Gen-Z and Millennials, here's a Cheat Sheet for the KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane VERZUZ!
Young people are certainly not the target audience for the upcoming VERZUZ battle between Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One. However the matchup provides an amazing chance for younger fans to learn about the artists that help build hip-hop.
When I was a little kid, I learned about KRS-One from watching
VH1’s 100 Greatest hip-hop songs.
The song highlighted was
by Boogie Down Productions, an undeniable classic. Nowadays - VH1 and MTV mostly air reruns of Ridiculousness or Love & Hip-Hop, so there isn’t nearly as much mainstream exposure for throwback artists.
For younger hip-hop fans, we’re going to break down just who KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane are - so that you can enjoy the VERZUZ with the old heads this weekend.
Big Daddy Kane:
- Was born in 1968 and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
- Rapped as a member of the Juice Crew, alongside artists Biz Markie, Marley Marl, Mr. Magic, and many more from 1983-1991.
- His stage name is a mash up of a character named “Caine” from the 1970’s TV show Kung Fu, and a character named "Big Daddy" from the 1963 film Beach House. His government name has no variation of the name Kane.
- When Kane was a teenager he became close friends with a young Biz Markie. Kane would go on to write for Biz.
- In the early 90’s Big Daddy Kane brought Jay-Z on tour.
- Was born in 1965 and raised in the Bronx, New York.
- Rapped as a member of Boogie Down Productions, alongside D-Nice and Scott La Rock from 1986-1992.
- KRS-One’s name is both an abbreviation meaning “Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone” and an homage to his nickname “Kris.”
- KRS-One met Scott La Rock while living in a homeless shelter, the two began to do graffiti and make music.
- KRS-One formed the Stop the Violence Movement, made a song advocating for the freeing of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and has always been politically active.
Similarities and Differences:
- Big Daddy Kane was far more of a flashy celebrity than KRS-One who was more lowkey.
- KRS-One is one of the fathers of conscious rap, whereas Big Daddy Kane whose style is more swaggering.
- Both rappers came up in the 1980’s New York rap scene.
- Both rappers are featured on Cormega’s Mega Fresh alongside Grand Puba, Red Alert, and Parrish Smith.
- Both KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane have impeccable flows and delivery that are largely unmatched today.
Songs to Expect and Check Out:
Big Daddy Kane:
and some Biz Markie songs he has writing credits on - like
listeners may recognize Nobody Beats the Biz as the theme to the Rosenberg Report.) Kane could also play original Juice Crew songs like
If you’re looking for celebrity surprises - Kane sings the hook on
by Patti LaBelle, which would be amazing to see quite frankly.
are a great introduction to KRS-One. Boogie Down Productions songs like
will be crowd pleasers. KRS-One will probably bring out Channel Live, who he
with often and D-Nice, but he absolutely has less tricks up his sleeve than Kane. If KRS-One brings out any big name celebrity it’ll probably be Diddy, who is featured on the remix to