hop was something new. Now it’s the biggest selling

, “Back then hip Big Daddy Kane,

ladies man and one of the most influential and skilled golden age rappers ruled the roost in Brooklyn back in the mid 80’s. Since then he’s released solo albums, been a film actor, featured in Madonna’s Sex book, posed for Playgirl and worked with all the greats including 2Pac, Tribe Called Quest, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, MF Doom and Jurassic 5. He even allowed a young Jay-Z to jump onstage for a few minutes whilst he changed outfits back in the day. A hip hop hero, his poetic lyrical content and fast, confident flow are simply second to none. Kane is visiting Norwich this month on one of only two UK dates, so I caught up with the man himself to talk about The Get Down and what No Half Steppin’ actually means.


were instrumental in the innovation and development of hip hop and you are incredibly influential to subsequent generations of artists – but who was influencing and impressing you when you first starting out? I guess my early influences in hip hop would be Grandmaster Caz from Te Cold Crush Brothers, but I was also a fan of the Furious Five and Spoony Gee. In 1986 you became a member of the Juice Crew which was led by Marley Marl – how did you find the transition from rapping with friends to being on stage and performing? Well before I had a record deal I was going from project to project, block party to block party battling other rappers, and sometimes I’d perform at parties in Brooklyn as well so I was


our hip hop story really seems to have begun in 1984 when you became friends with Biz Markie. You and some others

musical genre and it’s a corporate thing now.”

already quite experienced by that point. Which line that you’ve written are you most proud of? It’s probably a line I wrote for the song Mortal Kombat, “you little son of an o-bit-uary column”. It sounds like I’m gonna curse and then I switch it around. I really like that I can understand your words when you rap – this is surprisingly rare! When you were first starting out, how did you develop your own personal style so that you sounded unique and stood out in the burgeoning hip hop scene? I thought that it was real important that people are able to really hear what you’re saying so they can relate to the lyrics. I was one of those artists who didn’t want the track to control me – I wanted to control the track. You’re a really fast and intricate rapper. Did you have to train yourself to remember all the words to your songs or did that come pretty easily to you? Nah, I mean after you say something to yourself several times it gets embedded, just like learning

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