Big Daddy Kane Celebrates 20th Anniversary (Concert Review)


MC’s can claim to be the greatest rapper alive, but few even come close to Big Daddy Kane. The man who birthed the often imitated Brooklyn swagger celebrated his twentieth anniversary in Hip-Hop at B.B. King’s in New York City before a jam-packed audience both young and old.

The night began with a video following the King Asiatic around Brooklyn speaking about his legacy. Those interviewed including the Retro Kids who were in attendance, paying their respect for the man born Antonio Hardy and his twenty year veteran status.

Opening up the show were The Beatnuts performing “Watch Out Now” and “Off The Books” and Positive K with his hits “Step Up” and “I Got A Man”. Soon after, the crowd erupted in unison when The Diabolical Biz Markie alongside DJ Cool V took over the turntables to man his own classics “Biz Is Goin’ Off”, “The Vapors” and “Just A Friend”.

Other surprises included Roxanne Shanté rocking “Def Fresh Crew” and M.O.P. with “Ante UP”.

When Mister Cee came on stage to set up on the turntables, the crowd knew it was time to witness a royal affair. The Smooth Operator came out; still fly twenty years later in his red button down, black vest, black pants and black fedora with red trim.

Backed by live band Connie Price and The Keystones, Kane opened his set with “Set It Off” followed by “Warm It Up Kane”, and “I Get The Job Done”. He even interjected with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” midway into the laid back hit “Smooth Operator”.

Playing to the crowd’s energy, Kane proceeded on with “On The Bugged Tip”, “Young Gifted And Black” and “Ain’t No Half Steppin’”. He took time to recognize president-elect Barack Obama and told the audience there is now no excuse for half steppin’.

If all the aforementioned surprise guests weren’t enough, the legendary Juice Crew hit the stage. With the exception of Kool G. Rap, each MC annihilated their verses on “Symphony” before heading off stage so Kane could masterfully wrap up his set with “Raw”; breaking out some classic footwork alongside Scoob and Scrap Lover.

Rap has come long way from the days of the golden era; still many new Rappers continue to follow that blueprint. Kane himself said the key ingredient needed for success and longevity is originality; otherwise you lose yourself trying to follow others. Twenty years later he’s proven again that Nobody’s Equal.