Sunday, July 09, 2006

Canibus freestyles (1997)

Canibus knew how to break into the industry; working at a record label, networking, dropping guest verses and mixtape freestyles while killing every cut he was associated with. My intro (along with most) to Canibus was the Lost Boyz "Beast From the East", and it still stands out as his most definitive verse to me. No one had ever heard of him and he killed Redman on a track. After that, his verses started showing up on various mixtapes, and Universal signed him; in a rush to capitalize on the hype, they released a twelve with his first single ("How We Roll") and included a collection of his freestyles from various mixtapes:

DJ Clue "Cluemanati" mixtape freestyle
Lost Boyz freestyle
Mad Ball & Tab One freestyle
Tony Touch Tape #55 freestyle

"How We Roll" was cool (Canibus was killing EVERYTHING that year), but having those freestyles (from Tony Touch, DJ Clue, etc) in one spot was the real gem. Canibus was redefining the prototype of the battle MC; or rather, the collective effect of these freestyles (and "Beast From the East") convinced a lot of people that he was on a completely different plane:

I'll make examples out of you, and eat a mouthful of your crew
The type of MC you can't out-do:
I'll battle you on the net, I'll battle you in the flesh
I'll battle you over the phone - you can call me collect
I'll battle you for the respect, I'll battle you over a blank check
I'll battle you with a gun to my neck
I'll battle you standin' over the toilet, with my dick out
I'll battle you jugglin' a hand-grenade with the pin out
in a stolen car, with the VIN number ripped out
drinkin' a Guiness Stout, doin' a 360-spinout

The guest verses continued, including LL's "4,3,2,1" and the ensuing battle that resulted. As much as I respect LL, I thought Canibus would eat him up after what they'd been dropping the last year or so. But it seems that by then, the hype had already started to catch up to him; heads expected Canibus to destroy everything he touched. No doubt, he's dropped some dope shit since then, but nothing that ever transcended the peak he was camped out on back in '97. Includes the cuts listed above.


Blogger Krooked1 said...


8:43 AM  

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