Germane Williams is a man of a troubled past, filled with set backs, regrets and missed opportunities. On top of the world in 1998, now Canibus is a struggling to regain what he once obtained. 2002 saw a much need resurgence for Canibus, as he released his fourth LP "Mic Club", which brought Bis back to his battle rap roots after the disaster of "C:True Hollywood Stories".
But as Bis climbs back up the wall of success, there are still as many critics trying to bring him back down, thus spawning the title of his newest album "My Name Is Nobody". As Canibus states himself "as times goes on, we will always be loved and hated by others. And whether the people that talk bad about you know it or not, they really save you from obscurity every time they mention your name. You see any time anybody ever talks about you, either directly or indirectly they put a quarter in your immortal meter. They keep you alive, whether they want to or not, they practically do the opposite of what they want to do, which is forget you…he never made an impact, he changed nothing and his words meant nothing. He never contributed to the rap game, he never game you anything to talk about. He never existed and he never made a difference, his name is nobody!"
Bis's fifth LP "My Name Is Nobody" is not an official studio release but a mixtape featuring his "lost tapes" over the years. Most of the material featured on the album is from his years between "2000 B.C." and "Mic Club", which was the toughest period for Bis's career and the material on the album shows that. That tough period between solid releases saw Canibus fall to the depths of the unknown, releasing horrendous material unlike anything he ever put out before. While "My Name Is Nobody" is only an album filled with various unreleased tracks, maybe that's where they should have stayed?
As with any Canibus album the main problem continues to be the production. In what's becoming a trend for Canibus albums, "My Name Is Nobody" is filled with awful production at times. The simplistic sounds of "The Dungeon" featuring fellow Horsemen Kurupt, "U Know Who" and the tiresome tales of "Rip Is Alive" are prime examples of the production aspect bringing each track down. Stale concepts, as the ones seen on "C:True Hollywood Story" are also a problem, as Bis has proven besides battle raps he is not capable of doing much else. The double timed flows of "Broke Ass" and the Southern sounds of "My Home Atlanta" are both extremely forced efforts that try to offer something new but don't fit that distinct Bis sound in the end. The worst of all these efforts is the pathetic "Stupid Producers". The story is supposed to come off as a humorous interaction between Bis and a "stupid producer", only the track is so horrific it makes Canibus seem like the idiot for making such a track. The producer aspect is played out by a horrific computerized voice that is almost too painful to listen to. "Stupid Producers" should have been left in the trash with the rest of "C:True Hollywood Story".
The only remotely good tracks featured on "My Name Is Nobody" are surprisingly done very well. "Who Stopped Ya" features a nice piano loop over a sinister beat that capitalizes on Bis's raw intense lyricism on the mic. While the lyricism isn't on the level of his recent release "Mic Club" it's solid enough. The finest track on the album and maybe in the last couple of years for Bis is "Get Off Ya Knees". Featuring a magnificent sample, the production is one of the best Bis has rocked over since the days of "2000 B.C.". It is these types of tracks that Canibus need to produce more of. While his usual battle antics on the mic get tiresome after awhile, great production like this, especially because of the sample, give the track much need flavor, soul and the charisma that Bis will not produce himself. We all know Canibus can put out spectacular lyricism, but he needs more than that to truly succeed. When you add extremely dope production like the one on "Get Off Ya Knees" it adds an extra dimension to Bis's game. Hopefully his up and coming project with Stoupe of Jedi Mind Tricks will feature such improvement in the production area. And by judging Stoupe's recent work, maybe Canibus will finally deliver the album we all thought he would back in 98'.
While diehard Canibus fans will want to pick up "My Name Is Nobody" for a collector's item, everybody else should stay clear. Besides two standout tracks, the rest of the album is your typical generic Canibus sounds of horrible production, forced efforts and boring concepts. Since it is only a mixture of unreleased tracks not much should be made of the album's disappointment; let's just hope future releases of this sort will turn out better.