Prince of Darkness

Oh, Kane. Or may I call you ”Big Daddy”? What happened? You used to be so riveting with your warm-honey voice and intricate wordplay, especially on your first record, Long Live the Kane (1988). You were hip-hop’s original sex symbol: the ”smooth operator” way before L.L. Cool J started lifting weights and making his raps croon rather than shout. Nowadays, with the release of your fourth album, Prince of Darkness, things don’t seem the same, Kane. You don’t have that touch of danger, that edge. Oh, sure, now and then you seem like the Kane of old, as on ”Come on Down,” your festive collaboration with Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes of Leaders of the New School. But this album’s bombastic, faux-soul beats drown your voice. And those blustery love songs Kane, please, leave the piano, horns, and the entire (over)production alone, strip everything down, and get busy like we know you can. C+

Prince of Darkness
  • Music