Big Daddy Kane is a legend. Coming up in the '80s with the Juice Crew, he put out classics like "Smooth Operator" and "Ain't No Half Steppin,'" which influenced generations of rappers to come. This week, the New York City icon visited NPR's Tiny Desk to show he's still got it.
Delivering an upbeat, jazzy set, the 49-year-old rapper performed "Smooth Operator," "Ain't No Half Steppin'," "Raw," plus a bonus freestyle with a live band. Then, proving just how cool he still is, Big Daddy Kane took some time to share his thoughts on new generations of rap.
"I love hip-hop and I'd love to see it grow," he said. "I'd love to see it continue on. I hope everybody out here is supporting hip-hop and trying to make it continue on. I've seen a lot of biased stuff going on about how this is not hip-hop and this is real hip-hop. But I mean, you never know what floats somebody's boat. Whatever form of hip-hop you like, man, love it and keep it going. Keep it strong. Make sure it stays powerful."
Acknowledging the heated conversations that have took place between "old heads" and younger rappers, Kane had a refreshingly optimistic and open-minded outlook on things.
"There's always going to be different ways of presenting something and expressing yourself," he explained. "Everybody's going to have their own way of doing it. But I think what's most important is that those who really love hip-hop, they try to focus on what's positive and keep that in the spotlight. If you love hip-hop, just stay focused and keep supporting it. I try to."
Legend. Watch the full performance above.