Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beef Song of the Week

Canibus-2nd Round Knockout (1998) Canibus Dissing LL Cool J
It seems like 400 years ago, but there was a time when the most buzzed about new rapper was this skinny kid from who knows where named after a marijuana plant, Canibus. Building up his considerable hype through the old school pre-internet method of mix tapes (some of which were actual tapes, if I look around my parents house long enough I might find the Canibus vs. DMX classic mix tape) and features on major label rappers' albums. In Bis's case (for some reason the shortened nickname version of Canibus is Bis not Bus) this meant brain melting, ugly face inducing verses on tracks with the Lost Boyz, The Firm and most notably LL Cool J. It was his verse on LL's posse cut 4,3,2,1 that ignited what became the most talked about beef in hip hop up until that point since Biggie and Tupac (although no one really thought this would amount to any violence).

In the original version of that song, Canibus raps a fairly innocent line about borrowing the microphone tattoo on LL's arm. Being the overly sensitive dude that he was though, Mr. Smith took this as some kind of insult, and tore Canibus to pieces in his final verse. Although Canibus reluctantly removed the offending line from his verse, LL left his scathing verse in the final version since he never actually mentions him by name and no one would know who he was talking about and would probably figure it for another nameless rap boast. That is, until Canibus came back at the legendary LL with this ridiculous diss track, possibly the best beef song ever all things considered; this was a new kid out of nowhere going against the veteran LL Cool J, the beat makes you want to punch your sister in the face and he even got Mike Tyson to spout some nonsense at the beginning, middle and end of the track. LL came back with his own rebuttal, but this was a knockout indeed. Canibus never lived up to the hype and drifted off into underground rap purgatory somewhere but he'll always be remembered as rap's Buster Douglas. Good night.

Best Line: "It's about who strikes the hardest not who strikes first, that's why I laugh when I hear that wack ass verse, that shit was the worst, rhyme I ever heard in my life, 'cuz the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th".

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