Canibus: Battle Tested
Having appeared on some of the late nineties hottest tracks and encouraging a loyal fan base, people continued to watch the emcee for hopes that his lyrical prowess would finally come through on an album and encourage a Canibus take-over, but it never happened. After parting ways with Universal after Can-I-Bus and 2000 BC failed to hit the spot, Canibus silently took the steps back down to the underground where he opted to put out projects independently. His latest project Hip-Hop For Sale hit shelves last month and gained both positive and negative reviews, history repeating itself all over again maybe, Hip-Hop for Sale may not sell huge amounts of units but it once again has the Hip-hop communities attention on the rapper we expected so much more from back in the day. And as the saying goes, no press is bad press.
Having served in the US army, having teamed up with hot commodity Nottz to take control of the tracks for this project and having re-released prior projects through Koch, Canibus may just be making sure we remember him as we step into 2006 when he plans on releasing his final album, Caesar Germanicus.
You have the album Hip-hop for sale dropping, interesting title, what was the meaning behind that album title?
The album is aptly titled HH4S as I have other releases that are more or less meaningful depending on the perspective of the listener.
You opted to go with Nottz in terms of production on the album. What made you decide to stay with the same producer and his crew for all the tracks?
Nottz is among the best producers I have had the opportunity to work with. I have enjoyed these different instances of working with various producers. Nottz discography speaks for itself. We also connected as stewards of the music. He is committed and that is my key attribute when selecting production for my work.
Are there any other producers out there that you would be able to work solely with on a project?
Who knows? Producers are born by the minute. The most committed will indelibly have what it takes to make an impact.
In your track It's No Other Than, you say I'm a brand new man with a brand new plan, what exactly are you implying there?
Change is a main indicator of a mans ability to acquire his dreams. Emotion manifests thought - manifests words - manifests action - manifests reality. Try it!
Is there a whole new saga on the way?
Certainly. I look forward to MIC CLUB II, RTJ II, & Saint Caesar Germanicus (my last LP release).
You hope to drop Caesar Germanicus in spring of 06, its like we are going to be seeing you on shelves for quite a while, is this part of the new plan?
YOU see me on the shelves. Others see me in themselves. I prefer the latter. I AM of service to them. We are brothers.
Tell me about the future album, is it conceptual?
The Universe and everything that lies within it are built on conceptual ideas. My ideas are not new, only transcribed in a new format.
You are a legendary battle rapper yourself; it is kind of frowned upon when battle rappers get major deals as they never quite deliver what can be considered a well-rounded album, for example Jin and SUNY are recent examples. Over your years of experience have you found that shedding the coat of battle rapper can be hard?
There is a time to battle and a time to heal. I have done both but they go unnoticed. I think it's quite accurate to say that the general rap consumer is not very good at playing catch up.
You signed up for the army, just how valuable an experience was that for you and what actually encouraged you to make such a move?
The experience came at a price. Learning the true meaning behind starting over again is a profound revelation. Doing what you are discouraged to do brings you to what is important quicker than doing what you are encouraged to do.
Teenagers in Israel have to serve a compulsory number of years in the army once leaving school. It is said that it encourages respect and advancement; do you think if a practice similar to this was to come into effect here in the US it would have a positive effect on character building?
I have no empirical evidence to support such a statement but I do know eventually we all will come to the conclusion that your brothers' blood is your own.
Wyclef once said you were a "genius when it comes to business," how important nowadays has it become for an artist to be able to deal with business himself as opposed to leaving it in the hands of managers, labels etc., in your opinion?
Business is my least favorable attribute. I make the music a service for a higher means of evolution. I am working for something that benefits a higher cause than the music industry.