A few months back, Grantland published a piece detailing the life of rap gods Big Daddy Kane and Rakim long after the prime of their careers. At one point, Phonte recalls when one of Kane's friends tells him that he could be the next Jay Z if he chooses to make a comeback. Kane's response was telling of his legacy.

"He says that Kane looked at him and told him, ‘Man, I already been Jay Z.’ That was a real sobering moment for me," Phonte says. "From my estimation, he’s a guy who has found his peace.” And Kane is absolutely right. He's the man who the New York's G.O.A.T.s -- Jay Z and Biggie, to name a few -- draw from. Today (Sept. 10), Big Daddy Kane celebrates his 47th birthday.

You can trace Jay Z's liquid-smooth rhyming and the use of his voice as an instrument to Kane's cool mic presence. After spending some time writing Biz Markie's rhymes, the MC out of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn began his legend with 1988's Long Live the Kane. It's considered a hallmark of the golden era, and the single "Ain't No Half Steppin'" is considered a hip-hop essential. It was the type of album that can be considered lightning in a bottle, but his follow-up, It's a Big Daddy Thing, showcased his razor-sharp skills.

Kane couldn't pull the three-peat, though. He attempted to propagate his chocolate lover persona with Taste of Chocolate, but he ended up alienating his fan base. Prince of Darkness, his fourth, was considered a return to form, but the guard was already changing by then. Nas would soon become known as the second coming, and Biggie Smalls would start staking his claim as the greatest MC ever. But to many, Kane is ground zero when it comes to modern styles.

Watch Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half Steppin'"

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