Ever since the blistering verse on the introductory Lost Boyz posse cut “Beast From The East,” Canibus has always been praised for his lyrical ferocity. The combination of an extensive vocabulary and a near flawless delivery should have made his accent to Hip-Hop royalty that much easier, but all that glitters is not gold. Almost two calendars later, the Canibus man has been seldom seen or heard from.
Always an interesting interview, AllHipHop.com found ‘Bus in Atlanta, mapping out his next attack. We discuss old records, old rumors, and try to extract details on the next return of Canibus. Notice the artful dodges of some topics, and the ferocious zeal in others. In Hip-Hop, it takes all kinds – and in terms of talent, as well as personality – Canibus is rather unique.
AllHipHop.com: It was a quiet 2004 for you. Where have you been?
Canibus: Growing, searching and working.
AllHipHop.com: How was the military bid for you. What updates can you give us since we last spoke?
Canibus: Four months of Basic out of Ft. Knox, Tennessee [and] 20 months, active duty. [Right now I’m] finalizing the release of my new album, Mind Control dropping June 21st on Gladiator/Tommy Boy. Plus a new docu-film DVD in August, which tells my story and the story of others I’ve served with.
AllHipHop.com: Can you elaborate much on Mind Control?
Canibus: [I] can’t say too much, you wouldn’t understand. My picture is half developed. Check out www.Gladiatormusic.com for details about future releases.
AllHipHop.com: You said Gladiator. I read somewhere you were talking to Shaq to sign to his new label?
Canibus: I spoke with Shaq, and we didn’t talk about that. More than anything, I think Shaq was excited to see me back home safe. Shaq is my friend and has encouraged me to follow my heart. I have a cut on Kay Slay’s album [coming soon]. Big shout to Mark Stevens and the Drama King!
AllHipHop.com: What’s your relationship with Wyclef nowadays? Will we see a reunion sometime soon?
Canibus: ‘Clef, Jerry [Duplesis], Lauryn, and Pras are recording again and that is good news to me and millions of others. This year should be great for classic Rap music releases.
AllHipHop.com: Was there any truth to the Roc-A-Fella rumors released a while ago, that they were trying to sign you?
Canibus: I’m not too keen on rumors. Factually, I never confronted anything concrete about that rumor. I need to holla at Hov to conduct some Hip-Hop courses at his school of arts.
AllHipHop.com: Is your book still coming out?
Canibus: The speculation about a book is also a rumor.
AllHipHop.com: What albums or artists are you currently checking for?
Canibus: Ok…..you asked me. I been wearin’ out The Massacre and there’s another group called Hexentanz. ‘Nuff Reggae too!
AllHipHop.com: Looking back, what was up with C True Hollywood Stories? Years later, I still don’t get it. What was the direction you were trying to take with that album?
Canibus: [That album] depicts the state of affairs in my life at the time – nothing more, nothing less.
AllHipHop.com: Well, can you say what inspired you to write such an intellectually inclined album as Rip The Jacker – I mean, you were quoting stuff like thermodynamics laws, names like David Hulme and Stephen J. Gould.
Canibus: Rip The Jacker was written on a stained dinner table in Hell’s Kitchen. There is a follow up album in the works. Stoupe’s [Jedi Mind Tricks] insight is nothing short of genius and we should do it again.
AllHipHop.com: What motivates you to write? Yourself, fans?
Canibus: In my opinion, writing is the middle ground between thought and talk. The rhymes are made much in the same way design specs serve as a precursor to a working model for the listener to test and confirm. The trade-off is that true fans inspire me and I feel obligated to inspire them in return for investing the time and energy to listen.
AllHipHop.com: Just to update: you’ve said in the past that you were misunderstood by the public due to the LL Cool J battle. Do you think that still applies and why?
Canibus: For the millionth time…I’m a fan of LL. Misunderstanding is still a form of understanding. As the music industry continues to expand, the revenue made outweighs what Hip-Hop was created to convey. In other words, Hip-Hop has a social system that mimics the society we live in and needs a governing body that is fair and just. Equilibrium, homie. Newsflash! Rap music has a lower, middle, and upper class. These divided factions quarrel over issues that are subjective to their perspective. Balanced representation of the Rap cultures diverse social classes is quickly becoming a dictatorship that no one reading this will be able to augment. Hip-Hop needs government! Thank you, I’m Germaine Williams reporting for AllHipHop.com.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about all your albums years later? Anything you would change?
Canibus: I love all of my albums. I cannot change history. At best, my story will be a mystery.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think you have spit your illest rhyme yet? If not what do you think is your hottest bars to date in your opinion?
Canibus: No way to accurately tell. Rip the Jacker was supposed to be my last album, but since I have been given the chance to continue, I see no reason why I wouldn’t. June 21st will annex something new for me and hopefully many others, Mind Control!
AllHipHop.com: Are we going to get a quality Horsemen project anytime soon?
Canibus: Ras Kass, KP, and Kurupt are three of my favorites! We can do it again.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think of all the current Rap beef?
Canibus: As long as no one gets killed, I suppose it’s natural to destroy and rebuild. The world isn’t perfect. Why should Rap music be?
AllHipHop.com: With the battle circuit heating up, and the Fight Klub putting up a million dollars as prize money for an upcoming battle, would you consider battling again.
Canibus: No. The battle is over for me. I’m free to make music and elevate the art. It’s time to rebuild. In closing, I’d like to say thank you” to AllHipHop.com Hip-Hop needs good journalism. Keep it up!