It’s not called Kings County for nothing. From Al Capone to Michael Jordan to Mike Tyson to yours truly (Me, f*ckers), my borough is responsible for bringing you the best of the best in their respective fields. And as far as hip-hop music goes I think it’s pretty evident that BK produces the cream of the crop. The truth is in the pudding. Big Daddy Kane (Legend), Notorious B.I.G. (Greatest of all time) & Jay-Z (Greatest MC breathing). Then you have the lesser known/lesser appreciated but very significant MCs that contributed to the game like Buckshot (He had us open in the mid 90s), Smiff-N-Wessun (Bucktown!!), Fabolous (clever lyricist), Lil’ Kim (the epitome of a down ass b*tch), Mos Def (Better rapper or actor?).
But this DJ Mike Nice presentation is dedicated to the three MCs that Brooklyn praises like a city filled with Ned Flanders (You killin’ em, Mas!). And it’s well deserved. Back in the early 90s there wasn’t a rapper in the game that had the crazy world play and smoothness that Big Daddy Kane bestowed on the game. Rakim was the microphone fiend, but Kane was the microphone dropper. He’d have to drop them cause he left them hotter than Remy Martin’s gun barrel. On “Set It Off” Big Daddy Kane ripped it down over a trumpet’s melody accompanied only by a hi-hat. Rappers in this day and age can’t even rap on a full beat.
And I must say I was bugging out listening to a teenage Frank White “Don’t Love No Ho” demo joint. Who could’ve foreseen that unpolished flow and simple lyricism being the baby steps to his waiting throne and eventual reign on hip-hop? Simply amazing. He did tear it down on “Guaranteed Raw.” “It’s Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, where this rapper was originated/your rhymes ain’t shit, they must be constipated.” Now that’s the man I once recognized as my King. Frank White a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G. a.k.a. Big Poppa a.k.a. Biggie Smalls a.k.a. Biggie a.k.a. Big a.k.a. B-I a.k.a. Christopher Wallace: R.I.P.
Jay’s the current occupant of the throne, but most of ya’ll probably forgot or just never knew that he started his career with a rapid flow that would’ve put Twista to shame simply because you were able to understand every word he said but couldn’t easily repeat it. He held his own following Kane on “Birthday Party Freestyle” of ’91. He slowed it down for his demo on “Rippin’ It Up” and still managed to create a flow that was next level. On his “Pass The Roc” demo son said, “I hustle like Bird on the block and rock ya world/cause I gotta get the AC Green, in other words/I run the streets 360 like Dominique does – 5 more days to make it complete/I follow the dream like Hakeem for the green then I gamble it on dice like Jordan cause I won’t miss it.” If this man wasn’t ahead of his time then I don’t know who was.
Who would’ve thought that a mixtape filled with pre-debut album cuts would be so priceless? Demo freestyles and recordings teamed with street freestyles just went together like macaroni and cheese. While this was way before they perfected their crafts, it was listening to three kings lay down the foundation for the land they would come to rule. Each had a distinctive style and swagger but all of them eventually reached the stars, reigned and gave us timeless music.
Given the sound quality isn’t all that at times (Ok, most of the time), but that’s what makes this that much more authentic. The Dead Sea Scrolls weren’t printed on glossy paper. They were in a cave written on papyrus and animal hide. Maybe it’s because I come from an era where mixtapes were actually tapes and had this kind of quality music and quality of sound that I couldn’t stop grooving, but Mike Nice put together something for the OGs with this Brooklyn Bullshit… And I’m on it.
Hottest Joint: “Set It Off” (Big Daddy Kane), “Rippin’ It Up” (Jay-Z feat. Sauce Money) & “Guaranteed Raw” (Notorious B.I.G.)
Weakest Joint: NONE