Before Big Daddy Kane was rocking high top fades and four-finger rings, he was a hungry battle rapper who was looking for a challenge.
So, early on in his rapping career at around 14-years old, Kane stepped to Kool Moe to challenge him to a battle. As a member of the pioneering hip hop crew, The Treacherous Three, Moe Dee was one of rap’s earliest superstars and his legendary on-stage battle with Busy Bee Starski at Harlem World in 1981 is regarded as the beginning of modern day rap battles.
Suffice to say, Kane wasn’t ready for the challenge and Moe Dee let him know it.
Big Daddy Kane: I was going to different neighborhoods around Brooklyn battling cats back in—this started in ’82, so that’s like eighth grade. Maybe 13, 14. Before I actually got a deal I don’t think I battled any known artists. I did ask Kook Moe Dee for a battle, but he didn’t battle me. He talks about it in his book. He just kept walking saying ‘Nah shorty, you don’t want it.’ But I did ask him for a battle back in like—I wanna say around ’83. I know I was ready, but that was Moe Dee in his prime. After the annihilation of Busy Bee and those famous two bars about Melle Mel. I mean, he was the battle king back then.Big Daddy Kane Recalls Kool Moe Dee Declining To Battle | HipHopDX
Kane would go on to join Marley Marl’s elite Juice Crew and drop his landmark debut album Long Live the Kane, which included classic joints like “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’,” “Set It Off” and “Raw (Remix).” The album showcased Kane’s formidable mic presence, flawless rhyme skills and flashy style and quickly turned the Brooklyn rapper into rap sensation.