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Big Daddy Kane Is A ‘Smooth Operator’ On NPR Music’s ‘Tiny Desk Concert’

(Photo Credit: Claire Harbage/ NPR)

Imagine walking through your office and hearing the all too familiar melody from Big Daddy Kane's "Smooth Operator" floating in the air. And then you realize Big Daddy Kane is actually spitting bars in your office. Such was the case a few weeks ago when the legendary emcee sauntered into NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series to perform his hip-hop classics. The breakout member of the Juice Crew took us back to the late '80s with his timeless raps at one of our favorite offices.

Backed by a drummer, saxophonist, keyboard player and bass player, BDK started his performance with a jazz-infused version of "Smooth Operator." The emcee, dressed in mostly maroon and a dapper hat, delivered his lyrics just as smooth as he did in 1988. He later introduced the band and got the audience warmed up with a little crowd participation during "Ain't No Half Steppin'." He then imparted his wisdom on the audience, making it clear that while hip-hop has changed everyone is entitled to what they like and that we should keep "focusing on what's positive and keeping that in the spotlight."

Dark Gable then performed "Raw" with his drummer and saxophonist playing assist while he ran through the lyrics effortlessly. While he did break a sweat and forget just a few words, his high level of swag held him down. The audience couldn't get enough of the emcee and demanded one more track even though he had his coat in hand and was ready to go. He decided to keep the NPR employees away from their desks just a little longer by blessing them with a funky freestyle.

If anyone in attendance didn't know who Big Daddy Kane was before, they surely knew after the performance. Watch one of the pillars of hip-hop perform with his signature swag when you press play below.


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