Pusha T Says Big Daddy Kane Is Better Than Rakim

Pusha T explains why he feels Big Daddy Kane trumps Rakim on the mic.

It's a debate that's plagued Hip Hop purists for decades, but now, Pusha T gives his take on who is the better emcee: Big Daddy Kane or Rakim.

In a recent interview with The Combat Jack Show, the G.O.O.D Music rapper discussed why he believes Kane is better than Rakim. He explained that after listening to a mix of Kane and Rakim's records on Philadelphia's Power 99, he determined that it is the Juice Crew emcee who put out the more impressive discography.

Pusha even added that Kane's legacy influenced the title of his most recent mixtape, Wrath of Caine

"That [debate over Big Daddy Kane and Rakim was] what Wrath of Caine was about," he revealed. "It was always the play off the street metaphors, but what happened was I was driving to New York, and I was coming through Philly, and by the time I got to Philly, I caught it so perfectly: a mid-day, mini-mix on Power 99 and they're doing a [Big Daddy] Kane and Rakim battle. Now mind you, this is an argument that happens with my crew [and] my brother…but I was like, when you lined it up just record for record, I thought [Kane] won."

Earlier this week, Pusha T released his long-awaited mixtape Wrath of Caine. The Clipse veteran is currently working on his solo debut My Name is My Name.

Listen to the full episode of The Combat Jack Show below.

RELATED: Pusha T Discusses "Wrath Of Caine," Working With Rick Ross



  • dazeone

    I like em both but its what you look for ...quality is very close but Kane had better alblums on a whole...quantity Kane had more bangers record for record.Rakim put filler in his alblums where Kane did songs and more singles which expands on quantity . The onlything Rakim had more timeles classics...so that is a debate we all have til this day from when Kane came out by his own in 86 with get into it/rhyming with the Biz ( with Biz) and the summer of 86 Eric b is president..gotta love them both

  • Anonymous

    start black thoughts solo career make it better than nas hip hop needs to move forward

  • Anonymous

    "No wonder he doesn't want to listen to Know the ledge" Dummy, do you have any sense in your tiny brain? I said Rakim is cool, and obviously if I named Know the Ledge then clearly I didn't think it sucked or I would have said it did. Why don't you go back to watching Harlem Nights and leave the debating to qualified individuals.

  • Anonymous

    1. Biggie 2. Nas 3. Eminem 4. GZA 5. Black Thought 6. Mos Def 7. Raekwon 8. Ghostface Killah 9. Jay-Z 10. MF Doom

    • Anonymous

      black thought better than u think

    • Nafan

      My bad. Add Andre 3000 at number 20. And push every cat back one position.

    • Nafan

      1. Biggie 2. Rakim 3. KRS one 4. Nas 5. Jay-z 6. Tupac 7. LL Cool J 8. Scarface 9. Big Daddy Kane 10. Kool G Rap 11. Ice Cube 12. Masta Ace 13. GZA 14. AZ 15. Slick Rick 16. Big Pun 17. Jeru The Damaja 18. Big L 19. Guru 20. Redman 21. Black Thought 22. Common 23. Prodigy 24. Eminem 25. Canibus Honorable mention Ghostface, q tip, tradegy khadafi, cormega, Raekwon, mos def, mf doom etc

  • Anonymous

    "I remember seeing Will Smith getting hot dogs and soda cups thrown at him & booed at Nassau Coliseum" So now you're comparing Slick Rick to Will Smith? People bag on celebrities all the time then turn around and go see their movie or buy their album. It comes with the territory. Now if people booed Rick it was because he's a has been and people don't usually respect has been's, especially one's who don't give the fans they do have much to look forward too.

  • Anonymous

    "We don't need recent music to have this debate between these rappers" So what you're saying is you want to bump "Know the Ledge" for the rest of your life? Legends are people whose catelog of music speaks for itself. If you called Lionel Richie a legend, I would have no problem. If you called Elvis a legend, I'd have no problem. Jay Z a legend, he's pretty close. Maybe Dre. Maybe Eminem considering how he turned an artform upside down. Point is just being able to say you've been around a long time doesn't make you a legend. You have to look at what artists do, how they remain relevant, or reinvent themselves. Nas did a song about Rakim which basically talked about how he hadn't gotten his just due. Rakim is cool, but calling him a legend is a stretch because I bet the man himself would be hesitant to deem himself that knowing his production level has been erratic at best.

    • dazeone

      You must never heard he's the Dj Im the rapper ...that union square joint which was live and Ready Roc ( better than biz at the time) Jazzy on the wheels ( best dj period at the time)Will knew how to finess the rhymes..wasn't the best MC but held his own on stage with EPMD and Public Enemy who were the ish at the time... the old mixtapes were what made him ...the alblums got them commercial sucess...do the research.

    • Ny_harlem

      Wow this has got to be the dumbest bit of rambling i ever read. I actually thought this idiot had something until i got to the second sentence. No wonder he doesn't want to listen to Know the ledge. What an idiot.

  • donnis mac

    "Yes it's music and when was the last time either one of these rappers released an album, or had any chart success? You need a timeout badly, kid." ^ sheer nonsense We don't need recent music to have this debate between these rappers. If current is your preference then Drake just released a song, you can go over to that article.

  • Anonymous

    "They don't need to because their legacy is already set" Well one of your legends got booed recently. So much for that legacy.

    • donnis mac

      One action doesn't define a person. I remember seeing Will Smith getting hot dogs and soda cups thrown at him & booed at Nassau Coliseum. Slick Rick mailing in a show doesn't negate his stature. You're reaching.

  • 7 Cities SLymm

    Kane & Rakim are BOTH Legends....i give it to Rakim slightly on skill and i give it to Rakim totally on career longevity... either way they both are legends....plus they are both INFLUENTIAL as we see their "seeds": Kane-> Biggie, Jay-Z,Kanye Rakim-> 2Pac, Nas, Jay Electronica

  • Anonymous

    Kane never made a great album. Ever. End of debate.

  • Nubianimage

    RaKim and Kane was both LYRICAL! And both men had KNOWLEDGE of SELF!!! True they did approach the mic at different angles but the fact is that you had 2 Representations of the 5% NATION that was influencing hip hop!!! I have to say this... All this he's better that him sh!t is a waste of time and a waste of mind! Its basically Willie Lynch syndrome ( http://www.africanamericanimages.com/aai/willie%20lynch.htm ) and thats how the corporation got the culture (hip hop) DIVIDED! We are one blood, HIP HOP is ONE culture, There is ONE life we all lead! So "who is the best" argument only breaks down to a mans preference! And still your preference is not better than the next mans. Its based on opinion. Until we can get over the petty Will Lynch syndrome of who's better than who, we will stand divided never to gain the lessons and absorb the talent of both these prolific brothers (much less the lessons we have to give to each other)!

  • Anonymous

    bring the scratch back and raw lyricism theres a reason i cant listen to nas

  • Anonymous

    "this isn't football were talkin about. This is music" Yes it's music and when was the last time either one of these rappers released an album, or had any chart success? You need a timeout badly, kid.

  • Anonymous

    Hard to seperate the two. Both were so influential and talented.

  • disco

    lyrically rakim is betta juss like nas lyrically is betta than hova. but unfortunatly nas and rakim did not use the more commercial beats. they chose to stick to basically da same producer[eric.b and trackmasters. kane had juice crew beats jay z had kanye and a bunch of other producers. basically kane and jay z music was a bit more fun and appeals to chicks. so they became more popular jus caus da chick factor.

    • Sav

      I disagree that Rakim and Nas didnt have commercial beats. They did. Nas more top 10 than Ra. But it was their IMAGES that were going against the grain of what was out there. They did'nt want to dummy down their lyrics for the sake of the tits. I respect that and thats the reason we don't see any of the type of longevity of street artists of the 90's anymore. When it became more important to market to bitches the lyrical competitiveness was destroyed. If you just look at the way the videos were shot most of them were "Posse" type videos with alot of alpha male testosterone. Now, its the bitch with the big ass, the club, and niggaz wit wack dress codes with young ass jeans on. Old and weak. We need the hard core lane in the mainstream again. It's whats missing. The Street anthems and records.

  • To All People for the love of God

    for the lame who said that reks is better than Nas...STOP man you dont believe that! And for the record Kane and RA was both dope but in this thing called HIP HOP I think between the both of them I think RA wins....but I thought Slick Rick and Kool G were better than both of them. Just my OP...word. I think that Lupe Fiasco will sun Nas...just saying..

  • Anonymous

    stick to good music

  • Sav

    Dammm, after all these years this debate is still a crazy hot debate! Lets break it down. I have always said Rakim wins but like alot of ya'll said it's by a small margin. I'm from Brooklyn like Kane but the "no joke" approach and mysterious side of Ra's lyrical B-boy presence was on some pure next shit. He was the blueprint. The 1st of his kind. Kane saw that and drove his own car the same direction. Both are extremely original but Rakim 's impact to the future of the way solo artists would seriously take their skills have turned out some of the legends we honor today like Big Pun, Kool G Rap, Nas, Onyx,Busta Rhymes,Brand Nubian etc. Rakim had the most "children" as far as inspiration. I never thought I would say this but Rakim WITHOUT Eric B loses this argument hands down! That team as long as they could have stayed together was as explosive as the whole WU put together when they were firing on all cylinders. Kane was an extremely raw lyricist and his versatility to be funny, sexual for the ladies and informative (Lean on Me) was classic. When you lay down Paid in Full next to It's a Big Daddy Thing it is very hard to say who wins that. Kane had 2 bonafide LP winners as far as I'm concerned. His first two LP's. Rakim had 4! Paid, Follow, Let the Rhythm, and Dont Sweat... His voice, image and flow just is unfuckwitable Yo. I really dig Kane don't get me wrong but Ra gets the edge. The story goes that they were as close as a fingernail to battling on Rapmania but thanks to Kool Mo Dee, he convinced them not to do it!! Such a big mistake. We could have had it all settled in 1990!!... I bought that show on PPV when it aired and what a treat that would have been!!!! Kane did'nt mind being a sex symbol but Rakim didn't care which could have boosted his career way past Kane if he wanted. Kane is lucky Ra chose the "Righteous" route the whole way. Onyx, Leaders, Tribe and so many others use Rakims other worldly vision as the bar to where their own lyrical ability can go. Just put "Follow the Leader"(the track) up against anything Kane has done and if you be honest it would pale in comparison. My personal Kane all time fav (and there are many!) is "Warm it up Kane". It's so dope Ra even named a track later called "Heat it up" which was garbage! Rakim was the ultimate B-boy we saw in ourselves when Run DMC and LL were being too commercial and we knew niggaz on the streets that were better. Kane just forgot at some point what got him nice and that was his hard core perspective not that sex symbol persona. So there it is my dudes by a small margin, Rakim beats Big Daddy Kane with more of the total package. Peace !!!

  • Anonymous

    i say reks is better than nas

  • kennyken

    both of them i loved, but i preferred big dad my self.

  • Anonymous

    anyone who says one blows the other away is full of shit. they're both so excellent, its by very small degrees, and possibly only by opinion.

  • Anonymous

    big daddy kane has a more rapid fire delivery. rakim is more serious and intelligent. i like rakim overall more but thats my personal opinion. discography wise...eh....maybe kane by a slight margin

  • Enigma4000

    Are you guys kidding me....hope yall didnt forget the demise of Kane--------------Prince of Darkness album.

  • Anonymous

    Rakim has more pure talent than Kane does, but both are past their prime.

  • Anonymous

    Rakim had a faster delivery but Kane was a lot more clear with what he had to say. I did lose a lot of respect for Kane though when he was wearing leopard speedos in that Madonna Sex book.

  • Chris

    GOD MC all day...Rakim is like a 2 seed and Big Daddy Kane is like 4-5 seed in a bracket of 64!

  • yardie

    this guy can't even speak on this....but i my self as a fan can tell you both of those guy's are great in equal quantity's

  • Melle Mel > Everyone Else

    Who cares? And by the way, at least Rakim didn't become an R&B singer.

    • djchanin


  • lol

    KRS-1 is wack so overrated by his fans. and Em Nas Pac big l chino and kool g all shit on these dudes

  • SDK

    Just when things seemed the same, and the whole scene is lame I come and reign with the unexplained for the brains 'til things change They strain to sling slang, I'm trained to bring game History that I arranged been regained by King James Go to practice, with tactics, when the track hits, theatrics Women that look like actress the status of Cleopatra's Stacks of mathematics to feed yo-asiatics As I find out, what the facts is, for geographic No time to sip Mo's with hostess, never mind what the total gross is I rip shows, stay focused, and split cheese, with soldiers While you hit trees and coast I spit flows that be ferocious And with these explosives, I split seas for Moses Shine permanently only my mind's concernin me Fire burns in me eternally time's eternity Followers turn on me they'll be in a mental infirmary Determinely advance technology better than Germany Since the first days you know of, till the last days is over I was always the flow-er, I made waves for Noah From a compound, to the anatomy, to the breakdown of a atom Some of my rap patterns, still surround Saturn From the ancient hieroglyphics, to graffiti painted pictures I study I know the scriptures but nowaday ain't it vicious Date back I go beyond, check the holy Qu'ran To speeches at the autobahn, now we get our party on So being benificent, I bless em with dialogue They expectin the next testament, by the God I roam through battlezones with chrome for chaperone Blast beat with saxophones one of the baddest rappers known Every country city and borough, sidestreet and ghetto Isle and alley and meadow, theories thorough enough to echo When it was one mass of land, with one nash' of man And the whole mass was ran under one master plan Since the world's metamorphis, and the plan is kept in orbit Turntables we spin awkward but needles never skip off it Rhythms we expressin similar to our ancestors It'll answer your questions if you understand the message From the days of the slave choppers, to the new age of prophets As heavy as hip-hop is I'm always ready to drop it From the mind which is one of Allah's best designs And mines'll stand the test of time, when I rhyme The 18th Letter, the prophecy professor I stay clever, long as the planet stay together Bring up praise from Mecca, make a phrase for the better In new days to remember, always and forever THE R BABY

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I am my penis. I am God's penis. God is my penis. God is penis. Penis is God.

  • BDK More complete

    Back in the days everyone including me said Rakim. But looking back now Kane's music is much less dated then Rakim's. Kane is a much more versatile mc. Rakim basically did social commentary and rapping about rapping with some mystical 5% shit. Kane did all of that but he's funny,has dope ad libs and timing and pioneered some player shit. Yeah he had wack songs too but the good outweighs the bad. And Kane can still rap not too sure about Rakim

  • Hip Hop please

    It's always difficult to tell Rakim >>> Kane or Kane >>> Rakim I always was a bit more of a Rakim fan But Chuck D was my real favourite from that period

  • Anonymous

    He must be smokin cocaine. Rakim was the FIRST EMCEE to rock HEAVY ICE in music video's! The first!!! Big Daddy Kane is a by product of Rakim! Pusha it's fine to have homage for Kane since you obviously dig what he did, but to say Big Daddy Kane is better than Rakim is blasphemy. That's like sayin Pippen was better than Jordan, totally bullshit statements, you expect people from beverly Hills to say shit like that, Nobody Better than the God EMCEE, all the cats are mini-me's after him, they were all tryin to be like Rakim. Dummy

  • inanemacbeth

    an't nobody better than THE GOD EMCEE...although KOOL G. RAP was/ is the closest, to him!

  • Greatness


  • Brower

    My bad its Omniscence and peep the song The Funky Oneliner.

  • Brower

    Words from Omniscience!! Juice Crew was the ish but even Kane blew it. Look up Omniscience from NC. He did a remix banga with Sadat X. Peep out Touch ya'll by Omniscience.

  • Anonymous

    Kane is a legend, but Rakim got it man...and by alot too.



  • Enlightened

    I always felt that way back in the day when I was a shorty. I didn't understand why people always treated Rakim like he was so undisputed. I always liked Kane better.

  • KaneWasForcedOutDuetoWackness

    Kane was dumb wack towards the tail end of his career. He became a R&B singer(duets with Alyson Williams, Barry White) and then jacked the atrocious Jay-Z speed-rap staccato style(listen to Juice Soundtrack's "Nuff Respect Due") Rakim's rap history is not checkered with concrete examples of ineptitude. Please stop it with the revisionist history.

  • Anonymous

    Lyrically: Kane Flow: Rakim Discography: Rakim Influence: Rakim Both are in my top 5 (at 3 and 4) but Rakim has this.

  • J,

    Nice editing DX. "Pusha T says Big Daddy Kane is a better than Rakim" Better what? Rapper? Why didn't you proofread it. Dumbass

  • YoungKelzCT

    who really gives a fuck what Pusha T says anyways.. mayne fuck this nigga all I see is his opinion where is the new music at..

    • MalcolmLittle

      Perhaps you missed all the coverage Wrath of Caine's been gettin, includin in this very article you commented on... -_-

  • tha OG

    This nigga done lost his mind rakim is way better than kane he is the microphone phen / god MC

  • fukthaclipse

    the clipse are the worse thing pharrell has ever had a hand in besides any of his own albums

  • bk bomber

    Kool G Rap or KRS would have destroyed Rakim and Kane!!!!

    • Justin Case

      Naw they were all close. But the thing I love about all four of them is that they're all so different from each other. Finding an order for those four is tough. All them are still better than 97% of the new jacks coming out now.

  • Anonymous

    Rakim is a better rapper than Big Daddy Kane taking NOTHING away from BDK, not too many better than Rakim

  • KGR

    Kool G Rap is better then both.

    • sanchez

      Co-sign 100%. I think people tend to follow whatever the masses are saying. It's cool to say rakim and kane because G. rap refused to go pop. And he's way too scary for the hipster white boys.

    • Harlem

      I agree with you. Kool G Rap was a monster and he still got it. Rakim career took a hit pretty much after 18th letter album. Kool G never fell off(he still got music now). Don't forget KRS-one also. Ice Cube also deserve alot more respect. If i had to choose i think Kool G Rap would be my go to guy tho. Also if Pusha T is going off of whats played on the Radio. Kane had more club bangers and Hits then Rakim. So of course he thinks Kane is better. Its like comparing Jay-z Radio songs to Nas' radio songs. Now if we going song by song and Album by Album Rakim wins. But kane aint on slack. Niggas use to always wanted to be like him back then.

  • kaz

    This would be tough battle to choose a winner between Rakim & Kane. But for me, Rakim just kills verses his lyrical is/was just so completely better than not just everyone then, but now that for me this isn't that close of a contest.

  • Anonymous

    gtfoh.....Kane would say naw



  • YO

    Not a big deal.. Kane was right there with Rakim

  • Daniel Beaulieu

    He said all of the same shit on The All Out Show with Rude Jude and Lord Sear on Tuesday...

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