17. Big Daddy Kane, Long Live the Kane
Label: Cold Chillin'
Release Date: 6/21/1988
Antonio Hardy a.k.a. Dark Gable a.k.a. Big Daddy Kane got his start in the rap game by writing rhymes for his friend Biz Markie. By 1987, Kane dropped "Raw," his debut single on Cold Chillin' Records, which showcased his ability to flow rapidly over one of Marley Marl's most energetic beats. But it wasn't until his 1988 debut album, Long Live the Kane, that Kane would be acknowledged as King Asiatic Nobody's Equal, a rapper whose lyrical prowess and unique sense of style made an everlasting impression on the evolution of hip-hop.
From Billboard-charting hit singles like "Ain't No Half Steppin" and "I'll Take You There" to B-boy classics like "Set It Off," Kane was always ready to shoot the gift and make MCs stand stiff. Although his sophomore disc It's A Big Daddy Thing was more successful commercially, everything about his debut album-from its all-killer-no-filler 10-track lineup to its cover image of the Brooklyn MC draped in white robes and gold chains while being attended to by three fly girls-cemented his place in the hip-hop imagination.