1. WATCH: Rakim Talks Big Daddy Kane Battle That Never Was With R.A. The Rugged Man.


    The Rugged Man recently hit the studio with the legend Rakim and asked him about his subliminal war with another legend Big Daddy Kane during the Golden Era of rap. (As "old heads" will recall, lines like "the rap soloist, you don't want none of this" and "a smooth operator operating correctly..." have long been thought of by rap fans as disses that almost sparked one of hip-hop's greatest face-offs.) R.A. specifically asks the God about the unreleased joint "Hypnotic" with the line, "I don't sniff no 'caine (Kane) to get raw ("Raw")." The R discusses taking bars out of the original version of ‘Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em’ and also explains what eventually deaded the beef in this short convo.

    [Via Nah Right ]


    Eric B. & Rakim — "Eric B. Is President" (Zakia, 1986)

    Rakim refers to himself as "the soloist."

    Big Daddy Kane — "Set It Off" (Cold Chillin', 1988)

    Is Kane's line "the rap soloist, you don't want none of this" a dis towards Rakim?

    Big Daddy Kane — "Smooth Operator" Music Video (1989)

    Did Ra hear an early version of Kane's hit before it was released?

    Eric B & Rakim — "Microphone Fiend" (1988)

    "...smooth operator operating effectively."

    Eric B & Rakim — "Hypnotic" (Unreleased)

    "I don't sniff no 'caine (Kane) to get raw ("Raw")."

    BONUS: "Would Big Daddy Kane Kill Rakim in a Battle?

    From 2011...

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    • David

      Thank God I was a teenager when I first heard Rakim and Big Daddy Kane. Rakim has rightly been seen as the greatest rapper of all time for making great Rap Songs! The Reason. "Paid In Full" album in spring of 1987. It was about 9 songs on that Album. 8 out of the 9 were great. And that was rare then and is still rare now.
      Everyday of the summer of 1987, Rakim songs would play on the radio stations(nyc kiss fm and wbls) or cars driving by, brothers in groups walking down the street with their boom box radios blasting it. It was never ending.
      Rakim is now, by far, the King of rap. LL, RunDMC, Whodini, UTFO, Treacherous 3, Divine Sounds, Grandmaster Melle Mel, and others had to take a back seat to him. And rightly so.
      However, during the summer of 1987 (late June) "Rhymin with the Biz" was playing on the radio from WBLS(Mr. Magic radio host). Not many people heard it , or if they did, they were still drunk off of the "Paid In Full" album. When Kane's first lines dropped, I was like, "Who the "F" is that!!!". "Well it's the Kane in the Flesh, Of Course I'm Fresh. Oh, you thought that I was rotten, Huh, I beg your pardon".
      I asked people did they hear that song, and the responses were, "I never heard it". All people kept talking about was, you guessed it, "Paid In Full" album. I did bump into one guy from Harlem and he agreed with me that "Kane" is the nicest that we have ever heard before. But, we had a lot of one hit wonders going on at that time, so we had to be reserved with our gut feelings and see what Kane would come up with next.
      Fall of 1987 arrives (September/October) and the next song to play on the radio was "RAW". I have to say from the first verse to the last verse, it was perfection. If people didn't know who Kane was in "Rhymin with the Biz", they were well aware of who he was after dropping "RAW". I still had to keep my excitement down. Sure he dropped 2 songs that were mind blowing, but 2 songs don't make you "G.O.A.T."
      It was February/March of 1988. People are still feeling the effects from the "Paid In Full" album. "Aint No Half Steppin" is now playing . At this point in time, people are now saying to themselves like how I felt when I first heard Kane, "Who the "F" is that!!". It is now May/June of 1988 and lo and behold, "Set It off" drops on people's heads. "I can sneeze, sniffle, or cough. Even if I stutter, I'm a still come off!".
      At this point in time. Kane has the World's attention. The conversation has now shifted from "the "Paid in Full" album is the greatest I've heard" to "Who is better, Rakim or Kane" and "Did you just hear what Kane just said on that last verse". What put Kane over the top was the famous posse cut ever to drop, that he participated in. That was the "Symphony". "The mood to groove with the smooth rap lord. Like a bottle of juice, rhymes are being poured. Down your ear, crisp and clear, as I prepare , to wear, tear and smear, then I'm outta here."
      The point that I am trying to make is simple. Rakim will forever be the greatest rapper of all time in making great rap songs. He will forever be respected by his peers as well as the newer generation of mc's. However, I strongly believe that Rakim needs to put his Ego in check when he voices his opinion on a battle between him and Kane. When people are asked if Rakim and Kane battled, who would win. People's responses are based on the songs that come out. There is nothing wrong with that. But, battles are not won on wax. They are won in places like the "Lyracist Lounge" or places where they have a crowd of people in an auditorium of some sort, and a dj playing a cut of a song and both mc's go at it back and forth. You can come in with rhymes ready made, spit off top of your head, or however, you do it. Right there, in that kind of environment, is where battles are fought, won and lost at.
      There have been no reports of Rakim ever having a battle of that kind. Sure, people can say, "Well that's because no one wanted to battle him." If you want to hold onto that notion, then that is your right. Now with Big Daddy Kane. There have been reports of him battling mc's in that situation and won all of his. Don't believe me? On google, just type in big daddy kane vs Jazz Fresh. You can even hear the crowd in Philly laughing at Jazz Fresh getting burned by Kane.
      Even Krs One(Boogie Down Productions) has went on a trip with Kane to battle other mc's. Krs One was a witness to what Kane did. Can you say the same for Rakim. I am not a Rakim hater. We just need to keep things in perspective here. If Rakim felt that Kane dissed him in a verse or two in one of his songs then the question should be, "Why not just call Kane out on record dissing him and let the battle begin and just let the people be the judge of the battle. Instead of making a verse on "Let the Rhythm hit him" which was 1990 mind you(two years after set it off was dropped) to let Kane hear it before it went on radio.
      I don't know how most folks feel about that move, but I do feel that Rakim was putting out some sort of peace flag and trying to save face at the same time. Trying to make it seem like Kane called begging him not to put that verse on radio. If you had some sort of beef with another Mc it was handled by calling a rapper out by his name so no one would be confused as to who you were talking about and the battle will take place. Not this bogus nonsense of letting another rival hear a verse directed at them only to have the beef squashed, if there was a beef. I believe Rakim needs to put his ego in check and stop living in 1988. He will forever be known as the greatest rapper of all time making great rap songs during that era. But to suggest that Kane came to Rakim begging him not to put a verse directed at him in a song is delusional. Kane is a battle mc. That is what you were hearing in "Raw", Set it Off, "Aint no half stepping. rhyming over slow beats and fast beats. Rakim is not in that league. As Moe Dee said "Kane would have DESTROYED him in a battle on stage".
      I'll leave you with this. In an interview with Kool Moe Dee, he was asked about that same question, "Who win in a battle between Rakim and Kane". His reply went like this : "In a battle on record, I think Rakim would win. In a battle on stage with both going back and forth, Kane would DESTROY Rakim.

    • http://yahoo Cindy

      They are both great but I just can't see Kane destroying Rakim the reason I started liking rap was because of RAKIM!!!!!!!!!!!

    • insanemacbeth

      to DAVID.

      just listened to 'HYPNOTIC' again. to be real with you, B.D.K. lyrically just isn't on the same plane as THE GOD EMCEE,when it comes to barz. RAS KASS' assessment of RA was very interesting: RAKIM's lines are simple...but his THOUGHTS are very complex.

      on wax, RAKIM would kill KANE, i have no doubt about that! when it comes to a live stage, however, there is doubt, as to whether KANE would kill RAKIM.

      B.D.K. is defo a legend in his own right. however, his pengame just doesn't have the substance of RAKIM. this is why RA is considered the GOD EMCEE. as well as introducing cadence, internal rhyme schemes, and alliteration to emceeing. KANE's main strengths were wit, voice and flow. but then again, RAKIM introduced 'flow' to emceeing, too.

      just my thoughts.