Throwback Thursdays Vol 39: Canibus Edition

Perhaps I’ve let a couple of TT’s slip over the past few weeks (it’s three actually). But as we move into OTU’s most important month to date, not only does October signal OTU’s desired worldwide domination, but also forms a cherished relationship with Canibus.

Therefore in warm up to our October 21st gig debut and in dedication to the man himself, OTU will devote each Thursday to reminisce and educate on some of Bis’ most classic material. And if that wasn’t enough for you, we’ve also got a couple of Hate Is The New Love episodes to further wet your appetite and keep you teetering on the edge of your seats…

Rip The Jacker (2003), Canibus’ fifth studio album, is often considered his best and most consistent work to date. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Whilst the industry was booming and others were penning rhymes in multi-million dollar studios, Bis wrote the entire album in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen before enlisting himself for a stint in the U.S. army. He recorded his verses before sending the acapellas to Jedi Mind Tricks’ super producer Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. The first time Bis heard the album in its final state was a week after its release date when he picked up a copy from Best Buy.

After a short intro with lifted extracts from a TV series exploring the murders of Jack The Ripper, the perfectly intricate yet haunting harmonics of Genabis create a real sense of purpose before Canibus even steps up to the mic. Heavily sampling Philip Glass’ Music Box, Stoupe fashions a cinematic backdrop largely influenced by Glass’ chimes yet equally eerie to suit Bis’ rugged demeanour.

As Canibus comes in for the first verse, fans will notice a razor sharp hunger as Bis flexes his extensive vocabulary and lyrical dexterity rivalled by very few, if any. Carefully piecing together his complex bars for maximum impact, Bis explores the concept of God’s creation through the use of elaborate metaphorical wordplay and vivid imagery:

“In the beginning I discovered wordplay,
I experimented with some syllables from the first to the third day,
On the fourth I searched for the words to say,
How to compress complex verbiage in the least amount of space,
I was perfect at it and mastered the tactics,
On the fifth day I decided I would combine it with mathematics,
On the sixth day I became a fanatic and I couldn’t kick the habit,
I would just look in the mirror and practice,
On the seventh cycle, I had to take the day off,
I was exhausted I guessed my work would never pay off,
But if it happened to him, it could happen to me,
And if it happened to me, it was destined to be.”

Although not released as a single from Rip The Jacker, Genabis played an important role in first gesturing and then cementing the direction Canibus and Stoupe were taking with Rip The Jacker and forms an essential and cornerstone piece from a flawless album.

Canibus – Genabis

Murray’s BDK Rating:ger

See the master at work at London’s Rhythm Factory on 21st October.

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