After losing some respect and street cred from a lot of his male fan base with the debacle that was Prince Of Darkness (that also included the posse cut “Come On Down” that Q-Tip was a guest on (Tribe Degrees of Separation: Check)), Big Daddy Kane came back in 1993 with Looks Like A Job For. The album was solid, but its overly hardcore themes felt like Kane let the naysayers get to him and was over compensating for what Prince Of Darkness lacked. Kane would return in 1994 with his sixth and first album not on the Cold Chillin’ imprint (it was released on MCA), Daddy’s Home.
As the artwork suggest, Daddy’s Home would feature a fully grown BDK, fully embracing his masculinity and no longer seeming fazed by what his critics had to say about his music. Daddy’s Home would also find Kane delving deeper into the production side of things, as he’s credited with producing 5 of the album’s 13 tracks, along with co-mixing the entire album. Daddy’s Home received mix reviews, and like his previous three albums, it didn’t move a ton of units.
I wasn’t crazy about this album when it came out back in 1994. Let’s revisit it and see how its aged over time.
Daddy’s Home – Kane gets the title track out of the way right away, as he kicks back in his recliner and house shoes and breezes over this smooth LG (the same LG who previously went by The LG Experience on Ill Al Skratch’s Creep Wit’ Me) produced track. I usually prefer my hip-hop album opening tracks with more energy, but Kane’s effortless flow over the pleasant instrumental still works.
Brooklyn Style…Laid Out – Kane invites his backup dancer turned rapper, Scoob Lover (who at this point was going by his rap alias, Big Scoob) to join him on this rap duet. For some reason, Scoob gets away from the straight forward rhyming approach he used on previous Kane records (see “Down The Line” and “Chocolate City”) and adapts a super gimmicky and annoying nasally flow on Daddy’s Home. I wonder if Kane ever told him how corny this shit was. When you couple Scoob’s ear grating style with Easy Mo Bee’s cheesy instrumental, not even King Asiatic can save this song.
In The PJ’s – This was the lead single from Daddy’s Home. Kane licks his production chops and builds this smooth groove around a dope Teddy Pendergrass loop, as he reminisces about his childhood in the hood and shows love to all his peeps in the PJ’s across the globe. Because, as he elegantly puts it during the song’s first verse: “Just because I moved out the residence, it don’t mean that I can’t represent”. This was a mild hit for Kane, but I felt it should have been a bigger hit, as it feels like the perfect summertime groove.
Show & Prove – Kane invites Scoob, Sauce Money, Shyheim, pre-Reasonable Doubt and billionaire status, Jay-Z (who the liner notes credit at “J.Z.”) and Ol Dirty Bastard to join him on this cipher joint. Our host wiggles his way in the middle, batting fourth in the six man line-up, and raps circles around his guests and Premo’s solid boom bap backdrop. I think it’s a solid cipher joint. Do ya’ll consider it a classic posse joint? Hit me in the comments.
Lyrical Gymnastics – LG gets his second and final production credit of the evening and he builds this beauty around an ill Barry White loop. Kane does exactly what the song title suggest and back flips, front flips, handsprings and summersaults all over this shit, easily spittin’ over 100 bars without a break: “rappers today be coming as gangsta rhyme type, and be so soft they wouldn’t even kill time right, here’s the news, you’re lettin’ the word hardcore be misused, you ain’t never paid dues, be for real you ain’t tough yet, the razor bumps on your throat is the only thing making you a rough neck, your whole image is a damn sham, I’m glad in this business I didn’t forget who I am, I always remain the Kane inside a battle, never to walk in anyone’s shadow”. I’ve never heard Veteranz Day, but this may be Kane’s last great battle rap song.
That’s How I Did ‘Em – Kane spits three verses on this song: the first is dedicated to a wack emcee, the second, to a bootlegger (for those unaware of what a bootlegger is, go ahead and Google “Music Bootlegger” and educate yourself) and the final verse is a reminder to anyone within ear shot that Kane is the wrong nigga to fuck wit on the mic. Easy Moe Bee provides a decent backdrop, but this is nothing more than filler material.
Sex According To The Prince Of Darkness – This one is strictly for the grown and sexy. After a short intro that includes a pretty funny Dolemite sample, Da Rock (no, not Dewayne Johnson) lays out a smooth sophisticated instrumental, as the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness brags and boasts about his sexual prowess: “baby you’re bound to perspire, when I use the nipples on your breast just like a pacifier, honey please, keep your body as ease, and let me see what I can do with those 34 C’s”. This is easily one of my favorite songs on Daddy’s Home.
3 Forties And A Bottle Of Moet – This is pretty much an interlude. Kane spits a quick verse name dropping some of his people (including his brother, Little Daddy Shane, that he apparently wasn’t speaking to when this song was recorded, but he’s still pictured in the liner notes standing next to his big bro, so they must have kissed and made up at some point) over a simple drum beat.
The Way Its Goin’ Down – Filler material.
Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed – Kane gives us a seldom peek into his vulnerable side, as his woman has gotten sloppy and is leaving a ton of evidence of her unfaithfulness. This song has aged well. I didn’t care for it back in ’94, but I can appreciate it a lot more, 25 years later.
W.G.O.N.R.S. – Is an ebonic acronym for What’s Goin’ On N R Society, as the listener will quickly figure out once the hook comes in. Kane uses his self-produced (which samples and interpolates pieces of Marvin Gaye’s classic record “What’s Going On”) track to address a few societal ills in North America. I love my share of conscious rap, and Kane has given us some great ones through the years (see “Dance With The Devil” and “Lean On Me”), but this is not one of them. The lackluster instrumental along with the annoying singing and chanting by Easy Dred and Junior P, doesn’t help matters. Side note: Bootsy Collins plays bass and Najee (remember him?) plays sax on this one.
Let Yourself Go – More filler material that finds our host obsessing over John Singleton (rip).
Don’t Do It To Yourself – The final song of the evening finds our host rhyming over his own heavily West Coast influenced production work, while his nasally flowed friend reappears as a hype man, but manages to spit enough rhymes to remind the listener just how annoying his new found flow is. Kane actually spits some hard bars on this one. And while his instrumental isn’t spectacular, he makes it sound decent. If you remove Scoob from the song it may have sounded even better.
On Daddy’s Home, Kane shows and proves that he is still in the upper echelon of emcees, displaying wit, charisma, sharp rhymes, one of the best delivers in hip-hop history and in my opinion, drops one of the best battle rap songs in his catalog (“Lyrical Gymnastics”). The problem with Daddy’s Home is the mediocre production, the large mass of filler material and most detrimental, Big Scoob. On Looks Like A Job For, Kane seemed to be regaining his footing after abandoning the true heads in a blatant attempt to win over the female audience on his previous release, Prince Of Darkness. Daddy’s Home doesn’t build on A Job For‘s momentum, but it’s also not as bad as Prince Of Darkness. It quietly…finds a home somewhere in between the two.