The new school rapper Big Daddy Kane called his “hero”
(Credit: Rusty Shack)

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The new school rapper Big Daddy Kane called his "hero"

Big Daddy Kane is regarded as one the most pivotal Mcs of the 1980s. Alongside MCs such as KRS-One, LL Cool J, and Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane helped steer the direction of hip-hop and was behind some of the era’s most iconic tracks. As part of the legendary Juice Crew with Kool G Rap, MC Sha, and Biz Markie, the Brooklyn rapper undoubtedly impacted the culture.

With career beginnings in the mid-’80s, the musician (real name Antonio Hardy) burst onto the scene with his track ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin’ and went on to have several hits with the help of the epic Marley Marl. In 1988, Hardy released his debut album, Long Live the Kane. He then went on to put out a track alongside the legendary Quincy Jones in 1991 entitled ‘Back on the Block’. The song earned Kane a Grammy in the category of ‘Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group’.

As the 1990s raged on, Hardy continued to emcee and even acted as a mentor to local MCs in New York, one of which was Jay-Z. Invited to appear on the urban music TV show Rap City in 1990, Kane allowed Jay-Z to accompany him and even encouraged him to drop a freestyle. The result was Jay-Z’s first televised rap performance. Having already cemented his history as a pioneer and skilled lyricist, Hardy appeared on the Houston radio show 97.9 The Box earlier this year.

Speaking with the hosts DJ JQue and G-Man, the Brooklyn act spoke on hip-hop’s new generation and artists he holds in high regard. Rappers from the genre’s golden age often clash with contemporary MCs and reprimand them. However, Hardy was extraordinarily respectful and even praised several of them. The 54-year-old icon showed love to several artists but said he particularly admires J. Cole, who he referred to as his “hero.” Elaborating on his sentiments, Hardy explained, “That’s my dude right there. J. Cole is my hero.”

However, Kane didn’t only name J. Cole. He also called out many more such as ‘Money Trees’ rapper Kendrick Lamar about whom he said, “I love Kendrick [Lamar] as well. Rapsody, Lady London. Lady London is a monster. She is incredible.” The Long Live The Kane act also called attention to Atlanta trio Migos likening the collective to an influential group from the ’80s. Expressing his affinity for the group, Hardy revealed, “I was so hoping and praying to see another Migos album because their style reminded me of The Funky 4 + 1 with their in-and-out, and I’m a fan of their music and their fashion. Because that’s something that’s important to me. Those dudes be fly.”

Kane’s love for J. Cole is not a new revelation, as in 2021, he was interviewed by the Forest Hills Drive performer. Face to face with the emcee Hardy told viewers, “I want this brother right here to know that he is my favourite MC out here right now. This is the brother right here that makes me feel like Hip Hop is still alive, and it’s here to stay when I listen to this here brother spit and listen to his music. Love you, fam.” You can watch Hardy’s 97.9 The Box interview in the video below.