Canibus :: 2000 B.C. (Before Can-I-Bus)
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
"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."
There aren't many rappers who can justify having their lead
paragraph be a quote; but Canibus is that nice. The nicest
of all times? Nah, probably not - but he's one of the few
cats out who can say "AIDS is afraid to catch me" on the
mic and actually make it sound believable.
Half the new rappers out don't release debut albums a third as
good as "Can-I-Bus", but people expected more from "THE NEXT RAKIM"
and doomed his album without even giving it a fair shake. Interestingly,
Canibus doesn't blame the rap media or the fans - he quite clearly says
"motherfuckin WYCLEF spoiled it" on the title track, "2000 B.C." 'Clef
is not completely at fault; although he did try to promote Canibus as a
pop rap star instead of a lyrical terrorist which undoubtedly backfired.
Suffice it to say Canibus left Jean and the rest of his Refugee Family
back in Haiti and moved on.
The beats are bass-laden and the lyrics are anti-pop; and Bis' knows
this. Without the shock tactics Canibus can still say that
"my niggaz got a degree in Thuggonometry" on cuts like the Chaos
produced "Watch Who U Beef Wit"; then "regulate without warning"
on the lead single "Mic-Nificent". Canibus steals a page from Eminem's book
of humor (or perhaps Eminem stole his) when he breaks down backward-ass idiots:
"Confuse niggaz like somebody tryin to gangbang
wearin a blue shirt, and red pants
throwin up signs with they left hand
standin out on the corner at Wetlands
with a confederate flag for a headband"
For anybody who thought the last album was too commercial, this
album will fit like rugged-wear denim. Ty Fyffe produced bangers
like "Die Slow", Irv Gotti laced tracks like "Lost @ 'C'" and
Chaos on "Horsementality" (featuring Kurupt, Ras Kass and Killah
Priest) are nothing but the underground raw. This album is so
god damned rugged that Pharoahe Monch even shows up for an
impromptu acapella 1:20 long "Horsemen" freestyle. Who needs
a fucking beat anyway?
Perfection is a high mountain to climb, so it should be no
surprise that Canibus is a few steps short of the peak. At
times an overabundance of Canibus rhymes about how fucking
dope he is leave one yearning for the topic oriented songs
of his debut, for better or worse. Certain tracks do not
quite pack the right punch either: "100 Bars" is a bit
repetitive, The Beatnuts produced "Life Liquid" doesn't
really sound tailored to the 'Bis flow (it's a nice track
but should be on their own album), and the biggest surprise
is how weak the Clue beat is on his duet with Rakim,
"I'll Buss 'Em U Punish 'Em".
As a whole this sophomore album is easily as good or
better than the first, but whether this will satisfy
the people who've already written off Canibus is still
anyone's guess. For this writer, the skills displayed
and the flow spit on the mic prove that the big letter
'C' is still relevant to hip-hop in the year 2000.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: July 24, 2000