Canibus’ 10 Most Epic Fails

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  • Canibus_Lead
    Canibus's 10 Most Epic Fails
    Over the weekend, former golden child Canibus took a tremendous L in front of his peers and fans when he was ripped to shreds during a rap battle against L.A.'s Dizaster. Not only did 'Bus admitted his lost against the opponent, but he also pulled out a notebook after the battle, and demanded the crowd's attention as he attempted to read premeditated written rhymes that took him three weeks to prepare. <em>Huh?</em> His behavior didn't sit well with the audience (so they booed) and the Twitter community went on a tirade with acts like Talib Kweli, Phonte, Alchemist, Saigon, and Freddie Gibbs denouncing Canibus for his action.<br /><br />Once beloved by a generation of rap enthusiasts, Canibus was once the poster child for hardcore lyricism and Webster-suited vocabulary raps, whose slew of freestyles and features, along with his first single "2nd Round K.O." created a massive hype surrounding his debut, <em>Can-I-Bus</em>—which ironically sparked the start of his low-hitting career. While his supporters never doubted Canibus’s capabilities as a true MC, it appears he has crossed the point of no return this time. This wasn’t the first instance Canibus made a head-scratching move. Take a look back as <em>XXL</em> highlights some of 'Bus's biggest fails. —<em>XXL Staff</em> (<a href="">@XXL</a>)
  • LL Cool J
    Feud with LL Cool J
    Believe it or not, they hype surrounding Canibus back in ’97 was tremendous. After his scene-stealing verses with The Lost Boyz, Common, Nas, AZ, and Foxy Brown—fueled by his DJ Clue-assisted freestyles—there was an actual bidding war between labels trying to get a piece of him. So it was no surprise to see LL Cool J inviting Bis for the posse cut “4, 3, 2, 1.”<br /><br />Though it’s disputed, Canibus’ line “L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that” doesn’t come off as disrespectful…<em>at all</em>. So L’s partially at fault for overreacting with jabs against the young up-and-comer. Even though Canibus claims that LL Cool J promised to change his lines if he rewrote the verse, it’s LL’s album in the end of the day. What’s Canibus going to do, but wrongfully get punk'd? This on-going bout with LL Cool J unfortunately molded Canibus’ mainstream career. While it could’ve been a great marketing ploy, the Cool J diss/first single by Canibus, “2nd Round K.O.,” was a weak commercial record. It remains, however, as a sensationalized battle tape that’s still regarded as the biggest highlight of Canibus’ career.
  • Can-I-Bus
    After his LL Cool J diss track, “Second Round K.O.,” and a music video for the single featuring Mike Tyson, the expectations were high surrounding the release of <em>Can-I-Bus</em>. The results, however, were heavily mixed (negative in most parts), with Canibus blaming Wyclef Jean for the poor selection in production. While Clef did offer some doo-doo beats (guess he used them all for <em>The Carnival</em>), Canibus’ battle-rhyme-heavy tirades didn’t help much to fortify the album as an enjoyable listen. While the lyrical flexing on tracks such as “Niggonometry,” “How We Roll,” and “Buckingham Palace” are undeniable, overall, the album’s a bland offering, which aligns itself with the Supernatural conundrum—battle raps are great for guest verses and freestyles, but not fitting for an album-long outburst. It still went Gold, but was it the music or the previous buildup? Whatever it is, <em>Can-I-Bus</em> remains as one of hip-hop’s most disappointing debuts, ever.
  • Discrediting Wyclef
    Discrediting Wyclef Jean
    Not feeling good about the results of the album is fine, but severing ties with the former boss man in a openly confrontational way can never be good. Yes, the beats were bad, but ‘Clef still supported Canibus during their partnership. He even made a diss track against LL Cool J titled “Retaliation (What’s ‘Clef Got To Do with It?),” to defend his artist. Maybe Clef and Jerry Wonda thought Canibus’ verbose rhyme schemes worked better with flavorless beats that way it makes the words stand out more. Who knows? It is, however, the genesis of Canibus’ feelings catching on to business.
  • Blinky Blink
    Confrontation with Blinky Blink
    Back in the late ‘90s, before Twitter beefs, allegedly Harlem World’s Blinky Blink attacked Canibus at the rapper’s own record release function in New York City’s nightclub Aria. With no battle record in sight from Canibus, guess Blink murked him hard.
  • Eminem
    Eminem Problems
    The on-and-off verbal dispute between Eminem and Canibus allegedly sparked when Wyclef and Canibus invited Eminem to the video shoot of “I Honor U” to ask if Em was the ghost writer behind LL Cool J’s diss rhymes on “The Ripper Strikes Back” against Canibus. Though Eminem denied such claims, he wasn’t happy. Em, who was reportedly a fan of Canibus before his encounter at the vide shoot (and probably prior to the release of Bis’ poorly received debut, <em>Can-I-Bus</em>) refused to collaborate with Canibus when asked to join Bis on <em>2000 B.C.</em> for a track titled, “Phuk U,” which Em apparently didn’t like the production. When the final version of “Phuk U” was released, however, the third verse, initially meant as Em’s slot, was filled with lines that appeared as subliminal shots against Em—“You're a rapper with a drug habit, hiding the truth, camouflaging your needle tracks with some colorful tattoos.”<br /><br />By then, Em’s career with <em>The Slim Shady LP</em> has taken off into multi-platinum status, and he openly took shots against Canibus on tracks such as “Role Model.” During the promotion of <em>The Marshall Mathers LP</em> and <em>2000 B.C.</em>, both Em and Canibus openly took shots against one another, with media outlets mostly leaning towards Canibus regarding the issue. Similar to the LL situation, Canibus was once again highlighted as the battle rapper. This might’ve kept his name in the loop, but certainly didn’t benefit Canibus’ growth as an artist.
  • Canibus_Military
    Joining the Military, but then Discharged for Smoking Cannibis
    In 2002, after the release of his third effort <em>C True Hollywood Stories</em>, Canibus was dismissed by the rap community for the series of lukewarm releases. His fourth album <em>Mic Club: The Curriculum</em> was a career changer, however, as it garnered generally positive reviews—a first for Canibus. <br /><br />As a plight to take time off from the music industry, Canibus, at the age of 28, enlisted in the United States Army. A proud feat for the rapper, Canibus left his public career behind, with his fifth album <em>Rip the Jacker</em> (arranged by Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind) garnering critical acclaim. <br /><br />Things soon went downhill again, when the officials found Canibus smoking cannabis on duty. The rapper-turned-soldier was soon discharged, with the irony causing huge laughter among his rap opponents.
  • Joe Budden_Royce
    Taking Shots at Joe Budden & Royce Da 5’9"
    Joe Budden loves to talk shit on Twitter. When he mentioned, “I promise y’all that if I got high, I would smoke Canibus.” Being the “battle” rapper he is, Canibus couldn’t take such diss lightly, as he riled up and took shots at Joey on “Lyrical vs. Joey Cupcakes,” mentioning Royce Da 5’9” and hinting a possible feud between Slaughterhouse and HRSMN a.k.a. The Four Horsemen. But things didn’t go well as he planned (as always) with Ras Kass detaching himself from the issue and shortly announcing his departure from the supergroup. <br /><br />Funny enough, both Joe Budden and Royce Da 5’9” bigged up Canibus for his past accolades but denounced Canibus' current dwindling tenure. Maybe, instead of getting mad at younger heads for speaking their opinions, Bis can take an advice or two to better his career.
  • DJ Premier and Canibus
    Creating a Diss Track Against DJ Premier
    DJ Premier has gone on the record and said Canibus has passed on the beat intended for “Niggonometry.” It was instead picked by D’Angelo and became “Devil’s Pie,” earning Primo a hefty check and a Grammy. When Primo mentioned this on a video interview via VladTV, Canibus took things overly personal, and decided to go after Primo with a diss track. <br /><br />Why would Canibus make a song against Primo is beyond most people’s comprehension. If anything, he should request DJ Premier's guidance on better beat selection. (And anybody would watch his or her mouth with Freddie Foxx lurking behind Primo's background. Scary.)
  • Canibus_J. Cole
    Trying to Son J. Cole
    J. Cole has consistently mentioned Canibus as a major influence, but the Ripper felt disrespected because Cole only shows love to his older materials. He also felt that Cole spoke about him as if he’s “dead” and the young MC’s form of respect is “underhanded and disingenuous.” <br /><br />So Canibus does what he knows best: creates a diss track called “J. Clone.” But instead of barraging the young MC, he mentions, “It’s more than that, we could’ve recorded the track/ You could give me a stack for a verse just like that.” What is Cole, a Make a Wish Foundation for grumpy old rappers? To make matters even worse, Bis then releases one of the most disturbing Youtube clips by a rapper ever, in which he apologizes to J. Cole. He starts the fight, and ends the fight, without J. Cole ever actually getting involved. How sad.
  • Canibus_Notepad
    Pulling Out a Notebook at a Rap Battle
    Just watch the <a href="">video</a>.

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  • CZA

    R.I.P Canibus!!

    Seriously though XXL, can you please hire some writers that can actually form a grammatically correct sentence….? SMH

  • TruthBeTold


  • AH

    seriously – the amount of spelling/grammar errors in this story is out of control

  • Yamz

    I’ve always felt Canibus is probably, at best bi-polar, he’s definitely an enigma

  • kenny

    he chose the beats on that first album . becuase 2nd round ko was his idea and it was received in the underground as a success he thought he could quarterback the rest of his career even before he started

    • hrzn

      the beats on that album weren’t that bad, people just like to find things to complain about.

      • Lol

        Everyone bashes the beats on that album but I thought it was a GREAT album; a classic in my opinion.

  • royce

    what about that fuckery with D12…?? he added D12 lines on a Eminem and Slaughterhouse diss so that Em could fight with D12…he made a diss to Eminem after 7 years saying D12 wasnt eating and he was helping them …i think that should be added 2 instead of that Blinky whateva

    • hrzn

      Bis didn’t add them on there, DZK did.

  • royce

    and the beef between him and Slaughterhouse started when he said something like “You pushed D-12 to the side to sign Voltron 5″ on the same diss…he tried to divide and conquer…well that didnt work cuz Royce aimed back at him with “No coming back from that”…get it right if u are a jurnalist

    • hrzn

      Eminem DID push D-12 to the side though.

  • Fireforreal

    Canibus needs a hug. It’s funnt because the production on his 1st album says co-produced by Canibus on several tracks. They left off the album he did with Keith Murray the underGODS. He flipped out at a radio chick for her wanting him to kick something on the air LOL what the fuck did he forget what the fans listening to the radio would expect from him ? that would have helped a little bit with some of them maybe buying the album. All his mad rapper shit is getting old.

    • hrzn

      He’s kicked enough freestyles on the radio, and you all still mock him. Shut the fuck up and go listen to your bullshit.

  • anon

    seriously? the LL feud wasn’t a ‘fail’ on Bis’ part at all. His debut album was mixed, but by no means a ‘fail.’ The Blinky Blink thing isn’t either, it’s just a guy who decided to be a complete dick. If it was a respected emcee in the mainstream, the way XXL would report it would be totally different. The Slaughterhouse beef? REALLY? You mean the one where a fake Canibus twitter account dissed Royce and Budden, then even AFTER it was revealed to be fake, the 2 SH members STILL talked shit? Bis also released a track HRSU Attack, which was dope, but I guess you guys missed that too? Why don’t you criticize Ras Kass for leaving the group instead of backing his dude up? Crooked I worked with Canibus in the past, and HE was quick to throw Bis under the bus too.
    The other incidents, yeah those were bad moves. The Em feud was no doubt confilcted, but it’s ridiculous how Canibus is ignored for his praised releases like Rip the Jacker, Melatonin Magik, and For Whom the Beat Tolls.
    Canibus made the Infinite Rhyme Scheme. Look THAT up and tell us about all the fails Canibus did, as if his career hasn’t proven himself as a hip hop innovator and lyricist. The battle he fucked up hard, and he SHOULD be criticized for it, but that doesn’t mean shit when you look at his actual career and discography.

    • po

      thats bcz canibitch is retarded & no1 likes him

    • Nah son

      Canibus discography is pretty much 10 albums that all sound exactly the same, no thanks, lol

      • hrzn

        then you didn’t actually listen to any of them, because they each have a different theme and sound to them. at least that’s how my ears hear them.

      • Lol

        What? Lmao classssic. People do not listen to shit. He had his punchline albums, but he also had albums that discussed corruption and problems in politics and the media. What rapper you know references Noam Chomsky?

        • Eisenhower303

          OMG pseudo-intellectual reference? LYRICAL GENIUS

  • Chyllmatic

    R.I.P. Canibus , so much potential wasted.

    • hrzn

      Wasted potential? lol. You’re a waste of a listener, somehow I envy you though, it must be peaceful to live in such delusion.

      • Eisenhower303

        Hi canibus!!

  • n.o.y.b.

    why is his arm in sling in the last picture how did he break his arm?


    Eminem murdered his lame ass on can i bitch, he never recovered after that. He tried like a year or so ago after relapse came out and went kind of hard on Em I must admit, but it looked like Em just brushed it off and took the high road. I dont think Em will battle someone again unless its worth his time.

    • hrzn

      Em will just keep making pop songs now, and you’ll keep buying it.

      • Eisenhower303

        and canibus will keep making eminem diss songs well past the point relevance.

  • Chris Williams

    This article is generally on the mark but some of the specific points are totally absurd.

    Consider this statement: “While it could’ve been a great marketing ploy, the Cool J diss/first single by Canibus, ’2nd Round K.O.,’ was a weak commercial record.” How was it a weak commercial record? It was at least as hard as Nas’ “Ether,” Jay-Z’s “Takeover,” and other notable diss tracks. Pure nonsense…

    And this made me laugh as well: “…both Joe Budden and Royce Da 5’9” bigged up Canibus for his past accolades but denounced Canibus’ current dwindling tenure. Maybe, instead of getting mad at younger heads for speaking their opinions, Bis can take an advice or two to better his career.” Sure, Royce, for example, is three years younger than Canibus so he’s a “younger head,” which implies some sort of generational gap. Duh…

    • hrzn

      they also missed the fact that Joe Budden and Royce started that shit.

      • Eisenhower303

        And you missed the fact that they didn’t

  • Fry

    Wow this is horrible. If you’re going to troll, at least get some facts right. Bis wasn’t mad because Primo told that story, he was mad because he mentioned having a bad experience working with Canibus and lied a bit. Primo sold out Bis a few times by not showing up and lying about times. Look it up. The Em song was horrible and did nothing to Bis. Em himself wouldn’t have been proud of that track. The J. Clone story was half-told and the video Canibus made was a fake. If you couldn’t see that by the way it was edited and by the music and what was on t.v. during his “Apology” then I can’t help you son. Also, there’s a lot more to that battle than you think…

    • hrzn

      I actually agree with Bis on that J. Clone thing… J Cole wouldn’t exist without Canibus, he was molded by Bis, research J. Cole Therapist… What kind of rapper wouldn’t reach out to his idol when he is now in a position to help Bis? That’s a coward to me, he now has fame and only uses it for personal gain… Look at how many no-names Bis has collaborated with out of respect and to help them get shine… That’s why I don’t respect J. Cole.

  • thenaturalprofane

    as a grownup, i can no longer stand the immature hilarity that hip hop culture represents. canibus has made a slew of poor decisions indeed, but he’s still proven to be one of the most passionate and consistent writer in this pathetic genre. so much of this information is incorrect, love the spelling errors too. it’s hilarious how the man’s music is supposedly “dead” yet he continues to keep countless media outlets on his jock. i don’t listen to hip hop, i listen to canibus.

    • hrzn

      yeah, when he releases great albums like Melatonin Magik touching on the bullshit this genre has become, it’s no surprise really they all prove his point lol. And Lyrical Law was an underground classic in my opinion, so many great artists held it down on that album, but no one really mentions any of that, just his feud with LL…. this is just the way of the world though, geniuses are mocked and morons have all the power.

  • hrzn

    who’s “Blinky Blink” lol

  • hrzn

    ” So Canibus does what he knows best: creates a diss track called “J. Clone.” But instead of barraging the young MC, he mentions, “It’s more than that, we could’ve recorded the track/ You could give me a stack for a verse just like that.” What is Cole, a Make a Wish Foundation for grumpy old rappers? ”

    No, but he is in a privileged position to finally work with his idol. There is no J. Cole without Canibus. I don’t understand how so many people disagree with Bis’ reasoning behind that “diss” which wasn’t actually a diss just a way to get Cole’s attention….