Big Daddy Kane sat down with Family Matters actress-turned-podcast host Cherie Johnson for a recent episode of Cherie’s World where he was asked about Kobe Bryant’s recent death. Like many others, the Hip Hop legend was blindsided by the news.
“I was really in a state of shock, like, ‘Wow, this is unreal,’” BDK said. “This is a young brother and one of the greats. I’d probably have him in my Top 5.”
At this point, BDK had already been equated to the “Dr. J of Hip Hop.”
When asked who BDK thought was the Kobe Bryant of Hip Hop, he replied, “I don’t know. What’s the generation after J? I don’t know, would it be Eminem? Eminem.”
While speaking to RealStreetRadio, Kane expanded on his comment and threw a few other names in the ring.
“We’re in that era where people are going to believe what they want to believe because they just need something to debate about,” Kane told DX. “Dude said he feels I’m the Dr. J of Hip Hop and said JAY-Z is the Jordan of Hip Hop, so to ask me who was the Kobe of Hip Hop, basically what he meant was, of my era, I was that dude. And in the next era, Jordan was that dude so in the next era, Kobe was that dude.
“That era would be the era after JAY-Z, Nas, Biggie, Tupac, so that would be, I assume, Eminem, Jadakiss, Fabolous and Ludacris, maybe. So I guess those would be the elites you would consider the next Kobe ’cause that’s the next era. It would be one of them. I guess lyrically, my favorites would be Em, Jada and Fabolous. I don’t really know where he [the interviewer] was going with it — like are you saying as far as what I do? ‘Cause for me it was more than lyrical. So if you basing it just on lyrics, I would probably go with Em. If you’re basing it on the next Kane, then I would probably go with Fabolous.”
Statistically, Eminem and Bryant shined in their respective fields. Bryant played with the L.A. Lakers for 20 years and is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He made 18 All-Star teams, was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft and won five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and was the league MVP in 2008.
Eminem, on the other hand, is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, the 8 Mile single “Lose Yourself,” “Recovery‘s Love The Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna and “Not Afraid” — taken from 2010’s Road To Recovery: Withdrawal — are all certified Diamond by the RIAA.
“Eminem is a major star,” Kane said. “Em and JAY-Z have achieved things that I have never came close to achieving in my life. They are both major stars in Hip Hop. And to top it off, they are both very lyrical. That’s where I was coming from.”
Bryant was killed on January 26 in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people. He was 41.
“It was a real shock,” he said. “Sometimes stuff like this happens that you feel is not supposed to happen. You never know nobody’s time but something like this and under those circumstances, it’s just tragedy. It really hit home.”
Kane is currently in Los Angeles working on a documentary called Paragraphs I Manifest, a nod to his 1988 hit “Ain’t No Half Steppin’.
“We are filming it now,” he revealed. “I’m in L.A. now to film on the 18th and after that, we may still have another two days of filming. It’s about me, but it’s really about lyrics. It’s called Paragraphs I Manifest. It’s basically talking about lyrics, the thought process, battle rap — it’s something I think will be real dope for people who are into Hip Hop.”