Canibus – C Of Tranquility | Album Review

Whenever discussing Canibus (the rapper of course), the opinions are polarised into two categories; the first one often recited is, “he weren’t meant to go commercial, he’s too intelligent for the mainstream,” and the second is, “he flopped and tried to blame everyone else for his failings.”

These offerings refer to the period in the mid ’90s when the revered emcee was shutting down any and every appearance, verse and track he spat on. Great things were in store for the rapper but after a battle with LL Cool J, a disappointing debut album and various label worries, Canibus eventually disappeared into the underground circuit.

Whilst the Canibus era never expanded past 1998, the fiery mic assassin continues to drop major science on various new releases, leading right up to his latest project C of Tranquillity.

The nasty flow returns with even more venom, as Can-I-Bus schools the new generation of fans of his legacy on “Captain Cold Crush”. Akin to many track of past, Canibus’ songs are all three-minute stories, packed with an unfathomable amount of metaphors and rhymes.

Canibus – “Merchant of Metaphors” (produced by The ARE):
The super spy themed “Merchant of Metaphors” [listen above] explores high speed chases and conspiracies and “Lunar Delung” is filled with everyday phrases like “telekinetic-electrogenetic-scionic-weapon-with-extra-sensory –perception-and-precognitive-methods”.

C of Tranquility has a ’90s feel to it with beats are devised of murky, subdued sounds and choruses often composed of the trademark DJ scratches and riotous choruses. “Scratch” brings a heavy laden beat with a wild out chorus whilst the explosive “Golden Terra of Rap,” produced by DJ Premier, brilliantly complements Canibus’ ravage rap style.

Not just content on bringing words together, Canibus’ explores the choices of life on “Good and Evil” and “Cingularity” calls for the return of quality to MCing in the current period.

The album offers a consistent offering of vintage rap which, for the most part, delivers on all fronts. Although some tracks seem like filler to pad out the 14-deep tracklist, Canibus’ tenth offering overall contains sharp verses and dope head nodding beats which stay well away from the new sounds of today’s Hip Hop.

But more than just a tribute to the ’90s, C of Tranquility highlights the great strengths of one of rap music’s greatest enigmas and again poses the question of why the title of number one was never achieved.

–Henry Yanney

C Of Tranquility is released on October 5th via Interdependent Media.

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