Today, the New York hip-hop scene lost a prominent figure, Keith Carter – better known as DJ Big Kap. He was a member of many crews and cliques, including the Flip Squad DJ’s, which also included names like Doo Wop, Biz Markie and Mark Ronson. For those of you not too familiar with Kap, he rose to notoriety in the NYC scene alongside Funkmaster Flex as a resident DJ and host at the notorious Tunnel Nightclub, which was a 90’s institution, as far as urban clubs go. The club was a hangout for many of the city’s, and industries, icons during our culture’s most important – and grimy – hip-hop era. Every name that mattered in the 90’s performed there, giving Kap unprecedented accessibility to artists.
After much prodding, Funkmaster Flex, who by the later 90’s had become a staple in the game, teamed up with Kap to release his most notable project, The Tunnel. In an interview, Kap lovingly referred to the project as his baby, and a three year “labour of love.” Although Kap failed to release many more commercial projects of that caliber, he was far from off the scene. He was a resident DJ at numerous clubs in the big apple, toured overseas, hosted internet radio, and had plans to release a few new projects this year.
He was also a DJ for Biggie Smalls. In fact, he once notoriously (no pun intended) had a water bottle thrown at him for messing up on stage during Summer Jam 1995. He later revealed in an interview that the heat that day was causing the records to warp literally in front of his eyes. When he explained the situation to Biggie backstage, He laughed and told him that he knew the situation, but spazzed so the crowd wouldn’t think he was messing up his performance. I’m sure that Kap and Big are in the clouds right now, laughing and recounting the good old days, when everything in hip-hop was lovely.
His cause of death is still unknown.
I’m going to leave this with the record that put me on to Big Kap back in 1995, Ladies In The House, featuring Bahamadia, Lauryn Hill, Precise, Treep & Uneek.
RIP to Kap, and prayers and condolences to his family.