Following in the footsteps of Canibus’ last mixtape release “My Name Is Nobody”, “Brainstream” is a ten-track album featuring some of Bis’s lost recordings and freestyle’s over the years. However, just like “My Name Is Nobody”, maybe the listening public would have been better off not hearing the tracks off of “Brainstream”, as they are easily some of Canibus’ worst material.
While only a mixtape, “Brainstream” is still cluttered with horrendous freestyles and horribly produced songs from over the years. Out of the nine featured tracks, the four jacking for beats sessions by Canibus are easily the worst, as the cut and paste attempts are laughable at best. While Bis chooses some solid production, such as Missy Elliot's “Work It” (The Brainstream), Erick Sermon’s “React” (Got Bitches), Keith Murray’s “Oh My God” (I Can U Can’t) & The Clipse “When The Last Time” (Microphone Meticulousness), Bis forgets to do one thing, rhyme according to the beat. Each track features your similar battle influenced lyrics by Bis, however, Bis rides each track horrifically, as he sounds completely awkward and off beat to each tracks production.
Also included on “Brainstream” are some new material, such as “How Many Emcees”, “Here 4 Free” and “Horsemen Enforcement’s” by Ras Kass & Kurupt. “How Many Emcees” ends up as the albums only highlight, as the surprising track finds Bis taking a page out of Black Moon’s classic track.
Besides the good production for a change, the biggest surprise is that Bis puts aside his “rip the jacker” persona for once and actually returns to his old self from years past. Gone is the intensity of his rip the jacker style and in is the smooth laid back flow of Canibus, the one we used to all love from the beginning. Its great to hear Bis actually try something new, instead of always churning out repetitive battle tracks over average production. Few actually point out that Bis’s style on “How Many Emcees” is one that worked very well in his early days. However, since his fall from glory, Bis has chosen to create his rip the jacker persona that unfortunately gets very old and repetitive after a while.
But besides “How Many Emcees”, there is really no reason to look into “Brainstream”. The rest of the album continues the trend of sub par production from Bis, as “Falster Ego” and “Horsemen Enforcement’s” are all disappointing. And to make matters even worse is the embarrassing “Here 4 Free”, a sappy love ballad dedicated to Free from 106 & Park. It seems as if Canibus has a little crush on his former lyrical partner, as he professes his admiration for Free on this embarrassing and forgetful track. Its hard to not laugh after listening to “Here 4 Free”, as you will either feel sorry for Bis or wonder “has he lost his mind”?
Unless you are a diehard Canibus fan, the “Brainstream” album should be avoided at all costs. However, not much should be made about this lurid attempt at a mixtape, since it is obvious the album was only thrown together to make a quick profit. In the mean time, hold out for Canibus’s full length LP coming out on July 22nd, entitled “Rip The Jacker”. As a collaboration LP with Jedi Mind Trick’s producer Stoupe, Bis finally looks to get the standout production he has always lacked, as Stoupe is easily one of the underground’s best producers. His first single “Spartibus” has already gained a nice response, which should be more than enough for fans to get hyped about “Rip The Jacker” and forget about “Brainstream”.