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Canibus Interview

We've got an RapReviews special for y'all! DJ Fatboy got an EXCLUSIVE interview last Friday and confronted him with the real deal - everything from his favorite flavor of ramen noodles to what REALLY happened between him and Blinky Blink of Harlem World. Check it out y'all!

Fatboy: Alright, I'm gonna let you know, I'm lowbudget over here. I don't have a tape recorder or nothin, hell, I'm using a calling card to call you right now, I don't have long distance, so there's gonna be pauses and shit while I'm trying to scribble shit down.

Canibus: Alright man.

F: Alright, first off, new album. Gimme the overview.

C: 2000 B.C. Just comin with more of that raw vibe people know me from, from those guest shots, mix tapes, just more of that raw shit. Productions stepped up on this, I got shit from the Beatnuts, Me and Ra are on a cut..Plus I got the Horsemen comin, that's me, Ras Kass, Pharoahe Monche, Killah Priest, and Kurupt.

F: Okay, just Horsemen, not Four Horsemen, cuz obviously, that's 5 cats right there.

C: Nah, I always just called it horsemen. That was Kurupt always puttin the 4 in there. I never wanted to put a number on it, because I always knew there'd be more cats, people I wanted to put on, up and comers and shit.

F: Are there up and comers you got that you want to add to the lineup already?

C: Yeah, but I mentioned one of 'em I was thinkin about havin, and it got put in an internet interview, and you know, there's people comin up to him all "yo, I heard.." This internet thing can fuck people up sometimes, man, you can't surprise no one no more, this internet shit will spoil the fuck out of you. There's no surprises, unless you record the shit in your fuckin basement, master it, mix it, all that, dont' let no one hear it until you take it to the label, otherwise it's gonna get spoiled. But it's not just me lookin for people, it's everyone in the group lookin for people. Lonnie B and Danja Mowf are a couple we're thinkin about, I let the group hear em, they like their shit, but we're still lookin for more, you know?

".. it got put in an internet interview, and you know, there's people comin up to him all 'yo, I heard...' This internet thing can fuck people up sometimes..."

F: You got a tour all ready to go?

C: My agents settin up all that.

F: What can we expect? You got a stage show set up, or is it just gonna be two turns, a mic and Canibus fuckin shit up?

C: Yeah, just me two turntables, a mic, you know, the way a show should be, but also, unfortunately, the budget aint as permitting for me to do some of that crazy off the wall shit.

F: What about a Horsemen tour? Plans goin into that, or is that a little too far into the future? Because obviously, that'd be a pretty big attraction right there.

C: I would love for some shit to pop off, but it ain't even really up to me, you know? It's up to the people. If the people really wanna see a Horsemen tour, buy up our records and shit, they make it happen. The fans make it happen. Like the couple guest appearances that got radio play and whatever, I kept it real for my fans, that hardcore shit, and they made it happen.

F: Speakin of your guest appearances, me personally, I bugged when I first heard you on "Beasts from the East." is there a specific guest shot you did, not to take away from the other ones, but is there a guest shot that you think back on and go, "Damn.."

C: I approach every record with the same aggression. For me, it's like this, and I've done it from the beginnin: When I'm writin for a record, regardless of who's on it, *I* gotta make an *impact,* not I gotta shit all over so and so, I gotta say this and that about somebody, that doesn't even enter into it. My rhyme's just gotta be tight. I dont' want people like "Oh, yo, I don't even remember Canibus on that record." every record I've appeared on, I'm trying to make that impact. I enjoy rhymin because of that. So I like "Beasts from the East," yeah, but I also like "Uni-4-orm," I liked that Firm shit, I like "4,3,2,1" you know? I'm just tryin to make an impact. You go into the studio, you start writin thinkin "I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna try to get it to sound like so-and so" you already fucked up, right there, before you even start, your shit is gonna be fucked up. You gotta make the shit sound like YOU, make that impact.

F: Are there any releases comin up that you're lookin forward to?

"I'm tryin to get this Horsemen thing goin, tryin to concentrate on my own shit. There's not too much out there that's really hittin me."

C: Ummmmm... nah, not really. I'm tryin to get this Horsemen thing goin, tryin to concentrate on my own shit. There's not too much out there that's really hittin me.

F: Yeah, 2000's been a pretty stagnant year.

C: You know why? Hip Hop, the real Hip Hop? That vibe is extinct like the dinosaur, man. The Public Enemy, the EPMD, the NWA, Ice Cube, you won't ever get that vibe ever again. It's all different now. The 2001 tour? That's dope. Because of it's intrinsic appeal, because it's got a link to that old vibe. You got NWA, without Eazy of course, and all these groups have a link to that, a link to that old vibe. But a new group comin out with that same effect? It wont happen ever again. The media's just overexposed hip hop, all kinds of people jumpin all over it--

F: It's like a commodity now.

C: Yeah, you don't got people gettin known off this album and that, you got people gettin known off like, one song on the radio, now that motherfucker is "known." you got motherfuckers gettin record deals off of winnin a freestyle battle, what the fuck is that? Why not give the guy with a 6 song demo, who can tell the a&r, "yo, I got like, 12 more songs already done up" who's spent time in a studio and knows how to make a song, why not give that guy a deal? Hip Hop is fucked up right now, and a lot of shit is gonna come crashin. Hopefully kids will bring the lyrics, and there'll be kids fuckin with the beats (I'm not much of a beat man, myself) but yunno, hopefully they'll have enough power to regenerate this shit.

F: You downloaded anything off Napster recently?

C: I've never downloaded nothin off Napster. I been there, checked it out, but when I'm on the internet, I'm more like a passive observer, I don't go into chatrooms or nothin, I just find it interesting to watch motherfuckers talk shit, have conversations. I don't have a problem with people downloading my shit, I don't mind it, because that's publicity, right, and I don't turn down publicity. But, this whole Dre shit, I can understand where he's comin from on that, if people are downloading his shit just to download it, not supportin or nothin, that's publicity I don't need, that's takin a chunk out of his sales right there.

F: You ever thought about covering a hip hop song? Or is the just the idea of it like "blaaaaah" to you?

C :No no.. it ain't bad; I've never done it because the artists that have done it, if you look at em, they got that "dont' give a fuck" attitude to em, you know? that "I can say whatever and they'll love me." thing goin on. I can't do that, because people listen to my lyrics, really listen, and start analyzin, motherfuckers lookin to dissect my shit, to find somethin 'wrong' in it, and they'd be like "awww, see, he did it wrong, he aint do it as good as them" that's one more thing for them to bitch about. But on "Horsementality" there was a version where we jacked "The Symphony" beat, and we were fuckin with that, just fuckin around, and of course it got leaked and bootlegged and put on the internet and aaaaaaaaaah.. but I'm more like--I'd rather do somethin dope from scratch.

F: You heard the Everlast cover of "Shook Ones?"

C: Everlast, that white kid?

F: Yeah, he covered "Shook Ones" and he left in the "niggas" that song had. Is there a problem there, what do you feel when you hear white rappers, or white kids in general, usin the word "nigga?"

"See, it's little things like that, just the way shit is -- you can't censor hip-hop without takin away it's vital components. I mean, like, what made N.W.A. so dope? They just didn't give a fuck..."

C: No, see, I feel like the real offense ain't from their end. Some of em feel it, I mean really feel it, and when they speak, they ain't got that mindset to it, you know? I mean, it just don't offend me as much as say, it might offend my grandfather. I mean, it's different now, it's not like it was for my grandfather, you say that shit around him, he's gonna get highly offended, but today, with what hip hop's done, it don't offend me as much, I mean, you get up in my face and start sayin that shit, then yeah, somethin's gonna happen, but normally, it don't bother me. See, it's little things like that, just the way shit is--you can't censor hip-hop without takin away it's vital components. I mean, like, what made N.W.A. so dope? They just didn't give a fuck, they said all kinds of crazy shit, shit no one ever heard before on the radio, and that was part of the vitality, you know? But you start censoring it, you can't even play the shit, it's like every fuckin word is beeped out, you can't understand nothin.

F: Alright. Your record release. There was drama..

C: Okay, yo. Nothin happened. Place was crazy, there were mad niggas all goin crazy, but nothin happened.

F: Wack ass Blinky Blink didn't say shit, didn't..

C: Nothin happened, B. That shit is ridiculous.

F: Alright then, we're gonna get a little random here, bear with me. We're gonna do some either/or shit. I'll give you two choices, you pick one, alright?

C: Yeah, okay.

F: Richard Roundtree or Samuel Jackson.

C Heh... Roundtree.

F: Q-Tip now or Q-Tip then?

C: Then.

F: Jenna Jameson or Pamela Anderson.

C: Jenna Jimmi.. who? Jenna..

F: Jenna Jameson, she's a... fuck it, we'll skip it. Um... Lil' Kim or Foxy Brown?

C: (*chuckles*) Uhh... heh, neither. (*laughing*)

F: Benz or Cadillac.

C: Cadillac. El Dorado.

F: NICE. Apple or Windows

C: Apple.

F: Okay so, this should be pretty cake, Netscape or Internet Explorer.

C: Yeah, Netscape.

F: Mac-N-Cheese or Ramen Noodles.

C: (*laughing*) Mac-N-Cheese.

F: What, you ain't a Ramen fan?

C: Man, I been overexposed, ate too much of that shit. If I ate that I'd get sick.

F: I feel you on that. What was your favorite flavor?

C: Chicken and, uh, what was it? Curry Shrimp.

F: You used to mix em up?

C: Oh yeah. The Curry Shrimp was crazy!

F: Gary Payton or Tim Hardaway.

C: Payton.

F: Blazers or Lakers.

C: Lakers.

F: Aww, that's terrible. Okay, uh... you heard any good pickup lines?

C: (*laughing*) Nah, not any good ones.

F: Do you even try to pick up girls anymore, at shows or clubs, or are you like "I'm Canibus. What."

"I mean, I used to go bananas, but after awhile, it's just a job. I get done, get offstage from rappin, I just wanna go home, yunno?"

C: Nah, I got most of that shit out of my system. I mean, I used to go bananas, but after awhile, it's just a job. I get done, get offstage from rappin, I just wanna go home, yunno? Yunno what I like, are the chicks who come up about the music, sayin "I love that shit you did with G Rap" or "I love that Horsemen shit" I'm like "Whoaaa!" because girls are normally like "I love that fuck you record you did" I'm like, well, obviously. But the girls into the RA, that's unorthodox, I love that shit, where I can get into a conversation with the girl about hip hop, and just chill..

F: Alright man, well, I wanna thank you for takin time out of your day. I'm about out of questions and my calling card's probably gonna run out.

C: No problem man, thanks.

F: Peace.

C: One.

Originally posted: August 22nd, 2000

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