Saturday, December 27, 2014

For the Big Daddy Kane Completists...

It's been a long road, hasn't it, Kane fans? From the earliest singles on Prism to the final one on Mahogany Records, plus the lost catalog material finally unearthed by DWG and and Hot Chillin'. All the classic albums, all the soundtracks and killer guest appearances. You've amassed it all; it's finally time to close the book on collecting Big Daddy Kane records, at least until Primo finally kicks his butt back into the studio. Ah, but wait... do you have this?

Remember "Do My Love Onta You?" Not many people do. It's a song from Kane's last album, Veteranz Day in 1998, and not one of the best. That's already pretty obscure. But now, how about the "Do My love Onta You (Royal Gardens Remix)" only released in Germany? There's one missing from the history books.

Royal Garden is one of those production groups put together by a label to remix American imports. Like ZYX Records after ZYX Records closed up shop. From Lauryn Hill to Tom Jones, these guys made new versions of a lot of great artists' records without actually meeting any of them. And in 1998, where Veteranz Day was getting more love in almost every other country except ours, it was Kane's turn to receive the Royal G treatment.

Now originally, "Do My Love" wasn't actually so bad. Despite the title, it's not a token love song; it's Kane in full Count Mackula mode, with lots of punchlines and jokes. "Shinin' kinda like a half moon. Catch me tryin' to get it on inside the women's bathroom. (Nah, he wouldn't.) Yes, I would for the puddin'. Just come inside the toilet booth and everything is Cuba Goodin'." It's a little corny, but his flow is still great. The production is decent but unremarkable and he's got a pretty talented girl singing back-up vocals on the track. What possibly holds it back the most is the hook, "Now how do I do when I do my love onto you? Show me love when you want to." Repeated four times. It's just stilted and uncomfortable, and while the studio-produced keyboard riffs are enough to support the rhymes, they just can't keep the hook afloat.

The Gardens recognized this problem and fixed it by taking it the fuck out. Now all Kane does is a few ad-libs while the singer has the hook essentially to herself. So much better. And instrumentally, they take out the original keyboard line that has a bouncy piano feel and replace it with smoothed out lines. I'm not really sure which is preferable. It reminds me of the "Chicks Pack Heat" remix in that respect. What is clearly an improvement, however, is the new horn sample they add to the hook, replacing a very G-funk whistle sound laid into the original mix.

It feels less like a brand new remix than a corrected version, like the original was some unfinished demo mix that should never have made it to the retail album. It won't blow you away, but it will definitely make you like the song more.

The 12" is nicely equipped with both the new remix, the original, and the new instrumental. It's also a double A-side, paired with the great "Uncut, Pure" remix, which was easily the gem of Veteranz Day. The album version as alright, but the remix with its blaxploitation-style Rufus Thomas sample, is killer. Classic Kane fit for a greatest hits album. And clearly The Label knew it because they released it over and over again. It was given its own single, with the original on one side and the remix on the flip, then it was paired with "2 da Good Tymez." Then it was paired with "Hold It Down," and then it was paired with "Earth, Wind & Fire." And it's also been paired with this. So chances are you already have the "Uncut, Pure" remix, rendering it pretty unnecessary here; but at least its a great song.

The good news is this single isn't limited. Nor is it on collectors' radar. So you can easily find copies super cheap. The bad news is, it was only released in Europe, so if you're state-side, you'll never find a US seller listing this. So, a super low price matched with high overseas shipping kind of balances out to a slightly overpriced record. But if you're rounding out an otherwise complete collection, I do think it's worth going slightly out of your way to throw this into the mix. It's better than you'd think and actually improves the song you've already got and forgotten about, bringing it up to par with the rest of his catalog.


  1. Werner, what do you think about Las Supper? I don't think you've ever touched on them.

    1. I liked it. I would've preferred more Kane and less of the other guy singing... sometimes it sounded more like a collection of random R&B songs with guest verses by Kane, but other songs were rather good. And even the worst ones were well played.

      I'm still not over how they hyped it as a physical release and then released it as mp3-only, though. :P