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. Huh? 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.

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, Can-I-Bus—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 XXL highlights some of 'Bus's biggest fails. —XXL Staff (@XXL)

Feud with LL Cool J

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.”

Though it’s disputed, Canibus’ line “L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that” doesn’t come off as disrespectful…at all. 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.



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 Can-I-Bus. 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 The Carnival), 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, Can-I-Bus remains as one of hip-hop’s most disappointing debuts, ever.

Discrediting Wyclef Jean

Discrediting Wyclef

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.

Confrontation with Blinky Blink

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 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, Can-I-Bus) refused to collaborate with Canibus when asked to join Bis on 2000 B.C. 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.”

By then, Em’s career with The Slim Shady LP has taken off into multi-platinum status, and he openly took shots against Canibus on tracks such as “Role Model.” During the promotion of The Marshall Mathers LP and 2000 B.C., 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.

Joining the Military, but then Discharged for Smoking Cannibis


In 2002, after the release of his third effort C True Hollywood Stories, Canibus was dismissed by the rap community for the series of lukewarm releases. His fourth album Mic Club: The Curriculum was a career changer, however, as it garnered generally positive reviews—a first for Canibus.

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 Rip the Jacker (arranged by Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind) garnering critical acclaim.

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.

Taking Shots at Joe Budden & Royce Da 5’9"

Joe Budden_Royce

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.

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.

Creating a Diss Track Against DJ Premier

DJ Premier and Canibus

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.

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.)

Trying to Son J. Cole

Canibus_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.”

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.

Pulling Out a Notebook at a Rap Battle


Just watch the video.