Most mixtape DJ’s
these days are overly concerned with the future: breaking new songs, new artists,
new beefs. Occasionally, a posthumous blessing from a late MC may make the mix.
Otherwise, expect nothing from yesterday.
A Brooklyn DJ
with the capability to be a mega-bomb dropper, opted to do otherwise. In June,
DJ J Period released a mixtape chronicling the immense career of hip-hop’s most
stylish innovator, Big Daddy Kane. The mix not only features Kane’s well known
hits, but also the better efforts of his later work mixed and remixed to sound
so sweet. If that weren’t enough, J Period added an exclusive unreleased Nas
collaboration, as well as rare freestyles and Juice Crew cyphers. You’d need
to rob a milk truck alone to hold the records that J Period used to capture
the man, the icon.
This mix was so
tight that we at AllHipHop had to shine some light on it. We chopped it up with
J Period on the elements of a quality mix, the reason behind his efforts, and
much much more. If that wasn’t enough, Big Daddy Kane came through to drop some
knowledge of his own, and speak up about J’s efforts. Does AllHipHop represent
for the DJ’s? Bet your Vestax.
In terms of the
art itself and not the image, Big Daddy Kane is arguably the most influential
figure in the way MC’s recite their lines today. According to J Period, thorough
Brooklyn resident, "Kane influenced Biggie, he influenced Jay-Z, just in
terms of their lyrical styles. But he doesn’t get the notoriety the others do.
I haven’t been able to figure out why that is." True when spouting off
your favorite rapper, do you really mention the Kane? You need to. J Period
knew that, and it was part of his inspiration in making the mix: "Kane
was one of my favorites growing up. I memorized every word and just knew him
backwards and forwards. [Then] he kinda went off the radar for a while. I did
this [mix], because I wanted cats to be like, ‘Oh shit, I forgot about Kane.’"
But what exactly
is it about Kane that caused such impact? We all have our own opinions. The
man behind the mix, J Period provides his: "Kane is the combination of
all the elements of hip-hop in one MC. He can do it hardcore and raw. He can
[also] do a smooth, pimped out style [too.]" It can also be the fact that
the mix equally portrays Kane’s dedication to providing the audience with a
distinct message. At times, Kane breathed words of encouragement to the Black
community. Other times, it was peace and positivity. But don’t get too coy rudeboy,
‘cuz Kane was more than capable of rhyming out a blueprint to just he thoroughly
he could get up in that ass. All of these messages and styles are organized
and demonstrated on J’s mix.
for the mix came in two parts. While J Period would’ve likely done this anyway,
he was approached by Lyricist Lounge to make the mix for the Big Daddy Kane
tour. While many "Best of" mix CD’s seem to benefit the DJ and not
the artist, Big Daddy Kane himself says otherwise of this mix: "I truly
believe that it does benefit me. There’s a younger generation out there buying
mixtapes. I made a whole lot of songs. This [mix] is giving cats not familiar
with my work a chance to hear it. Stuff you not gonna hear on radio stations."
Kane’s right, and this mix is hitting the hands of a whole new demographic.
If the word of
mouth benefit weren’t enough, J Period went a step further: "Out of respect
to Kane, I sent him a couple hundred CD’s to do with what he pleases. So he
can make a couple G’s. I don’t know if other mixtape DJ’s do that, and honestly,
I don’t care." Actions like these are living proof to the lost belief that
there is generosity and compensation left in hip-hop. Are other DJ’s really
keeping it fair? If they were, why would this sound so unique.
Still, in classic
Kane style, when asked what he thought of the action, and if he was pushing
the CD’s, Kane smoothly stated as he chuckled: "The CD’s still sitting
in the crib." Clearly, you ain’t gonna catch King Asiatic on Canal Street.
So that leaves
the mix itself to question: what makes it good? First of all, by ‘Best Of’,
this is not simply a greatest hits collection. Instead, J Period cataloged the
entire Kane career, including things us lightweights overlooked. With some help
from Q-Unique of the Rocksteady Crew, almost every Kane drop was accounted for.
From the solo records, to the guest spots, to Juice Crew cutouts, and one moment
in particular that touched Kane: "He put the whole version of the Madison
Square Garden with Biggie and ‘Pac on there. Other people have used it and only
used other niggas parts, and that’s my show! That was real love." See,
even Funkmaster Flex and Big Kap need to re-look the Kane. And speaking of that
freestyle, J remixed it with some Neptunes jams that will leave you handicapped.
of the mix that cannot be ignored is the Nas feature. While many say that G
Rap was the most obvious influence on Nas, J Period left us with questions.
On the classic, "Young Gifted and Black" you’ll hear Nasty Nas rip
it on time, and with good reason. "I heard this [rare] Nas freestyle that
just fit. He was rhyming over [Kane's beat] and into a Biz beat. I felt whatever
the vibe Nas was on when he [spit] that freestyle, it fit." The collaboration
comes so smooth that you’ll swear it was intended that way.
These two tracks
are just faces in a crowd of flavorful cuts. J Period updated a lot of the sounds,
and this mix serves as a moment of truth. If Kane were to drop an album right
now, he has the skills to erase any chart position rapper out there. So, can
we dispel the rumors that Kane and Alchemist had a falling out? "Alchemist
is my man. I love that brother til’ death. He’s been very supportive and in
my corner. We’re always workin’ together." But will the producer apprentice
and the master MC make that promised album on Landspeed Records? "I don’t
know. Honestly, I’m not too focused on the music like that." Instead, Kane
is devoting the majority of his time to persuing acting as well as develop two
promising artists under his wing: Mika Swing, and Saga. The criminally slept-on
production efforts of Kane will be back in tact when these artists come forward
There’s the formula.
J Period has made an album of a mix in times where mixtapes play for less than
a month until their useless. An ‘album’ that Kane says he wants his fans to
have. A DJ mix that Kane supports. A DJ that went out of his way to support
Kane. This type of coexistence makes hip-hop what it is.
Beyond the release,
J Period is currently working hard. He recently completed a mix for Ecko clothing
lines. Period, the DJ for underground group Zion I, is also on the cuts for
several tracks of their new album, "Deep Water Slang."
As far Big Daddy Kane, he recently self-pressed "Any Type of Way",
produced by DJ Premier. Meanwhile Kane is dedicated to furthering his role in
Hollywood as an actor.