Filed under: Forgotten Beefs,Great Moments In Rap,In Search Of...,Shots Fired,Unkut Originals
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
As Rakim tells it in the above video with RA The Rugged Man (who looks ‘like a teenage girl on her first date’ according to the YouTube comments ), he agreed to remove his four lines aimed at Big Daddy Kane from the first version of ‘Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em’ after Ant Live played like Sir IBU on some ‘I’m The Peacemaker’ shit.
Dr. Butcher, who used to DJ for Kool G Rap, offered this version of events:
Rakim, from what I understand – I didn’t hear it – but I know he had made a record called ‘Cut The Kane In Half’, and it was gonna be a diss record for Big Daddy Kane but he didn’t put it out. But if you listen to his rhymes, he says little slick stuff on the Follow The Leader album that was directed at Kane. Because there was a lot of stuff goin’ on about how was better and who was the best. Rakim was pretty quiet, he never talked about. Kane was a little more verbal about it. They never really made it publicly known, but he definitely was gonna do something.
My attempts to get the goods on this story were a complete wash when I interviewed BDK in 2007 for the release of his limited edition Pumas:
Robbie: There’s always been that rumor about you and Rakim taking little swipes at each other. Is that just gossip, or is there some truth to that?
Big Daddy Kane: [in a sly tone] I used to hear that a lot too. I don’t know. I wonder…?
You never went at anyone in particular when you wrote your lyrics?
Who me? I’ve had my moments. I’ve had my moments where I’ve heard something that someone said and I didn’t really know how to take it, so just to play it safe I might throw a shot back at they ass. But we all grown now, and that’s a thing of the past so I don’t even sweat it no more.
By 2008, however, the ‘Prince of Darkness’ was quite comfortable to spill the beans with HipHopDX:
DX: I understand you had a diss record cocked and ready for the R?
Big Daddy Kane: Yeah. I had something ready. And apparently he had something ready too. But what happened wasEric Bs brother, Ant Live, used to be my road manager. And some girl gave me a picture that said, “Dear Kane, I wanna set it off and get r-a-w, aint no half steppin cause Im gonna break your wrath in half.” And I asked her, What did [you] mean by break the wrath in half? And she said, Rakim has a song called ‘Break The Wrath In Half’. And when Eric Bs brother, Ant, heard this and saw how heres somebody sitting here trying to speak on this – like they done heard this song and they know this is true thats when [he] was like, Yo this shit going too far. Y’all need to talk. So Ant called Ra and put me on the phone and we talked.
Other version’s of this tale claim that Rakim’s brother took a copy of the ‘Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em’ demo to Kane’s house and played it to him, prompting him to phone Ra and discuss having the offending lines removed… others have claimed to witness Rakim approaching Kane and challenging him to ‘battle in MSG and let the crowd be the judge and jury’, only to have Kane cop a plea. Pure gossip, clearly, but what’s the rap game without rumors?
So is Rakim’s recollection of removing four lines the ‘political’ answer to cover-up the fact that he actually recorded an entire track dedicated to ethering King Asiatic? And what exactly did Kane ‘have ready’ for The 7th Letter? A few lines or a few verses? Or was there an entire song recorded with a similarly unsubtle title, such as ‘Played In Full’, ‘My Felony’ or ‘Swollow The Leader’? *crickets* If the story of Rakim’s challenge to a live contest is true, why would BDK have fronted, considering his live battle rep was no joke. Rakim is a master of painting mental pictures with his lyrics, but Kane was the king of wit and punchlines. Even if the confrontation had resorted to a dance-off, it would still have gone in Dark Gable’s favor, as his routines with Scoob and Scrap would have blown Ra’s casual rendition of The Wop out of the water…
Whatever the case, it appears that these two rap veterans have made some kind of pact to never reveal the full extent of their rivalry and have apparently greed to throw us a few breadcrumbs in order to keep us off their trail. Nevertheless…the search for the full, unkut story continues..
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