Looking at today’s hip-hop stars, such as Lil Wayne and Kanye West — their images and music frequently found through many different mediums — it seems almost impossible that rap music was once not accepted by pop radio and a sizable portion of the club community.
Rewind back to the late '80s, before social media and the Internet allowed for artists to put their work where it could be easily found, and hip-hop music was mostly relegated to either college and late-night radio, or to smaller venues where the mainstream music scene didn’t matter. Save for accepted hits like Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” or MC Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two,” the Long Island club scene was more about freestyle, dance, new wave and rock.
However, that didn’t mean there weren’t rap stars in existence; on the contrary there were a number of artists who, through a combination of record store promotions, live shows and word-of-mouth became known as tremendous talents — and although back in those days their music wasn’t given all that much exposure — rappers such as Rakim, Kool G Rap and Biz Markie were, in their field and by music aficionados, known as stars.
Today, as hip-hop and pop have become incredibly synonymous, leaving many rap songs to become more disposable, with the turnover of newer tracks on radio and in DJ mixes quite uncompromising. Meanwhile, although hardly modern in style or delivery, many older songs (some as old as 30-40 years) still get regular play, and the MCs that delivered those classics are still revered. Come Saturday, May 12, one of those artists will be on Long Island to perform.
That entertainer is Big Daddy Kane, and he’ll be at GLO in Westbury for a rare afternoon show from 3 — 8 p.m. While shoppers are flowing in and out of the many nearby stores, Kane will appear, along with legendary hip-hop DJ Mr. Cee. At the height of his career, “Big Daddy” was considered very sexy, to the point where he even appeared in Madonna’s risqué “Sex” coffee-table book and in Playgirl magazine. But this was all a result of also being known as a top-level MC, and he even won a 1991 Grammy award (for best rap performance by a duo or group). Furthermore, on top of many hit songs and some small movie rolls, Kane is also remembered in being instrumental toward helping a young Jay-Z get his (eventually mogul-sized) career started.
Tickets are $25 in advance (only); guests must be 25 years of age or older for admission. Dress code will be strict (no sweats, T-shirts or sagging jeans); call 347-432-4998 or visit talkofnewyork.com for purchase and more information.