Rapper Big Daddy Kane once boasted, "My rhymes are so dope . . . I'll have to open a school of MCing," on his 1988 classic "Ain't No Half-Steppin'." Since then, his records have served as classrooms, and some of rap's great heroes are his star pupils: Chuck D calls him the "most gifted rapper of all time"; RZA praises the Bed-Stuy lyricist's "Brooklyn aggressiveness"; Scarface says, "Everybody should rap along with Kane['s records]; and the list just goes on. At his peak, Kane was one of rap's fastest rappers and one of its first sex symbols (he appeared in Playgirl), and was instrumental in ushering in new talent like Jay-Z. Tonight, at the Celebrate Brooklyn festival in Prospect Park, he will be honored with a short documentary, BDK: The Big Daddy Kane Story, as well as tributes from former Roots member and this evening's host, Rahzel, Brooklyn-via-Ghana MC Blitz the Ambassador, and Video Music Box creator Ralph McDaniels, before he hits the stage himself with a live band. Class dismissed.
Sat., Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2009