August 18 1998
In a recent interview heard on the Sway & King Tech Wake Up Show.. Blastmaster KRS-One promised to end the recording careers of those emcees he battles. When asked about up and coming rap star Canibus, KRS noted that while he respects him and feels that Canibus is talented.. he would indeed end his career in a battle. KRS went on to praise Canibus for being an artist who respects the rules of the emcee battling game. He then went on to add that he realizes that Canibus is a young man who is trying to establish a career in the music industry and that as a OG in this rap game he should sit back and allow Canibus to take time out to build himself up so he can be around for a while.
Again KRS came back to his original point which was that if Canibus feels that battling KRS-One would somehow help his career he would do so. After all, the subsequent publicity would be great..However, he would after understand that KRS-One would bring it to him and most likely end his career. Kris in his banter pointed out that he was like a martial arts master and that he is always prepared. He noted that when he released the 'Return Of The Boom Bap' album in '94 that he put all rappers on notice. He said that anyone who came out after '94 were subject to having their careers end at any given moment. KRS claimed that when he hears a new artists come on the scene.. that he immediately writes a rhyme that will totally dismantle him and his career. He keeps those rhymes in the back of his head just in case he has to take some kid out..
KRS noted that any battle between him and Canibus would be because Canibus called him out. He suggested that it would be a bad move. He suggested that they would start off battling on records and then set up a match.. He said that KRS would be on one radio station while Canibus would hang on the rival station.. Kids would have to get two radios to listen and the station with the highest ratings would win.. He warned Canibus or any other rapper not to battle him in a club. It is in a club setting that KRS truly rules and it would be to their disadvantage to go head up with the Blastmaster in that type of environment.
I've had an opportunity to listen to Canibus's new album and I saw him perform on a couple of occassions and while I think he's dope.. There is just way too much hype surrounding this kid. Canibus is part of the music industry's runaway hype machine where artists are raised on a pedastal way before they are ready. Such is the case with Canibus. The tracks I heard off his album 'Can I Bus' which drops September 8th include; 'Patriots', 'Niggonometry' and The Vapors inspired 'Hypenitus'. While I will concede they are good- but they by no means live up to Canibus' overhyped reputation.
One of the things KRS talked about was the trail that was blazed by hip hop battle dons like Kool G Rap, Rakim, Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane and others.. These are guys Kris said he would never battle because they are all from the same class. To me, it's just out right blasphemy to put Canibus in the same category as those guys. He doesn't have that type of charisma nor has he advanced hip hop in the way that those hip hop legends have in the past.
Some kid [Robert White] wrote me a letter on The Davey D Hip Hop Message Board, going on and on about the greatness of Canibus..He writes:
'.... please don't worry us Canibus fans... I've heard 4 songs on the album and there all phat tracks. KRS-1 has great rhymes but listen to his stupid fuckin voice. Canibus would kill him in a battle. KRS-1 does a song with Puff Daddy and loses respect, now I guess he is trying to get it back, but it won't work. Canibus is here to rule forever....'
I responded to an unschooled Robert by noting that if Canibus is really made of the stuff that those aformentioned legends are made of he would issue the challenge to KRS-One.. If he was really true to the game he would go head up just like Mele-Mel and The Cold Crush Brothers did back in the days.. Or The way Kool Moe Dee and Bizzy Bee did..Or even the way Mele-Mel and KRS-One squared off.. In that song 'Still Number One' who do you think KRS-One was referring too when he flipped that line about The old school having it's turn...? He was talking to Mele-Mel who notorious for taking fools out in lyrical battles back in the days.. That's how you earn stripes in the rap game.
It's up to him..Canibus is the newcomer.. KRS already stated that he's ready to go and he would end his career. Plus KRS has proven himself to be the ultimate representation of hip hop when it comes to battling and wrecking microphones. I'm telling you from the bottom of my heart Canibus is way too scared to go head up with KRS-One. If he isn't he would do battle.. Instead he's gonna hole himself up and not risk losing his career. His battle with LL was a calculated move-designed to move him forward. A battle against an unabashed KRS-One who has a propensity for destroying emcees would make Canibus a short chapter in the Hip Hop history books. Y'all remember what happened to MC Shan and MC Boo out of Philadelphia when they went up against KRS? Luckily for Shan he had already put out a couple of records before KRS dropped 'The Bridge Is Over' and sent him to hip hop heaven. KRS would put Canibus out before he got started.
I can understand Canibus' apprehension. There's a lot at stake these days in the rap game. Much more now then there was back in the days. Fans are are fickle and unforgiving. A loss to KRS would result in people never checking for Canibus again. Remember what happened to Supernatural? Here was a guy from Milawaukee who shocked the rap world a few years back, because he could rhyme all sorts of things off the top of his head.. He was lethal and absolutely brilliant. He had just signed a deal with Atlantic Records.. Supernatural was a true emcee.. He enjoyed the sport of battling.. He went up into Rock Steady Park [Actually this battle took place at the Lyricist Lounge] in NY with an awesome reputation. He was an emcee to be feared. Supernatural decided to go head up with a skilled veteran named Craig G of the legendary Juice Crew. After Supernatural was handed his ass in twelve pieces.. we never heard from again.. No one cared about his accomplishments after that.. No one was impressed with his ability to flip script off the top of his head.. A supposedly washed up Craig G let him know.. That he was a true emcee warrior and brought it too Supernatural. He ended that man's career in a park. Remember back in the days KRS habitually did battle with the Juice Crew.. I think Canibus understands what's at stake and hence has conviently not stepped to the plate the way a brazen Supernatural did.. He wants a recording career.. He's got bills to pay and perhaps a family to feed.
However, I must say you don't get a reputation without earning your stripes.. You don't get mentioned in the same sentence as Rakim and Kool G Rap as being a Lyrical Don without you willing to put yourself out on the limb. You don't get the crown because you have a good record or you flipped a good verse in a song.. You earn your crown by battling.. And right now.. KRS-One rules hip hop. He has thrown down the gauntlet and Canibus the newborn who is still learning how to walk has not responded.
Right now hip hop lacks activism..A lot of the artists have gotten lazy and lot of the fans have gotten lazy. People have gotten used to superficial gestures. It's the MTV era.. where folks sit back and expect things to magically happen. I offer this challenge to the Canibus fans.. If he's all that he's being hyped up to be.. Make him battle.. Bum rush his record label and draft his ass into battle.. Look here, Canibus is on Universal Records. Their phone number is 212-373-0600.. The guys who run their rap department is some kid named Ralph White and some other guy named Garnet.. Ralph's email is email@example.com. Go drop him a note letting him and Canibus know ya wanna see a battle.. I'm gonna forward this to Sway & Tech of The Wake Up Show.. as well as Funkmaster Flex.. Maybe those guys can use their clout and set up a battle. Remember, Sway & Tech hooked up the infamous battle between Heiro and Saafir's crew Hobo Junction? Now that was a battle.. My guess is there are close to 12 thousand people who get this newsletter distribution list.. I'm betting I get less then a 500 responses.. Why? Because stepping to the plate is what the average Canibus fan is scared to do. They reflect the heart of their hero. It's up to the fan to make something happen.. because it's quite Canibus won't.
Until Canibus steps to the plate to earn his crown I don't wanna hear anymore talk about how dope he is.. he'll be just another good rapper who people endlessly talk about.. All that gibber gabber is good intellectual, mental masturbation- But its not the thing that true rhyme slayers are made of.. They have battle scars and verbal war stories to tell.. Like KRS-One said he came up during the days of The Latin Quarters where folks always battled.. He's from that ilk.. Canibus is from the age of the overhyped music biz and a disillusioned rap world that's in desparate need of a verbal hero. Hollar if ya hear me!!! Hit me off at firstname.lastname@example.org
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