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Big Daddy Kane is from the true school of New York rap pioneers, but he now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. The rapper is still putting on great shows in his 40’s but most people probably have no idea how he came up with his rap moniker.

It was a combination of a kung fun movie and and an Annette Funicello (the actress who did the popular 60’s beach movies), Kane, born Antonio Hardy, says.

“When I was a kid I was so fascinated with the martial arts movies that came on Saturday or Sunday that when I started out playing a game of stickball or tag when it was time to go in the house the kids would say ‘We done lost Bruce Lee, we done lost Young Grasshopper, we done lost Kane,” he says.

A Brooklyn native, Kane has been living in Raleigh for the last 15 years. He says after early rap superstardom that included an appearance in the then controversial (and now rare) Madonna collector’s item book, Sex, he was ready for a change of pace.

“It was laid back kind of reminded me of Long Island,” he says. “I can always see New York. But the New York I grew up in isn’t the same anyway.”

As far as popular hotspots, Kane says his living room couch is just fine, but occasionally he might hang out at a local hotspot like the Busy Bee. He has a special relationship to the Tom Joyner Morning Show, since he proposed to his now wife on the cruise 5 years ago. In May, the two celebrate their 5th anniversary.

“It’s beautiful. My wife is a sweetheart,” he says. “She’s always trying to take care of me and make sure that everything is right. I love it.”

Kane says the couple have a 2-year-old, who he says knows all the word to his hit “Raw.”

“He just doesn’t say R-A-W, he say R-E-W,” but he’ll get there.

Big Daddy Kane is performing at the CIAA tournament in Charlotte, the party/basketball event of the Southern sports schedule. You can check out his upcoming tour dates HERE.  

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