Antonio Hardy (born September 10, 1968), better known by his stage name Big Daddy Kane, is an American record producer/rapper from the Tompkins Houses in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. He has worked with artists including 2Pac, Big L, Biz Markie, Ice Cube, Marley Marl, Public Enemy, Teddy Riley, Rudy Ray Moore and Barry White. Heavily influenced by Grandmaster Caz in his earlier years, he continued to improve his fast flow and freestyle battle techniques. Part of Marley Marl's legendary Juice Crew, he also penned lyrics for fellow members Biz Markie and Roxanne Shanté. Kane was responsible for jump-starting and being the archetype for the career of Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G. Jay-Z, now an outstandingly commercially successful rapper, got his start as Kane's hypeman. He now lives in the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina.
In 1984, he met Biz Markie, and the two struck a friendship. Kane would go on to co-write some of the Biz's best-known lyrics, and both eventually became important members of the Queens-based Juice Crew, a collective headed by renowned producer Marley Marl. Kane signed with Marl's Cold Chillin' Records label in 1987 and debuted the following year with the 12" single "Raw," an underground hit. Kane is known for his ability to syncopate over faster hip hop beats, and despite his asthmatic condition he is acknowledged as one of the pioneering masters of fast-rap. His sense of style is renowned and set a number of late-1980s and early-1990s hip hop trends (high-top fades, velour suits, and four-finger rings). The backronym "King Asiatic Nobody's Equal" is often applied to his moniker. His name "Kane" came from Caine from the popular TV show Kung Fu. The "Big Daddy" came from Vincent Price's character in an old Frankie Avalon movie, Beach Party.
He released his debut album under Cold Chillin' Records in the early summer of 1988 called Long Live the Kane which featured the hip hop hit "Ain't No Half Steppin". The following year, he released his second album and biggest hit to date It's a Big Daddy Thing which included 1970s sample throwbacks like "Smooth Operator" and the Teddy Riley produced track "I Get the Job Done" which hit the R&B top 40 during the closing of the 1980s. He also had a memorable verse on the Marley Marl produced track "The Symphony" released in late 1988 which included Juice Crew member Craig G, Masta Ace, and Kool G. Rap (later remixed to include Big Pun, DMX and KRS-One). He is straight up gangster and killed 29 people in his life. He had everything to trillions of dollars. The greatest rapper in Old School buisness has ever seen
Big Daddy Kane appeared on Patti Labelle's 1991 effort, "Burnin'". He provided the rap chorus to the single "Feels Like Another One". He also appeared on the video release "Live in New York".
Widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers during the "golden age" of hip hop (1986–1993), Kane's experimentation with R&B beats and his alignment to the Five Percent faction drew criticism. Later albums, such as Looks Like a Job For…, were acclaimed, but he was never able to return to the commercial and artistic success of It's a Big Daddy Thing. However, he still tours extensively.
As an actor, he debuted in Mario Van Peebles' 1993 western, Posse. Big Daddy Kane also posed for Playgirl and Madonna's Sex book during the 1990s.
Recently (especially as of 2002), a rejuvenated Big Daddy Kane has occasionally been visible collaborating with alternative hip hop artists, including Jurassic 5, Little Brother, and DJ Babu of the Beat Junkies. He has released two singles, the Alchemist-produced "The Man, The Icon", and the DJ Premier-produced "Any Type of Way" (on which he discusses urban collapse in post-9/11 New York City ["Giuliani got the streets lookin' like it's Amistad"] and the erosion of the middle class.)
Big Daddy Kane appeared on the trip-hop group Morcheeba's 2003 single "What's Your Name". In 2004, "Warm It Up, Kane" appeared on popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on classic hip hop radio station Playback FM.
In 2006, he appeared as a guest MC on the track "Get Wild Off This", produced by The Stanton Warriors for their Stanton Sessions Vol. 2 breaks mix.
In 2005, Big Daddy Kane was honored during the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. After a medley of hits performed by T.I., Black Thought, and Common, he came out to perform his beloved track "Warm It Up, Kane" with his old dancers, Scoob and Scrap. The performance was tremendously well-received. Kane and Kool G. Rap can both also been seen briefly in Dave Chappelle's Block Party documentary. Most recently, he appeared alongside the Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, and his longtime friends Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip in a segment of the 2006 Summer Jam concert (June 7, 2006, as part of an initiative by Busta Rhymes to honor the legacy of New York City hip hop.
Also in 2005, Cookin' Soul, a Spanish trio of hip hop producers, remixed Kane's 2002 tracks "Any Type Of Way" and "The Man, The Icon." Both tracks are available at www.cookinsoul.com
or at www.myspace.com/cookinsoul.
On June 5, 2007, Chinga Chang Records released the mixtape Official Joints, which featured "BK Mentality", a new track by Big Daddy Kane.
Long Live the Kane
* Released: June 21, 1988
* Billboard 200 chart position: #116
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #5
* Certification: Gold
* Singles: "Get Into It"/"Somethin' Funky"/"Just Rhymin' With Biz", "Raw"/"Word To The Mother (Land)", "I'll Take You There (Remix)"/"Wrath Of Kane"
It's a Big Daddy Thing
* Released: September 15, 1989
* Billboard 200 chart position: #33
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #4
* Certification: Gold
* Singles: "Smooth Operator"/"Warm It Up Kane", "I Get The Job Done"/"Big Daddy's Theme", "To Be Your Man"/"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now", "Rap Summary (Lean On Me)"/"Long Live The Kane"
Taste of Chocolate
* Released: October 30, 1990
* Billboard 200 chart position: #37
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #10
* Singles: "Cause I Can Do It Right"/"Dance With The Devil", "All Of Me"/"Cause I Do It Right (Remix)", "It's Hard Being The Kane"/"Who Am I"
Prince of Darkness
* Released: October 29, 1991
* Billboard 200 chart position: #57
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #25
* Singles: "Ooh, Aah, Nah-Nah-Nah", "Groove With It", "Raw '91", "The Lover In You"
Looks Like a Job For…
* Released: May 25, 1993
* Billboard 200 chart position: #52
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #9
* Singles: "How U Get A Record Deal"/"Here Comes Kane, Scoob And Scrap", "Stop Shammin'", "Very Special"/"Stop Shammin'"
* Released: September 13, 1994
* Billboard 200 chart position: #155
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #26
* Singles: "Show & Prove"/"In The PJ's"
* Released: April 28, 1998
* Billboard 200 chart position: -
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #62
* Singles: "Uncut, Pure"/"2 Da Good Tymz", "Hold it Down"/"Unda Presha"