Big Daddy Kane – Prince of Darkness – 8.7/10

Big Daddy Kane - Prince of DarknessDepending on which rap congregation you belong to the order might vary but in the often discussed, rarely agreed upon, topic of which emcee is the best to ever rock the mic there is an undisputed holy trinity everyone worships: Rakim, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane.  A strong case can be made for bestowing the title of ‘GOAT’ upon Kane.  Consider the evidence: several classic albums and songs to his name, an unparalleled flow by which all others shall be judged, the originator and master of the punchline simile and a live reputation that has held up throughout the decades.

Kane was the superstar on a label, Cold Chillin’ Records, packed with future legends like Masta Ace, Biz Markie and MC Shan (don’t forget the Kool Genius of Rap was also creating his seminal masterpieces with DJ Polo at Cold Chillin’).  His first two albums, Long Live the Kane and It’s a Big Daddy Thing, were giant leaps in hip-hop evolution but when Taste of Chocolate came out in 1990 cracks seemed to appear in what until that point had appeared to be an invincible armor.  First there was the Barry White duet, All of me, a corny love ballad that had nothing going for it other than the fact that Kane had enough pull and respect to procure the presence of the original overweight lover on his album.  Secondly there was the lackluster dance jam Keep ‘em on the Floor, an anemic pop-rap number that shouldn’t have made the album.  For a rapper who seemed to be untouchable those two missteps were enough to raise questions on whether or not King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal was slipping.

That kind of talk would only increase with Kane’s follow-up record, Prince of Darkness, unjustly dismissed at the time as a sell-out record.  Kane’s production was heavily influenced by Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing (The lover in you and Groove with it for instance) and a lot of time was spent wooing the ladies (the title track and T.L.C.).  Doing so by complimenting the fairer sex instead of labeling them bitches and hoes has always been somewhat of a rap faux pas and gave a lot of folks the idea that Kane had gone soft.  It also didn’t help that smack dab in the middle of the album rested I’m not ashamed, another stretched out spoken word love balled but this time with no Barry White in sight.

Prince of Darkness does have it’s moments through, enough to actually suggest that it might just be Kane’s most underrated album.  Perhaps even one of the most underrated records of the nineties.  As radio friendly has some of the production might have been, there were an ample amount of tracks that showed that BDK was still a beast on the microphone very few could hang with.  He absolutely murders Git Bizzy, Death Sentence and Float, flows the hell out of Ooh, Aah, Nah-Nah-Nah (a track much doper than it’s title would suggest) and Get Down, and gives naysayers the finger on Troubled Man.  On top of that the record also features one of rap’s greatest posse cuts, Come On Down, where Q-Tip and a Dungeon Dragon-era Busta Rhymes join in on the proceedings, and the smooth trade-off between Kane and his brother Little Daddy Shane as they go back and forth on Brother, Brother.

Prince of Darkness was ahead of it’s time, a couple of years later rappers like Biggie Smalls and Big Punisher would make their mark following the formula Kane presented on his fourth album, mixing radio-friendly tracks with cuts designed for the streets and blurring the line between the two.   For Kane it spelled the end of his hip-hop supremacy though.  On 1993’s Looks like a job for…he would return completely to his tried and tested battle rap aesthetic, appearing on the cover in a hoodie instead of a three-piece suit, but unable to reconnect with his audience.

For anyone who can appreciate skill, the album is definitely worth seeking out.  It might be flawed but it’s strengths outweigh it’s weaknesses and it’s just begging to be rediscovered.

Ice-T – The Iceberg/Freedom of speech…Just watch what you say

Ice-T - The Iceberg/Freedom of speech...Just watch what you sayRelease: October 10, 1989 Production: Ice-T & Afika Islam. Label: Sire/Warner Bros.



Shut up, Be happy 

In this intro America has been put under marshall law, it features Jello Biafra [of Dead Kennedy’s] speaking on the new rules of society, it basically says, Here we’re giving you the country you want, you dont have to do anything, but there is a price to this – Freedom.

The Iceberg 

It starts off with some mellow flute type sounds to make you think its a soft love song but then comes the old skool funky sounds of Afrika Islam, This a layed back mellow beat and Ice-T kicks some cool-as-Ice flows. He speaks on this crew and himself…He lets you know his crew is the illest. This is some funky shit.

Lethal Weapon 

Ice comes with a nice flow on this, Ice plays with the words and for squares listenin’ to this there gonna say “oh hes talkin bout guns”…but no, hes talking bout his mind, “My lethal weapon is my mind”…this is a real track, one of 1989’s best.

You played yourself 

This is a tight anti-drugs/anti fakes track, it has afew jazzy notes and a funky OG beat. Ice talks about the fake emcees in the game, he speaks about wannabe macks and fools taken drugs on the streets and the results of doing that…to quote a line: “Society’s fault? No…Nobody put the crack into the pipe, Nobody made ya smoke off your life. You thought that you could do dope and stay cool?!? fool you played yourself”. A classic track with a real message.

Peel their caps back 

This one has Ice talking about gang warfare and the reality of what gos down after the news cameras have gone, one of Ice’s cats gets killed so Ice and the gang roll to get some payback, its midnight and Ice and the crew go looking to find the cats that killed his buddy so they have a shoot out and Ice gets hit. He gets into the gangsta mentality in this one and answers the question “Why?”. Hopefully this track will make these kiddies think before they start wearing there rags behind there computers. It aint cool.

The girl tried to kill me 

I like this one, Its a rock n roll beat and Ice puts it down, it sounds perfect. Ice gets with a chick and the ***** is a freak…He basically talks about a sex freak and all the freaky thangs she does with Ice with whips, baby oil and tying him up [..shes trying to kill me] and at the end of the track the chicks husband comes in [..trying to kill me]. Peep

Black n decker 

This is the first skit on the cd, it starts with Ice reading an article that says the Syndicate is only about volience and blood. So Ice and the Syndicate get a drill and use effects to make it sound like they drill thru a mans head. [gives the suckers what they wanna hear]

Hit the deck 

We get fast paced on this one, it has a Rakim sample in there and is a party track. The flow matchs the beat and the cuts are timed well, he gives afew words to up-and-coming emcees and breaks down some of his own styles, this track has some great DeeJay cuts too.

This ones for me 

Another jazzy beat with a laid back flow, Ice speaks his mind on this one, he speaks on haters, fakers and sell outs, he talks about the Public Enemy situation and how cats didnt support them but on this Ice makes it known he’s supporting them. He also speaks on the drugs game in the streets and how cats are killing each other over that shit. this is a nice relaxed track.

The hunted child 

Ice plays the role of a 17 year old killer from South Central and raps about why this kid killed and he touchs on cats killing each other on the streets, this beat has got some nice bass to it.

What cha wanna do? 

What cha wanna do? Party!! man this a 1989 party track, if you ever have a party at your place and need an old skool throw back track then this is the one to peep, this is a Syndicate cut with the Syndicate putting down a rap and each member adds his own style to the track, the result is a dope old skool party track.

Freedom of speech 

man this is the beat track on the whole cd, he speaks about censorship and the PMRC, Ice talks about how they are trying to hold back the freedom of speech of recording artists and he uses some creative words to express his feelings which surely caused peoples panties to get wrinked up in 1989. I agree 100% with the message in this track, we need freedom of speech and we should be able to say anything, Ice-T fought alot of battles for what he believed in and what you may not know is that he played a major role in helping recording artists to be able to say anything without being banned or censored. This is without doubt one of the greatest Hiphop tracks ever. Listen, repeat and listen some more.

My word is bond 

T and the Syndicate raps about fake cats and the bullshit they do and some bragging is throwin’ in for good measure, its a ligth hearted track, if you dont understand it you’ll miss the whole point of it.


As you can guess im Ice-T’s #1 fan, this rates as his best work. Its old skool and has meaningful messages and many views on censorship, sex, rap and of course drugs. If you want to step into the world of reality rap this is a good starting point. This is a prime example of what Rap used to be about, its hardcore but not fake and it has powerful messages and strong view points. I havent said there is a wack tracks, which is rare but i feel all the content is worth listening to. The only thing that i can think of that would hold people back from buying this cd is the fact that some of the beats may sound alittle too old skool for them, but regardless its a classic album and reality rap at its best. Ice-T is one of the only rappers to start real and stay real, everything he said on this album he remained true too and thats something only the very best of emcees can do, sure Ice-T doesnt freestyle and he doesnt make rnb complex rhymes and all that bullshit but that aint the point. This music is real.

VA – Rhyme & Reason Soundtrack

Va - Rhyme & Reason SoundtrackThis Rhyme & Reason soundtrack was released back in -97 and I was bumping it heavily for a while there. It’s not 2003 and I’m gonna try to do a fair review of it.


1. Mack 10 & Doggpound – Nothin’ but the cavi hit

The soundtrack starts of with a track done by a legendary west coast group mixed with one third of another legendary west coast group. Daz Dillinger’s producing and mixing the track, and if you’re a Daz fan, you’ll hear this. Mack 10’s coming out hard and even tho the Kurupt parts sounds lazy everyone’s doing their fair square on this track. A very good way to start off the album.

2. Busta Rhymes & A Tribe Called Quest – Wild hot

A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes is the first East Coast contribution to this soundtrack. The first thing on my mind when hearing this is how Busta changed his style. This is the style that got him famous and this is the style he should stick with. The beat is kind of dark, and it’s a tight track overall.

3. Eight Ball & MJG – Reason for rhyme

œReason for rhyme  is a Dirty South contribution for the album. Eight Ball and MJG. The beat is kind of slow but both rappers are giving it lil hype, making your pulse go up. If you ask me, it’s a very western influenced production.

4. Ras Kass, Helta Skeltah & Canibus – Uni-4-Orm

Ras Kass, Helta Skeltah and Canibus on a track will mean a lyrical orgy with blazing metaphors and tight flow. This is no exception. Unfortunately they’re doing it over a beat not fitted for doing so.

5. Crucial Conflict – Bogus Mayn

œBogus Mayn  from Crucial Conflict is a nice track with a tight rapper over an arcade kind of beat. The hook’s very catchy, and the baseline is really cool. Overall an above average track.

6. E-40 – Every year

We all know E-40 is a West Coast legend. On this track right here he’s showing his original flow and style over a really nice, slow beat. I like it! The track is enjoyable and the hook’s perfect for it too.

7. The RZA – Tragedy

Okay. First thing I have to say here is… this track is a classic! I don’t know how many times I’ve been bumping this at home, at parties, when playing basketball or whatever. RZA is coming out super-tight over a very tight beat with an extremely tight hook. There’s no need to write more about this. It’s very extremely super-tight!

8. MC Eiht – Represent

Many consider West Coast artist MC Eiht a legend, and he’s done a lot of tight tracks in my opinion. However, this is not one of them. The production’s wack, make’s me feel bad for MC Eiht who had to rap over this.

9. Lost Boyz – N*ggaz don’t want it

If you ask me, Lost Boyz is a legendary group. I’m a huge fan of them and Freakie Tah is in my opinion one of the worst losses in the rap game. He was giving the tracks that little extra to make them tight. This track is not one of the best Lost Boyz tracks I’ve heard… It’s actually one of the worst I’ve heard. It can’t be easy being a rapper when you get beats like these to rap over.

10. KRS-ONE – Bring is back

Krs, you’re tight and all, but how about making a track about something new? ANYTHING but how raps from New York or how it’s so unfair how you don’t go multi platinum. I still like KRS-One, tho, and this track is a good one.

11. Master P – Is there a heaven 4 a gangsta?

This track made a lot of people notice Master P. It’s a nice track and if you’re a No Limit fan but didn’t hear this track, you should. UUUGHH

12. Volume 10 – Liquor store run

I’m sure there was something different to put on the album than this. It’s a quite wack track with a below-average rapper. I guess the executive producers found the hook catchy, cuz that’s all there is.

13. Guru, Kai:Bee & Lil’ Dap – The way it iz

This is another of those classic tracks! Guru on the production really did it this time! The beat is tight and the fluit is completing this masterpiece! That’s not all there is. The flow’s amazing from all rappers and the lyrics are tight down to the last word. This is an absolute classic!

14. Nyoo & DeCoca – Buisness first

Classic track œThe way it iz  is followed by a funky cut by Nyoo and DeCoca called œBuisness first . I really like the beat and as for the rapping part, it’s good too. Very nice, funky, track.

15. Delinquent Habits – No identity

This cut is a bump friendly, head moving’ song with club-friendly gangsta style and a nice hook. It’d be a nice way to finish of the album, if there weren’t any bonus tracks.

BONUS TRACK: Mack 10 & Doggpound – Nothin’ but the cavi hit (remix)

This bonus track is a remix of the first cut of the album “ œNothin’ but a cavi hit . It’s basically the same track with some mixing changes. I used to like the original better, but now I’m having a hard time changing my mind about it, so I bump both.


Rhyme & Reason is a soundtrack, and soundtracks usually have a few tight tracks, a few wack tracks and a few average tracks. This one had a few classic tracks, a few not so good tracks and then some above average tracks.
The album is also a personal classic, so for me personally it’s a 5 out of 5 grade. However, if I was forced to pretend I didn’t hear it before I’d grade it: 4 out of 5.

2pac – 2pacalypse Now

2pac - 2pacalypse NowAfter a short stint with the Digital Underground, 2pac dropped his first solo album in 1991. After hearing the album, it may be hard to believe this rapper was a member of the light-hearted group, becoming hip-hop enemy #1. Equiped with angry and hostile raps and lyrics about the streets, politics, and cops, it made Pac a target of Vice-President Dan Quayle’s re-election campaign, causing much contraversy.


1. Young Black Male 

The album’s opener. Ok beat, 2pac spitting a nice little rap. Pretty short. Nothing more than average. – 3/5

2. Trapped

2pac’s first single. Funky beat with a subdued bass line. 2pac rapping about the Police, trying to avoid confrontation, but eventually leading to shots being fired in an altercation, leaving 2pac “trapped”. – 4/5

3. Soulja’s Story 

This song is the reaon why this album became a target, after a man shot a Texas trooper claiming this song inspired him (“They finally pull me over and I laugh/”Remember Rodney King?” and I blast on his punk ass”). The first verse describes a young man in the hood killing a cop and eventually getting caught. With the 2nd verse describing the man’s brother attempting to break him out of jail and both of them eventually getting shot down in the process. – 3.5/5

4. I Don’t Give A ***** (featuring Money B.) 

This song has 2pac tackling cops, the record industry, and markets. Nice funky beat and also features Digital Underground’s Money B. – 3.5/5

5. Violent 

Another song about the police, describing two cops trying to frame Pac and an other man, the two getting into an altercation with the officers. His friend shooting the cop, then the two trying to get away, and the song ending with Pac and his companion ready to shoot the cops chasing them. Has a reggae feel to it. – 3.5/5

6. Words Of Wisdom

This cut has Shakur pleading for the black man to rise up against the oppresive goverment and charging the goverment for all their wrong doing they did to blacks, and even has 2pac criticising Martin Luther King Jr. (“No Malcolm X in my history text, Why is that?/Cause he tried to educate and liberate all blacks/Why is Martin Luther King in my book each week?/He told blacks, if they get smacked, turn the other cheek”) The beat has a laid-back jazzy feel to it. 2pac touches on a lot of issues on this song. – 4/5

7. Something Wicked

A short song with 2pac dropping a nice little rap. After all the raps aout politics, this song is quite refreshing. – 3/5

8. Crooked Ass Nigga (featuring Stretch) 

This song has 2pac describing getting robbed then chasing him and once again meeting up with the cops. Stretch and 2pac drop more raps about crime. This song feastures hella NWA voice samples. Nice lil song. – 3.5/5

9. If My Homie Calls 

This is one of those songs that show 2pac as a kind and emotional man, describing how friends go down different paths, and even though one of them is selling drugs, but 2pac still being there for him regardless. Nice beat also, one of the stand out tracks of the album. The beat with it’s subtle synth signatures, elastic bass line, Herbia Hanckock sample, and 2pac’s double-tracked vocals, make this song sound like nothing before or after it’s release – 5/5

10. Brenda’s Got A Baby 

Pac shows his storytelling skills once again in this song, describing the life of a pregnant teenage girl, with Brenda eventually turning to prostitution to support the child and being found slain at the end. This single was the song that first showed 2pac succes, breaking the top 30 on the R&B chart. – 4.5/5

11. Tha Lunatic 

2pac is out in his own word “that I’m a dope MC” with this song. More up-beat than most of the album and seems more like the other hip-hop sngles out at the time. – 3.5/5

12. Rebel of The Underground 

Like the previous song, this is less political and more of just a nice rap. The song named after Pac’s nickname given to him by Digital Underground. Nice funky beat. – 3.5/5

13. Part Time Mutha (featuring Poppi)

2pac describes growing up in a home with a dope-fiend mother. Poppi then desceribes being molested, telling her mother, only to be called a mother. in the 3rd verse, 2pac describes getting a woman pregnant, and becoming a “part-time mutha” (actually father). The song has a nice laid back soulful feel to it. – 4/5


This album showed that 2pac was a rising star, although not a hit, it made Pac a promising act. The contraversy Quayle cause helped fuel Pac’s next album, which would introduce him to the pop success. Although it comes off weak at some spots, the album’s political message, and 2pac’s lyrics and storytelling make this album a great album, with me giving it a high 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5