Canibus

From Academic Kids

Canibus (aka Can-I-Bus aka Rip The Jacker aka Germaine Williams, or Bis for short) is a Jamaican-born rapper who moved to the United States with his mother at a young age. He began rhyming in the mid-'90s and began infiltrating the mix-tape circuit in 1997. His first big break came when he was featured on the song "Uni-4-orm" with Heltah Skeltah and Ras Kass. For the first part of 1998, he was managed by the main man behind the Fugees, Wyclef Jean. When Bis' debut album "Can-I-Bus" came out in 1998, the general public felt genuinely disappointed, saying that the album suffered production wise and rhetorically. Because Wyclef produced most of the tracks, Bis blamed him for his album being a 'commercial failure' and cut ties with him. He went as far as to diss Wyclef on his second album for it in the title track "2000 B.C.". At the end of 2004, Bis and Clef met up and settled their differences; they have since worked together on a remix of the Machel Montano song "Carnival Survivors" and it has been rumored that Bis will be on the upcoming Fugees' comeback album, set for release later this year.

Canibus is known for many things: his various mix-tape appearances and a memorable appearance on the soundtrack to Office Space, as well as his appearance in the satirical film Bamboozled. But perhaps the one thing Bis is known the most for his intense rivalry with pop-hip hop balladeer LL Cool J, which stemmed a collaboration with LL titled "4, 3, 2, 1" from L's 1997 album "Phenomenon". Supposedly, LL took offense to two lines that referenced his tattoo of a microphone on his arm and wrote a indirect diss to Bis in his verse on the same track; Bis' lines were removed before the track was officially released but LL's lines remained. After he inked a deal with Universal Records, Canibus released his debut single, "Second Round K.O." in 1998, in which Bis sent an all out assault on LL for dissing him on "4, 3, 2, 1" (NOTE: this all took place before the release of his first album, mentioned in the above paragraph; "Second Round K.O." ended up being the lead single for "Can-I-Bus"). Later in his career, Canibus would also have a similar but less publicized rivalry with Caucasian hip-hop superstar Eminem.

In 2001, Canibus released his third album "C True Hollywood Stories", based after the television show "E! True Hollywood Stories" of the E! Television network. It was released on Archives Music, a label owned by Bis' future business partner Louis Lombard III. It was a controversial release due to the album's overal concept, which is still a little unclear to this day. Many people took it as Bis' attempt at going commercial and wrote him off as a one-hit-wonder, while others have called it a concept album in which Bis satirized the mainstream Hip-Hop scene. Most explanations since the album's release seem to lean towards the latter. When his new official website MicClub.net went up in the end of 2002, the summary of this album in the merchandise section called it "an introspective look into the ultimate fan 'Stan's' take on the current state of hip hop". In a 2005 Interview conducted with Bis' former hype man Pak-Man, who worked on over half of the album with Bis, spoke on CTHS, with his explanation leaning toward the satire idea: At that time Canibus was in the studio recording a lot of songs and mean a lot, but he didn't want to make the fans wait no more so he did C True Hollywood Stories and he wanted to have fun wit, so thats what we did we had fun wit. In an interview on the website AllHipHop.com posted on April 08, 2005, Bis was asked what direction he was trying to take with that album, in which he stated "That album depicts the state of affairs in my life at the time - nothing more, nothing less".

In 2002, Canibus signed up for the United States Army. The reasons why are not entirely sure, but it is known that he was affected by the September 11, 2001 attacks. In May of 2003, two months before his fifth album would be released, he graduated from Ft. Knox and started out as a reconnaissance specialist. In 2004, he was caught smoking marijuana and was discharged for it.

In the span of his career, Canibus has released six full-length albums. His most recent, "Mind Control", was released in June of 2005 through Gladiator Music. The album was originally recorded back in 2000/01 after he did "2000 B.C." and is only being released now to complete a contractual agreement. The album is produced entirely by Mark Sparks and features two guest appearances, one from longtime associate Kurupt and the other from former hype man Pak-Man. Bis also has plans to release a second album in 2005. The album is called "Hip-Hop For Sale" and is going to be released through Babygrande. According to reports, this one will be produced entirely by Virginia-based producer Nottz.It was originally scheduled to be released on May 10 but it was pushed back so it wouldn't interfere with the release of "Mind Control". However, according to a recent interview with Nottz, "Hip-Hop For Sale" has been scrapped entirely due to bootlegging and will be released as a mix-tape. No word from Babygrande has been given yet so at this time, the album is currently on hiatus. Other future projects from Canibus include a documentary DVD that will come out in August, a sequel to his fifth album "Rip The Jacker", and a possible collaboration with Kanye West.

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