From 'Beasts From The East' to his beef with LL Cool J, Canibus has been one of hip-hop's most praised new emcees. However, his album has started off with a bad rep, with it getting a mere 3 mics from The Source and a review in Blaze so bad Wyclef (the album's executive producer) threatened the editor with a gun. But is it really that bad?
One thing is apparent from this album - Canibus is one of the best lyricists in hip hop. His grimy, multisyllabilic style is the best example of this type of flow in the whole of hip hop, and on tracks such as 'Patriots' and 'Buckingham Palace' prove that when kicking a battle rhyme, few can compete. So it's a classic, right ?
Not quite. It may sound like a cliche, but the beats don't fit the lyrics. The refugee camp's softer sound doesn't fit with the dark voice of Canibus or the fierce lyrics he says. This is best shown on the tracks like "Let's Ride" and "Get Retarded", where he comes off with a dope battle rhyme but is overshadowed by weak beats.
But it seems what Canibus was trying to do with the CD was show that he could do more than battle. Although tracks like 'I Honor U' work in this respect, with R & B singing sounding good on a rap track for once, tracks such as the weird 'Niggonometry' and the terrible rock n' roll crossover attempt 'Rip Rock' seem to tell Canibus to stick to what he's best at.
Perhaps the most interesting track is 'Channel Zero'. Tha Real fans may remember a version of this track put up in the singles section, with the first verse taken from 'How Come' and the others talking about the forthcoming apocalypse. Now the track has used similar beats, a different hook, and the lyrics from another unreleased track, 'The Grand Deception'. Luckily, for once, the lyrics and beats fit together for one of the album's highlights.
Overall, this is a good album, although anyone who's heard Canibus on 'Desperados' or 'Making A Name 4 Ourselves' is likely to find the album a bit too over hyped. However, listen to the album with fair expectations, and you'll enjoy it.