Hey guys, it's Werner. It's 1999 and we're in here with Big Daddy Kane. He's got an album that's just come out recently on The Label records. It's called Veteranz Day. You wanna tell us a little something about that?
Well, that's it. It's out... It's called Veteranz Day... I like it. I think anyone who purchases it will enjoy it.
Well, how'd you hook up with The Label Records, 'cause you were on MCA last.
Yeah, after my agreement with MCA terminated, I wanted to do something independent. But, unfortunately, that was...I should've stayed with MCA.
But you did get some independent stuff out, right? Like you had that 12" with 2Pac out, "Untouchable?"
Oh, but, uh... That's bootleg.
But how'd you hook that up with 2Pac?
I hooked up with him after a Tyson fight... I think it was the Tyson/Frank Bruno fight, out in Vegas. We were talkin' about doing something, and Suge thought it would be a hot idea. So he had me and Pac fly from Vegas back to LA, back to the studio, knock it out. So, you know, we're in there. We never got finished, because, actually, Snoop was supposed to be on the chorus.
Alright, on your web-site, The Label web-site, you had tracks like, "I Get the Job Done part Deux" which, obviously wasn't on your album. What's up with that?
Well, to be honest with you, I never really saw that web-site. I mean, them dudes at The Label are idiots. Those are songs that were supposed to be on the album that we've taken off. We had "Get the Job Done" part two, another song called, "Three's Company," and something else. But those dudes up there are real confused, so, ain't no tellin' what you might see. I never saw the web-site.
Think there's any chance of those tracks getting released as a b-side?
Like "Get the Job Done part Deux?" I doubt it. I would doubt it.
Alright, so maybe go back and give us a little more of the history... How you came up with Biz Markie and all that...
Oh, Biz was my man. We met in Brooklyn. He was tryin' to get on as an artist. Establish himself as an artist. I used to travel around to parties andperform with him. And when he did get a record deal, he came and got me, and brought me out. I wrote the majority of the songs on his first album and a couple of songs down the line. And, I wrote a few songs for Shante.
Right. So, think there's any chance of you doin' anymore Juice Crew reunion projects? Like, I know you did "The Cypha pt. 3" with Frankie Cutlass.
Well, it's been mentioned to me. Matter of fact, Sway and Tech in LA, they wanted to do like a "Symphony '99." I said I was willin'. And I know G. Rap said he was willin'. They're tryin' to get Ace. I don't know the exact status on that. But I would love to. I would love to. Especially where my skills, G. Rap's skills, Master Ace's and, Craig G's skills are. I think that we're really at our peeks, lyrically. Like Craig G, he won the seminar with SuperNat, and I know he's really feelin' himself and would love the opportunity to redo what we did. G. Rap, of course, is G. Rap. And Ace. I heard him on a tape that Mister Cee had, and Ace sounded real, real good. So, I'm pretty sure that we could do something probably even hotter than before. And you know, with Marley, he's around a lot of the new, younger talents, so I'm pretty sure, production-wise, he would even step it up. We could probably make something very good.
How would you say your style has changed?
I believe that my vocabulary has broadened. I believe that I know how to deliver metaphors in ways that's not as typical as I used to. And, plus, I believe that I really tightened up my flow. I think when I was younger, my flow wasn't as tight as it could have been. I think I really tightened it up a lot.
And, also, one big difference is now you're producing a lot of your own stuff, right?
I was producin' then. It's just that it wasn't, you know, recognized.
Now, you've worked with a whole lot of people, not just the Juice Crew... but from "HEAL," to the "Close the Crack House" project... R&B like Barry White, Patti Labelle... What's it like being able to work with all these people most rappers don't get to work with?
Well, these are projects that I thought were very interesting. You know, the "HEAL" project and the "Close the Crack House" project, were things I thought were educational projects. Real good message to the youth. And then, a lot of the other songs, were just a lot of my personal favorites. Even though there was a message in "Burn, Hollywood, Burn," I was just a fan of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, you know. But, you know, Patti LaBelle, Barry White, those are artists I've always admired. To have the opportunity to record with them I thought was great.
So how'd you hook up with that new Dionne Warwick project?
That was something arranged through Double XXposure. You know, we share the same publicity company: the people who made this interview possible. And they told me what Dionne was doing, and I thought that it was a great idea. Especially due to the reason of Dionne having a problem with gangsta rap. To see that she could now accept rap, and want to work with rappers to try to deliver a message to the youth through rap, is something I thought was real positive, to make certain people think.
And also, speaking of working with people, you're on the new Prince Paul project comin' out, right? Prince of Thieves?
Yeah, I play a character named Count Macula. The video for it, too, is pretty cool. You know, Paul is a long time friend. He always came through, musically. Talented producer. He's the only person on the planet I know who still uses synthonic drums. He's a talented dude.
Is there anybody out there, now, who you haven't worked with, who you'd like to?
I'd love to work with Lauryn Hill. I'd love to work with Big Pun. And I'd love to work with Ronald Isley.
Alright, and, now, to get back to your new album... You've got a couple people on there. You've got Shaqueen, who people may remember from Baby J and all. You've got Rappin' Is Fundamental.
Yeah. AB, from Rappin' Is Fundamental, is a very unique artist. The way he combines rappin' and singin', you know, he has a real melodic style, and I thought it was something totally different. And Shaqueen... Shaqueen's style sounds like she's mad at the world. I just love the way, you know... She just has a real pretty, young face... pretty, model-type of face. And then she gets on the mic and her whole expression just changes like she's angry with everybody. She sounds so hungry, like, "Yo, if I don't get a deal from this whole verse, I'ma stick up the whole building." I love her style. I thought that was something different. And I thought the collaboration of the three of us, made three different characters come together.
What would you say is the message behind the title, Veteranz Day?
Well, what I mean by that is: Right now, a lot of people categorize artists as "old school." And, I will admit, "Ain't No Half Steppin'," "Raw," "Smooth Operator," you know, those are definitely old school songs. I just don't feel old school 'cause, a majority of the new cats, I'll bust their ass on the mic. So I really don't feel old school, you know? I think that if I sounded like, if I said, "A lemon to a lime, a lime to a lemon, I am the man with all the women," if I was rappin' like that, then, yeah, I guess you could consider me old school. But if you're gonna put me against some cat who just came out in '98, and he can't hold his own against me, then I can't be too old. So, with a lot of people referring to artists as old school, I feel like... I mean don't get me wrong, there are old school artists. But I feel if you're an artist who came up ten years ago, twelve years ago, or whatever the case may be, and you're still holding your own now, you can't really call that person "old school." If you want a title for them, then use veteran. And I feel like today is the day of the veteran, you know, when you see artists like Rakim, who came back after a period of time, and still went gold. EPMD. You know, Slick Rick has a new album comin' out. I hear Public Enemy's in the studio. MC Lyte just dropped an album. LL Cool J, he's still doin' his thing, continuously. And, I feel like, if I were workin' with better people, I'd have made a better impact with this album, you know. But that's why I say Veteranz Day, because I feel it's the day of the veteran. You can prove yourself if you can still go the distance and got the skill, you know.
So, are you still gonna be doing any battles, now? Are you down for that stuff?
Sure, why not? I mean, I be out, sometimes, and certain people approach me think that they can mess around...
You got any more... a next project planned yet?
Yeah, I have some R&B acts that I'll be releasing. They're form North Carolina, a group called Flush and a group called his and hers. They've got the John Blaze material, too. I dig those cats. It's something different. It's not your typical R&B.
Alright, and I always wanted to ask you this, but, naturally, I never thought I'd get the chance. But what happened to Scoob's voice, man, from like "Non Stop" and all that... And, then, right when you signed to MCA, and you came out with Daddy's Home, he sounds totally different. What did y'all do to him?
I didn't do nothin' to Scoob. I guess that was a new style that he wanted to try. I mean, if I didn't like it, I wouldn't've let him do it on my songs. So, obviously, I dug it, but I guess that's really a question for Scoob.
And you're still down with Mister Cee and them?
Oh, yeah, yeah. Matter of fact, I need to go by Mister Cee's house tonight and pick up this Wild Style album. But you know, he's got so much solo stuff that he does, that he doesn't really have the opportunity to travel like we used to, but he still DJ's over in New York and the local shows. That's my man. And Scoob just had a birthday. I gotta say, "Happy birthday," to him. We were just at his party, and we all got bent.
So, you got anything you wanna say to the people reading this now?
Yeah, I'll say something to all The Source fans. I'll tell them: now, don't believe everything that you read. 'Cause I see a lot of bad press about me, here and there, in the magazines. I guess everybody's entitled to their opinion, but that's their's, you know.
Well, I liked that album, personally. Daddy's Home.
Well, yeah, I thought that Daddy's Home was a good album that just didn't receive the proper promotion. But I thought that Veteranz Day was an even better album, which is receiving no promotion. I mean, it's number ten on the rap charts. And, I mean, the way Snoop's album is sellin'... my album is only two slots behind him on the R&B charts. So, obviously, somebody must like it. Like I said, the album is hot. Just because, if I was the label, and no disrespect to Polygram, don't get me wrong. And no disrespect to Blackheart, because I feel that Polygram and Blackheart both extended their services past the limit. They did what they're not even supposed to do, to try and help this project. The whole blame is really on The Label Records. But what do you expect from somebody even with the name, "The Label Records?" That tells you how no frills they are right there.
So, are you sticking with them? I mean, you've got the acts comin' out now...
Well, that's why I got acts comin' out now. Because I'm retired. I'm not gonna make another record. But I have acts comin' out...
Are you gonna drop some rhymes on their projects, you figure, for the fans and all?
Well, I mean, if somebody asked me to be on a soundtrack, I'd do it. I'd do something like that. It's just that I don't really have the patience to sit around and do something like that. Not unless somebody was ready to come around with a sure-shot guaranteed deal, where they're getting ready to say on paper, guaranteeing this amount of money to do this, and guaranteeing these amount of videos. Something where I just felt like there's no way anything could go wrong. If you're not talking something like that, then I'd rather just live off the memory of classic Kane material and just leave it at that. Because I right now, I just feel that I'm giving too much time and effort into giving Big Daddy Kane fans what I think is right, and everyone else involved is not being supportive. And, once again, that's with no disrespect to Polygram or Blackheart 'cause I feel like they really tried with this.
Any parting words?
I'd like to thank you for havin' me and giving me this opportunity to speak. And if you do respect what I do, then in different forms, you will see it again. Even if it's not directly from me, in different forms, you will see it again.