Does Rakim’s Break The Wrath In Half Exist?

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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9 Comments so far
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He did the song “Hypnotic” too, as a diss on Kane

Comment by Advent 08.28.12 @

^ Yeah, I was just about to say about Hypnotic with the “I don’t sniff no Kane to get Raw” line.

Comment by brian beck 08.28.12 @

As a huge Kane fan this has always been one of those holy grail topics for me – I remember asking Kane about this when I wrote a feature on him for Undercover magazine around 2004 while he was in the UK and the response he gave me (posted below) is pretty much the same response he gave to HipHopDX some years later, so at least he seems to be keeping his side of the story straight lol – but who knows…

“The whole thing was a misunderstanding,” divulges Kane. “I guess both of us wondered if there actually was beef, but everytime we’d see each other at a show everything was cool. But eventually some really silly shit happened, that was funny, but it was time to sit down and talk about it. Eric B’s brother Ant Live used to be my road manager. This chick I was fucking with had given me a picture and she’d written something on the back using the names of my songs. It said ‘Dear Kane, There Ain’t No Half Steppin’, I wanna Set It Off, get Raw and break your Wrath in half’. This was around the time when everyone was talking about Rakim recording Break The Wrath In Half and dissing me. So I asked her what she meant by that and the girl’s like ‘Oh yeah, Eric B played me this new song with Rakim dissing you. You ain’t heard it yet?’ I’m like ‘Oh word! Eric B played it for you? When did you hear it?’ She’s like ‘Just the other day’, not knowing that the other dude I’m in the car with is Eric B’s brother. She’s steady rambling on and I’m looking at my man crying from laughing. She’s like ‘Why do you keep looking at him and laughing? Does he work with Eric or something?’ My man turns around and says ‘Nah! I live with him! That’s my fucking brother bitch!’ But after that Eric’s brother really felt the two of us should talk. So he called Ra and we talked about it. It wasn’t nothing serious. I never had anything against Rakim.”

Comment by Ryan Proctor 08.28.12 @

Back in the day, both of them was my dudes but I ran with Ra, like it’s a no brainer, Kane can’t touch him. As I got older and I listened to Kane more, I realized that battle would have been a dead heat. Ra had the better pen game but Kane had those easily accessible punchlines. It hurts a little to say it but I think Kane probably would just barely get the W, if only ’cause Ra would have gone over some cats’ heads. The better match-up would have been Kane and G Rap. Whoa…

Comment by oskamadison 08.28.12 @

That ‘Hypnotic’ line is pretty tame in the scheme of things though.

Comment by Robbie 08.28.12 @

@Ryan Proctor love your work as a engineer man. The Fallout>. Big ups!

Comment by Gx 08.28.12 @

Co-signature Oska! ….also Robbie is on-point w/that ‘tame’ comment too; that is more like basic wordplay/cultural reference; which again points to the ease at which I beleive Ra would have meticulously chopped @ Kane. Kane likely would have won the day….but history likely would’ve shined on Ra in that battle.(See what I did there “shined on Ra”…I got them skillz yo!)

Comment by bboycult 08.29.12 @

Listen, back in the day, Mr. Magic played a version of “Wrath of Kane” that included a dig at Rakim, imo. “cuz i look at leaders/and i just laugh/cuz when I’m in effect/you feel the wrath..of kane!” (leaders, as in follow the leader, which was blowing up at the time. Ra had his subliminals too. Go listen to the second verse of “to the listeners.” i respect both mc’s as legends.

Comment by Doc Samson 09.05.12 @

I need this…

Comment by @AtotheL 12.02.12 @

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