Canibus :: Fallen Hero?
First let me state that I write this piece, not knowing Canibus personally. This is purely my opinion about what I’ve witnessed the past few days on the internet. The hip hop / internet world blew up when the KOTD rap battle from June 9th between Canibus and Dizaster was put online. Everybody was in shock about The Ripper pulling out a notebook when it was his turn to “rip” his opponent. Dizaster crushed the rapper, once known for his skilled lyricism. Of course one is amazed when a rapper pulls out a notebook in the middle of a battle, which back in the days, consisted of freestyling and not pre-written rhymes, as nowadays seems to be the normal thing to do in a battle. When I first saw posts about a “notebook”, images of Canibus pulling out a Macbook or iPad popped up in my head (am I really that digitalized?) but it turned out to be an actual notebook where he WROTE down his lyrics in preparation for his battle with Dizaster.
But yeah, of course one is amazed by that action, especially when its an MC that once was glorified for his talent and skills. He stated that Diz won the battle, before he even notified the audience about pulling out his notebook; he just wanted to spit. The entire Hip Hop community on the internet bashed Canibus in every which way possible for the notebook-action, despite him explaining himself before he did that. Yes, we are all disappointed in the once proclaimed hero in Hip Hop, but there’s no need to go extra hard on a person that obviously has lost his way, going from the throne to the floor.
I saw Dizaster going in on LL Cool J, for absolutely no reason. Diz posted a phone call from a while ago, which was a conversation between LL and Canibus about the beef they once had. They both showed maturity in this, whereas Canibus was asking LL for advice and LL definitely told him the right thing, which is turn away from the negative and make it something positive. LL has no beef, this cat done earned his respect way back, when Dizaster was still playing with Duplos. I’m glad LL didn’t get into it online. I mean, a grown man trying to beef on the internet after he clearly already won a rap battle, is sad. Maybe he was still on a high from having crushed a name. Without a doubt Diz has skills, so I checked him out online, but after I read some of his tweets (the LL bashing ones), I just left his twitter page again.
Anyway, lets get to my thoughts on this “Canibus bashing” in Hip Hop land. I met the rapper in 2007, when he was here to perform at the Splash festival in Amsterdam. I got the chance to interview him. It was the first interview I ever did and have done so far, with restrictions on questions. I wasn’t allowed to speak about the LL Cool J situation, the Wyclef situation nor ask questions about his time in Iraq. I wasn’t so much interested in the first two subjects, but I did wanna know how his time in Iraq affected him. Needless to say, I dared to ask the question anyway… and got the expected response. He was a very nice and respectful person, even when he got upset about my question, he stayed respectful. But his vibe was totally “off”. I guess I should’ve stuck to the restrictions. Despite being upset, he still gave me somewhat of an idea of how time in the military affected him and his music. (You can read the interview here.) Once we started talking about his music again, and his ideas about layering raps, he was back to his “happy” passionate self again. I do have to say, between him and K-Solo, it was the weirdest interview I have done. I can’t explain the vibe of the conversation, nor can I explain how his mind came across to me. All I know is that I definitely believe that Iraq has messed him up. I can tell from the conversation we had, that Iraq left him scarred. As probably every soldier, in every war.
This guy (rappers are people too), fought for his country and came back to no help. He needed help and he either didn’t get it or didn’t get the proper help. Whatever the case may be. He has no family (as in wife, kids or whatever) as far as I know and he stated that himself. I just wonder where his true fam and friends are. He made an apology about the notebook-situation which was so far out there, that I think it’s terrible to judge this person for his obvious lost mindstate. Here I sit, reading all kinds of shit about him on the internet, when the same people probably used to ride his d*ck in his glory days. This person fought for his country and came back a mess and all people can do is bash him for his lack of connection with the world today.
My sum up:
1) He stated his defeat and explained himself BEFORE grabbing his notebook.
2) He apologized to his fans for his action (being the bigger man).
3) He fought for his country (nuff said).
With these things, I can only say, he doesn’t deserve the bashing that’s going around. Yes we can say that no rapper should enter a battle with a notebook, hell, with pre-written lyrics that is. But the way people been going at him is just ridiculous. Canibus is the prime example of how people will kiss your ass and ride with you when you’re on top but are quick to jump ship and stomp on you when you’re already down. Where are his people? Where are his friends? Where is his fam? I truly hope he has a few good people in his corner, who have his best interest at heart, not just being there, for the fame he used to have, but for the person he is.