Big Daddy Kane has influenced pretty much any and every rapper you listen to. Recently, Kane spoke about the early days of Jay-Z and how he was one of the first to try and get HOV a record deal.
“At that point in time, we were trying to shop Jay Z to get him a deal,” Kane says in an interview with TheRealHip-Hop. “He was an artist I was working with at the time. With Ol’ Dirty [Bastard], me and Wu-Tang [Clan] did a show together at Newark Symphony Hall and after the show I told my people, ‘I wanna meet that Ol’ Dirty Bastard dude and the little kid.’ I went to their dressing room and they came to a party in Queens with me and hung out that night. Ever since, we were cool. Ol’ Dirty used to come out to Queens and spend the night at my crib a whole lot. Shyheim, I took him on the road with me on the Budweiser Superfest. He was like 15 years old, too young to be on a tour sponsored by a beer company [laughs].” (TheRealHip-Hop)
Big Daddy Kane went on to speak on “Top 5” lists and his opinion on how these lists are created.
“When somebody tells me, ‘The Source magazine had you in the Top 5 emcees,’ I’m like, ‘Okay, that’s cool,'” Kane says. “The other four may not be who I consider dope emcees. If you got me with somebody who is there because they sold a whole bunch of records, or they’re popular, or a multimillionaire then I don’t really know if you know what really makes an emcee an emcee. Or somebody telling me, ‘Rolling Stone had “Ain’t No Half-Steppin'” as one of the Top 50 Rap songs of all-time,’ and I look at the list of songs I don’t really respect their judgment, either. But you know when somebody on the street says, ‘You’re the reason I started rapping,’ or ‘I always thought you was the dopest emcee,’ or ‘Yo, you know you Top 3,’ and then they say something like me, KRS[-One], and Rakim or Me, Biggie [The Notorious B.I.G.], and [Kool] G Rap, that’s the stuff that I love to hear. That’s what means something to me.”