Hip Hop Thursday: Canibus – No Return

There is always such a huge debate in hip hop about who is the ‘best rapper alive’ or the best lyricist. Well, not if you happen to be called Wokka Flocka Flame who actually got offended when he was accused of being a lyricist. Fucking Idiot. I don’t think there’s going to be an answer, but there are definitely shortlists. This guy, although I don’t listen to his music that much, is extremely high on my list (I don’t actually have a list, but I can’t think of many more lyrically adept people than Canibus).
Welcome to Canibus. I found out about this guy through his Eminem beef. I think I also heard about him in an old Wyclef Jean interview. Apparently Canibus had his album coming out produced by Wyclef that turned a massive flop and he got dropped by the label. That’s why he’s not heard of much. This guys freestyles are crazy, and some of his trains of thoughts are incredible. The song I put on here for you is a story telling style track he released that showcases his lyrical style. I was going to show you 100 bar freestyle, it was a close call.

There’s quite a lot I like about this song. The first verse it just incredible, and I’ll recccommend people to chekc out RapGenius to see where he gets his inspirations and ideas for the concepts. I also like the hook, as for so long I thought it was English but I just couldnt understand it. Turns out it’s this:

Adon ‘olam, ‘asher malakh,
(Which is Eternal Master, who reigned supreme)
b’terem kol y’tzir niv’ra
(before all of creation was drawn)
L’eyt na’asa v’kheftso kol,
(When it was finished according to His will,)
Azai melekh sh’mo nikra
(then King his name was proclaimed to be.)

Through all this, and despite his raw verses, he has fucked up. I can’t even bring myself to look at the video of it. At last summer jam, the biggest battle rappers showed up to put on an incredible showcase of battle rapping. Iron Soloman, Loaded Lux, Murda mook, Serious Jones etc were all there, and Canibus made an appearance to battle. It was hyped up so much, everybody knows how hard Canibus can go in, so was one of the most anticipated battles at the show. Now I haven’t actually seen the video, because I can’t bring myself to watch it, but I’ve been told and read that midway through one of his turns he forgets his lyrics, shakes the opponents hand to concede, then proceeds to whip out a notebook and start rapping his written down bars, in front of a huge crowd who came for a battle rap. I’ve seen a few scenes form it, but I can’t believe somebody would do that. He’s lost so much respect in the scene now and I doubt he will ever go to battle again. If you do want to check it out, here’s the link, but I won’t be watching.

Enjoy Canibus (but maybe in moderation)

J

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