Big Daddy Kane @ BB King’s Blue’s Bar & Grill, New York    

written by Jessica Dufresne - September 22nd, 2005    
Today’s so-called MCs could have learned a thing or two at Big Daddy Kane’s post VH1 Hip-Hop Honors show at BB King’s Blues Club & Grill last Thursday. The legend not only showed what it means to move a crowd but also what true Hip-Hop is. He rocked a raucous crowd consisting of fans and a long list of peers that read like a who’s-who in Hip-Hop 101: The Furious Five, Ice-T, Kwame, Whodini, Freddie Foxxx, King Sun, Marley Marl, Kangol Kid, Dana Dane, Sugar Hill Gang, Kool DJ Red Alert, Kid Capri, Pete Rock, and XX from the Fearless Four. Mack 10, Kamal from The Roots and Shyheim were also there to show support, although Mack left before Kane got on stage. The night was truly everything that Fresh Fest wasn’t.

The opening act was a very underground cat by the name of Brother Ali, who has been touted by the Village Voice to be one of the most underrated rappers on the scene. Ali worked hard to capture the attention of a not-so welcoming crowd. In the middle of his set, a circle had formed in the center of the floor with all eyes on battling break dancers. Rude as that was, Ali kept on going and was actually pretty good. While it was obvious that he could flow, it was hard to concentrate on his lyrics because the music was just too loud. If it wasn’t for that, perhaps the crowd could’ve been more attentive, once realizing this guy had something to say. Following Brother Ali was none other than Scoop, one of Kane’s old dancers. Going by the alias of Johnny Famous, Scoop is a fledgling rapper now and he did a few songs, but also fell victim to attention-hogging breakers. The crowd was half-heartedly into it, most likely impatient for the headliner to come out.

When Kane did emerge, the crowd went crazy and all attention was on him. Looking dapper from head to toe in slacks and a pink striped button-down, the smooth operator blasted on stage with “Young, Gifted & Black” and went on to do all his hits including, “Wrath of Kane,” “Big Daddy’s Anthem,” “Raw,” “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’,” “I Get the Job Done,” his “Symphony” verse, “Smooth Operator,” his verse from Big L’s “Platinum Plus,” and even freestyled, with one of them containing a veiled jab at 50 Cent. Longtime friend and the person he credits with motivating him to take rapping seriously, Biz, came out and teased the crowd by launching into the intros of his hits, but stopped short on each one pretending not to remember the rest. Dana Dane, Kangol Kid and the Sugar Hill Gang came on and did a song and then Kane did a tribute to the fallen soldiers of the game by playing excerpts of their songs. Rather than hold moments of silence for them, he urged the crowd to make as much noise as possible for each when their songs came on.

By the end of the show, it was a family affair as Kane called all of his pioneer friends onto the stage for recognition and Ice-T pretty much took over the mic from that point paying homage to the vets on the stage and to Kane himself. Interestingly, the man of the hour broke out of his own show without a word. Nevertheless, the rowdy crowd cheered on and didn’t move until the lights came on.

Fresh off of being honored for his contributions to rap music, and an explosive performance on the Hip Hop Honors show, Kane proved why he is considered to be one of the best all-around rap artists of all time.

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