Big Daddy Kane Recalls Trying To Get Jay Z A Record Deal

Big Daddy Kane says he doesn't respect Rolling Stone's judgment.

Big Daddy Kane, an early mentor to Jay Z, says he worked to help break Hova in 1994. 

"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]." 

In June 2011, Kane also reflected on his time as Jay Z's mentor. “I would do half the show, and then I’d let Jay Z rhyme while I went in the back and changed outfits,” Kane said at the time. “Then I’d go back and finish the show.”

Big Daddy Kane, who has received acclaim throughout his career as an emcee, says some accolades are more meaningful to him than others.

"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."

In his book Decoded, Jay Z addressed his learning from Kane

"I got an invaluable education watching him perform," Jay Z says in the book. "Even today, I use some of the ideas I picked up back then about pacing and performance in my own live show.”

RELATED: Big Daddy Kane Reminisces On Mentoring Jay Z


  • Nobody

    Everybody can tell you how to do it but they never did... Most King get their head cut off. King Hov

  • Anonymous

    "Those "dusty MCs" molded the hip-hop culture" No, they were mere rungs on the ladder, and couldn't sustain popularity or maintain sales to be considered great.

  • Anonymous

    Nas > Everybody Just felt like saying that

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  • Anonymous

    Jay is wack im sorry i just cant dig his music sorry jay stans but i think hes very weak on the mic - bin in rap for yrs and never put out a real classic record = reasonable doubt maybe= in my opinion hes average at best BIG was the last great Brooklyn mc - jay made alot of records re writing big verses -

  • mani semg

    "The best oh yes I guess suggest the rest should fess Don't mess or test your highness Unless you just address with best finesse And bless the paragraph I manifest" Ayee

  • Anonymous

    "Yeah, let's destroy the real Mount Rushmore while we're at it, since those 4 presidents are has beens as well" Those were people who made a difference. What did any of those dusty mc's contribute to society?

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  • Top 10 Best MC's Of All Time

    1 - Big Daddy Kane 2 - Jadakiss 3 - Sticky Fingaz 4 - Lil Cease 5 - Killa Priest 6 - Black Thought 7 - Nore 8 - Queen Latifah 9 - Common 10 - Casual

    • Top 10 Best MC's Of All Time

      Yessir, check those "Play Around", "4 My Niggaz", "Mr. Nasty" and "Work It Out" joints off his debut album

    • Shyne's Pe'ots

      I like the inclusions. Unique list. I just don't understand why Cease is so high. Got some work of his that you could recommend?

  • old school rappers with one good album thing they are the goat

    lol this nigga Kane aint had a hit since 1988 and some consider him the GOAT?????? Lil Wayne has had hits since 1998 til 2014 now thats a career in music! 16 YEARS ON TOP! Now tell me BIG DADDY KANE FANS how many hits or importaant albums did Kane have since 1988?

  • Anonymous

    Some of yall HIGH AS SHIT on this page! LLS!

  • Anonymous

    lol Kane being Jay-Z's mentor but now Jay doesnt give a fuck about Kane. Kane is not featured on Jay's albums and Jay is rich and kane is broke and always doing shows in europe to get money.

  • fuck old farts

    Who cares for these old farts. Its 2014 and not 1988. Kane didnt had an decent album since 1987! Whats the hype? Now we have niggas who sell records worldwide and have number one albums wordlwide: - lil wayne - 2chainz, - young jeezy, - big sean - future - drake the newpac - rick ross the new Biggie - tyga - ace hood etc. All these old rappers living because they made one great album: kANE, kool g rap, cube, krs, rakim but lil wayne made : dozens of classic mixtapes and albums and still does!!!!!!

  • So Icy Boi!

    Big Dad Kane was good in 1988, Jay-Z in 1996. it's 2014 now with new standers. Wayne, Drake, and Ross releasin da highest quality albums. swag

  • hip hop citizen

    @ G Dubbs..

  • x

    ra, krs, and chuck d. bdk and g rap are second tier.

  • Anonymous

    50 cents 4 albums: over 22 million worldwide G-units first album: over 3 million worldwide Get rich or die trying movie soundtrack: over 3 million worldwide Games first album: over 5 million worldwide Lloyd banks first album: over 4 million worldwide Tony yayos first album : over 1 million worldwide Young bucks first album : over 1 million worldwide Total sales: 39 million Jay-Z's 12 albums: over 28 million worldwide Jay-Z's 5 collab albums: over 9 million worldwide Beanie sigels 6 albums: 2 million worldwide Memphis bleeks 4 alums: over 2 million worldwide J Coles 2 albums: over 1 million Total sales: 42 million 50 got 3 number 1 songs on billboard hot 100 (with only one feature, nate dogg, allthough 50 wrote the hook for him) and a total of 9 top 10 songs on the same chart(2 more with no features, total of 4 nonfeatured) Jay-Z got 1 number one (which featured alicia keys) and a total of 11 top 10 songs(4 of them had no features), plus one with watch the throne 50 cent got one number one feature, and 5 top 10s (1 with a singer) Jay-Z got 3 number 1 features (all with singers), and 9 top 10s (8 with singers) Get rich or die tryin' sold more than Jay-Zs 4 highest selling albums combined Jay-Z only got one album outselling 50s second album, and that is with a margin of 13 000 50 cent got an average 5.5 million sold per album Jay-Z got an average of 2.3 million sold per album If you combine the sales of ALL jay-z albums since get rich or die tryin' was released, Get rich or die tryin' still sold more 50 cent accomplished that in 4 year period, jay did it in 17 years.

    • the following

      g.d.stubbs ironed it out for all you money, cash, hoes buyers that's gotta be comment of the year so far

    • Anonymous

      Fucking talking about money? What's money got to do with hip hop? Just cause drake sold more records then jeru the damaja doesn't mean he better. And by the way. The notorious bigs life after death is biggest selling solo rap album in us history. Besides mc hammer.

    • g.d.stubbs

      LOL. fools treating Hip hop culture like it's moneyball. That's what happens when you've been raised on Napster and MySpace and never applied any of the lessons these MCs delivered through their art. Kane taught would-be emcees how to rhyme, and battles were won and lost in cyphers; $0.50 is just a typical American celebrity with a PRODUCT TO SELL, not a culture to advance.

    • HipHop101

      in the words of rick ross i'd rather go gold 10 times than sell 10 million once... 50 has 3 successful albums in 10 years every jay album went platinum and has the most #1 albums for a solo artist in music history... 50 cant even get a budget for a new album he had to go indie... jay still consistently goes platinum every album 50 may never go platinum again skill will always out last hype... 50 cant adapt to the new era jay-z and kanye always knew how to so get your bull shit album sales break down out of here... oh and did you know beg for mercy dropped the same day as the black album how come you didnt put who sold more?

    • Anonymous

      get a life. You can't mention 50 and Jay Z in the same sentence. %0 can't rap, Jay Z can

  • Anonymous

    kane has always been a gracious god

  • Anonymous

    Jay need to stop wearing skirt

  • son of a sax

    The Golden Era Mount Rushmore Emcees (in order) 1. Rakim 2) G rap 3) Kane 4) Krs

  • son of a sax

    Kane is Top 10, but I always thought that G Rap was lyrically better. Kane was just more marketable. Go back and listen to RAW (remix) with G Rap.OOOOOWEEE!!! You talkin about leavin the mic smokin.

  • Jahsiri

    Anytime someone posts something completely idiotic under an anonymous name, it amuses me. Big Daddy Kane not Top 50? Really? Lyrically, stylistically, breaking through to too 40 radio and being an influence to too many rappers to name is enough. As Hip Hop has evolved, so have rappers. Yeah, some dudes are more lyrical than Kane, KRS, G Rap or even Rakim, but to not give these cats their proper due is pure ignorance. It just shows that too many so called Hip Hop fans are just listeners who know nothing about the roots of the genre. Juice Crew alone is either directly or indirectly responsible for the careers of dudes like Nas, Jay Z and Eminem, who were either mentored by or idolized Kool G Rap, Kane, and Masta Ace, who Eminem openly idolized. Know your history, and stop being a leech. It's sad that Hip Hop is the only genre where the new generation of fans disrespect the legacy of its own pioneers. You don't see this in Rock or any other musical genre, but you see it with us. Pay respect where it's due. Big Daddy Kane paved the way for the rapper some of you consider the greatest.

  • Anonymous

    He's not even top 50.

    • boo

      lol, eminem 26?, b.i.g one, jay z 5, ll cool j 6, you might have valid reasons but i disagree. em in my opinion is better than b.i.g, jayz and ll cool j and his definetly top 10 if not top 5.

    • Anonymous

      black thought top 10 easy roots drop nothing but certified classics

    • Anonymous

      Not top 50? 1. Biggie 2. Rakim 3. Krs one 4. Nas 5. Jay z 6. ll cool j 7. 2pac 8. Scarface 9. Ice cube 10. Kool g rap 11. Big daddy Kane 12. Masta ace 13. AZ 14. Slick rick 15. Gza 16. Jeru the damaja 17. Guru 18. Big pun 19. Big l 20. Andre 3000 21. Redman 22. Black thought 23. Pharoahe monch 24. Prodigy 25. Eminem 26. Mos def 27. Tragedy khadafi 28. Treach 29. Kool moe dee 30. Chuck D

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