One of hip-hop’s pioneers, Big Daddy Kane, claims that battle rapping was how he got his big break in the industry. In a recent interview with Vlad TV, Kane explained how he started off battle rapping at the young age of fourteen in an effort to hang around his older cousin. Then once he started progressing, he was battling rappers daily. He even asked Kool Moe Dee to battle back in 1983 but he declined and walked away.
I approached him [Kool Moe Dee] and asked him for a battle as he was walking,” Kane said. “He kept walking like ‘Nah shorty you don’t want it.'”
Kane spoke on the “party rappers” of his time and how they were different from lyrical battle rappers and storytellers like Melli Mel. He also said that battle rap proved to be a way to gain his respect in the streets. But Kane didn’t get another chance to battle a well-known rapper until one year after Kool Moe Dee turned him down. This time he got the chance to battle Biz Markie D and he says that’s where he got his real break.
“Battle rapping is what I would say really got my record deal,” Kane said. “In 1984, a friend of mine told me about this guy named Biz Markie D and he was telling me how dope he was with his funny rhyming. I was like ‘Ight, I tell you what, take me over to where he’s at in the mall and after I battle him I don’t want to hear about this dude no more. I want you going to Biz Markie D and tell him about MC Kane.'”
Kane said that he was throwing out vicious bars while Biz Markie D flipped the switch and responded with his funny raps. After the battle, Biz Markie D told Kane he was dope and that they should work together to make a record. Kane said he was a man of his word and eventually they recorded “Just Rhymin’ With Biz,” which was featured on Kane’s debut album. Watch the full interview here.