November 20, 2008

My Gut Reaction: Big Daddy Kane - It's A Big Daddy Thing (1989)

Back when I first wrote about Big Daddy Kane's debut, Long Live The Kane, I had mentioned that I never listened to any of Kane's work up until that point, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. So, of course, the next logical step is to follow the discography, and that's where My Gut Reaction to It's A Big Daddy Thing, Kane's sophomore effort, comes in.

Released one year after his debut, It's A Big Daddy Thing is apparently Kane's best-selling album in his entire catalog. It features a couple of songs that hit the Top 40 charts, and the disc's success helped him ease into the new decade. Big Daddy Kane's verse on Marley Marl's "The Symphony" (alongside other fellow Juice Crew members Master Ace, Craig G., and Kool G. Rap), released after Long Live The Kane hit shelves, probably did the most to stir up interest in the project, though, being that "The Symphony" is generally considered to be the best hip hop posse cut in history.

Let's hope this is worth my time.

1. IT'S A BIG DADDY THING
The beat sounded like it was going to rock, until Kane started rapping: after that, the instrumental switched itself up to a lame-ass club-ready track. And this is a fucking Prince Paul beat! (I'm as shocked as you are right now.) On the upside, the beat sounds as if Paul specifically created it for Kane to use, but that's not much of a positive. This does not bode well.

2. ANOTHER VICTORY
Easy Mo Bee's beat kind of sounds like a De La Soul reject, but Kane flows over it like water. Although it still isn't as catchy as the best songs from Long Live The Kane, this is still not half bad.

3. MORTAL COMBAT
Kane sounds as if he's about to trip over his words, and his own instrumental (Kane actually produced the majority of the album himself) manages to be both derivative and too busy, an interesting combination, but not nearly intriguing enough for me to give a damn.

4. CHILDREN R THE FUTURE
I liked the sentiment, but Whitney Houston did it better, and I hate nearly every single Whitney Houston song there is. (There's a song she did with Wyclef a bit more recently, "My Love Is Your Love", which is good, but I'm veering off topic.) I'm not saying that all rappers have to rhyme about killing people and having promiscuous sex all the fucking time, but I'm pretty sure that Kane doesn't perform this at his live shows. (Maybe I'm wrong, though.) Also, was it really necessary to misspell the word "are"? If children r the future, maybe they should be taught how to spell.

5. YOUNG, GIFTED, AND BLACK
I have to be honest. Kane sounds great over this Marley Marl beat, but I feel that Jay-Z sounded better when he jacked the instrumental, an opinion I attribute to the fact that I had heard this song last. However, the best use of this instrumental has to be Breezly Brewin' and Big Sha's "What U Got (The Demo)" from Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves. I'm fairly certain I'm in the minority, though.

6. SMOOTH OPERATOR
I couldn't get into this at all.

7. CALLING MR. WELFARE
Social commentary in a rap song is usually something that I appreciate and support, but this song doesn't sound sincere: all Kane does is criticize without offering any constructive feedback. The introduction also sounds pretty fucking insipid. Oh well.

8. WRATH OF KANE (LIVE)
Kane sounds pretty good live. I bet it was pretty fucking amazing to see all of these artists live in concert back in the day, as opposed to watching what passed for a hip hop show today. As for why there isn't simply a studio version of this song on here, I'll never know.

9. I GET THE JOB DONE
Meh.

10. AIN'T NO STOPPIN' US NOW
Nothing on here is grabbing me like his debut did. I don't expect greatness, but it would be nice if the music were interesting. The sad thing is, this is the other Prince Paul-produced track on It's A Big Daddy Thing, and I don't like it at all. This shit is just depressing.

11. PIMPIN' AIN'T EASY (FEAT ANT LIVE, NICE & SMOOTH, & SCOOB LOVER)
It certainly isn't. It's fucking hilarious that this song appears on the same album as "Children R The Future", especially with Kane's ridiculously and unnecessarily homophobic verse. Not like you'll ever hear his anti-gay comments anyway, since this song is so awful, but whatever.

12. BIG DADDY'S THEME
Not the best instrumental in the world, but I've heard worse, so kudos to Kane. His joke at the end isn't really very funny, though.

13. TO BE YOUR MAN (FEAT BLUE MAGIC & CHUCK STANLEY)
I can't imagine that this song was a good idea back in 1989, as it's clearly terrible today. A message to all aspiring rappers that read this blog: love songs don't have to completely suck.

14. THE HOUSE THAT CEE BUILT
The deejay cut that we don't see as much of anymore, because rappers only seem to use deejays on their mixtapes. Not bad.

15. ON THE MOVE
Fuck, this album is boring. How is it possible that this is the biggest seller in Kane's career?

16. WARM IT UP, KANE
Okay, I finally found something that offsets my last comment. This song is just plain great. Kane effortlessly flows over his own beat, presenting us with the album's pinnacle moment.

17. RAP SUMMARY (LEAN ON ME) (REMIX)
Hearing Kane rhyme from the perspective of Morgan Freeman's Joe Clark from (predictably) Lean On Me. I suppose Freeman is a good choice, since Kane could have easily rhymed as Jim Belushi's Rick Latimer (from The Principal) when it came to choosing the mindset of an annoyed administrator. Regardless, this song is a mess, kind of embarrassing to listen to, and I fucking hate the Bill Withers song anyway, so I'm just through with this shit.

THE LAST WORD: As much as I recommended Long Live The Kane, I can honestly say that I will never listen to It's A Big Daddy Thing again. This album is consistently boring, with only one or two highlights that managed to keep me awake. It seems that Kane got lazy after his early success and felt that putting his name on anything would help it sell, regardless of quality, and to that end, he was right. If this were his debut album, we would have never heard from the man again.

That is all. Comments can be left below.

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Big Daddy Kane - Long Live The Kane (My Gut Reaction)

16 comments:

  1. What is with you hating everything you review this month? Seriously, make some recommendations, so I can get some new stuff to listen to!

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  2. DAMN! That is all.

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  3. Ehhh I'm not with you on this one, Max. This is a good album.

    It's a Big Daddy Thing
    Another Victory
    Mortal Combat
    Young, Gifted and Black
    Smooth Operator
    Calling Mr. Welfare
    Wrath of Kane
    Pimpin' Ain't Easy
    Warm it Up, Kane

    Those tracks are all dope to me. The homophobia is indeed unnecessary on "Pimpin," but the rest of that song is entertaining as hell. This is at least a burn.

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  4. the real hedz know better than the the bullshit that both of us just had to read...
    If i'm not mistaken the last track is a remix of a tune (Rap Summary) that Kane recorded for the Lean On Me soundtrack, hence the reason he rhymes from the perspective of joe clarke as opposed to "Jim Belushi's Rick Latimer (from The Principal)" ... granted is a weak ass joint they tacked on at the end for no good reason...do the knowledge man, at least get it right before you shit on it

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  5. Okay, seriously? The joke about The Principal was simply just that - a joke. I'm fully aware of the Lean On Me connection, even though I really do hate that final song.

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  6. I agree with the review. This was my first foray into Kane's work, and outside of Warm It Up, Kane, I really didn't care for much of the album at all.

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  7. I just think that this album is so dated, that if you didn't get it then you won't get it now.

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  8. the letter dNovember 21, 2008

    Wow, I like your reviews but...damn...you just basically crapped on a classic. Everyone has their opinion, I just hope no one passes up trying this album based simply on your review.

    I won't be elitist and say you are too young to understand it or you don't get it, but I will say that maybe you would think differently of it had you been listening when it originally dropped.

    The studio version of Wrath of Kane is on the B-Side of an earlier 12". I believe it was the one for I'll Take You There.

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  9. yuh could'nt say he was "too young to understand it" cuz max is at least 30...he just missed the boat as a youngster and too hella jaded in his oldness to dig it ...the tone of this shit was so gone that i did'n get your little "joke"..my bad cap'm

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  10. Max is on Jigga's dick too hard to feel real shit like this. He recommended Kingdom Come of all albums. He probably cries about having to shit on Blueprint 2. He wants to fuck the Camel.

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  11. I dunno, homie... sounds like you were in a really foul mood while listening to this one and just chose to shit all over it. I don't know, maybe you heard some revised version that doesn't sound like the one I did... but this album was great. I was about to stop reading when you negated the greatness of "Mortal Combat", but then it just got worse as I read on. It's all open to opinion, but some of what you wrote was waaaay off in comparison to what this album really sounds like.

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  12. I'm way too young to have this album unfortunatly, but how can you not love I Get the Job Done? The beat kinda sucks, but Kane rips apart the song from start to finish from start beginning.

    "One by one you can come and caress me
    Undress and molest me but you cant posess me"

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  13. wow you guys are finally realizing these reviews are written by a 19 year old

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  14. The age comment is flattering, but ultimately irrelevant: even if I was four years old, the fact of the matter is this: I actually sit down and LISTEN to these albums. Age has nothing to do with it. And if you actually read the original Big Daddy Kane post, I fully admit that I missed the boat on following his career. So if I'm giving honest feedback, who gives a fuck?

    Thanks for reading!

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  15. AnonymousMay 03, 2010

    son the album is a classic
    your just a bitch.

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  16. Melquan ShabazzJanuary 16, 2015

    I like a few more tracks than you do, and "warm it up kane" is an undisputed hip hop classic, but overall this album pales in comparison to the first one. They don't get much respect, but Taste of Chocolate and Looks like a job for have some damn fine tunes of them as well. Seems Kane hit the mark every other album during his peak.

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