The rap game can be a cruel one, few know that better than Canibus. The street buzz and anticipation for his debut album were of the likes that most emcees can only dream of, and that was the first problem that he ran into. With high anticipation come high expectation, and Canibus did not meet up. “2000 B.C.” was supposed to end all that though, Bis said it was his true debut, heads still weren’t impressed. Then came the true abomination, “C! True Hollywood Stories,” and with that, his previous albums lost even more stock. His first two albums, while disappointing, were not bad albums. Yet, they have become bad by mythical proportions. No one ever questions his lyrical prowess, but no one thinks that he can make a good album either.
And so, Canibus has created the “Mic Club.” He is on a new label and has sought out new producers to accompany his oh-so complex rhymes. There is no doubt, production has been his achilles heel on all of his albums and “Mic Club” more or less breaks that trend. Canibus has always seen his best results on dramatic, colossal beats and this is no exception. “Drama A/T,” “Curriculum 101” and “Cenoir Studies 02” all exemplify that. Bis does embrace a new sound very reminiscent of his new labelmates Jedi Mind Tricks. “Master Thesis” is an outstanding beat that makes Canibus sound much better than most tracks. “Liberal Arts” captures a similar vibe as Bis shares mic time with the always raw Vinnie Paz. Nonetheless, beats are still secondary as Canibus is still a lyricist first and foremost. Several songs see him spitting 100+ bars that never seem to end. For instance, “Curriculum 101” is Canibus spitting flames for 4 minutes straight.
Canibus continues to display his dazzling lyrical ability, and proves that there are really not many emcees who can compete with him when it comes pure lyricism. At the same time, Canibus’ content this time around is a bit questionable. After kicking knowledge like “Channel Zero” and “Nigganometry” on his debut, and bringing crazy battle rhymes on his sophomore set, Bis falls somewhere in between on “Mic Club.” His rhymes are largely complicated scientific-babble that really makes him sound pretentious. Don’t get it twisted, the lyricism is dope in itself, but he could really be saying much more. “Mic Club” is still a step in the right direction for Canibus, it is a focused effort with production that is par for the course.