t know what they were doing. Basically they were experimenting with my project. They fucked the whole thing up. I feel the HipHop community is cheated on the last album”. Well that is also a reason to smile. BDK:“I had the intention to make it my last album. But now I’m working with several people for a new album. There is another album coming. So it’s a good last album.” Yes, yes, yes, yes, another album! BDK: “I only don’t know what title.” Hey, why should you retire as an artist? Is it possible to stop being a lyricist? I don’t need to see his video or hear him on the radio. By the way, I seldom listen to the radio. If there is a new Kane album I’m happy to buy it, playing it and if possible, once in a while enjoy a show. Nah, can’t stop. Please don’t stop.
AQ: What can people expect when they are going to see your show, because you never toured Europe?
BDK: “I love to come out here, especially over here (Amsterdam). It ain’t my fault that there is no tour. I even had my ears pierced the last time I was here. I never been to shit like that. That’s how much fun I had. I came here to do my thing. To tear it down like we usually do.”
AQ: How can People reach you, if they want to know what’s up with you if they don’t want to run the red tape and? Do you have an internet page or a fanclub?
BDK: “Nah, just tell them to send up the bat sign”
Meanwhile: Backstage after the show Deams runs up to me for a picture with Kane. Murth: “Me too please.” Yep he’s still Daddy, some lovely women take Kane in their arms for a picture. Kane and his crew go upstairs (backstage Paradiso is in the basement) to party till dawn together with the crowd. In the morning they fly back to New York. And what about us? Well, within three hours the alarm clock will ring for the start of a new week at work. It’s gonna be a hard day. But what the heck, please do come back Kane.