Album Track Listing
Release Date: 30 June 2003
Reviewed By: Melisa Tang
1. Mic Club
2. Poet Laureate
4. Behind Enemy Rhymes
5. Allied Meta-Forces
6. Senior Studies 02
7. "C" Section
8. Drama A/T
9. Dr. C. Ph.d
11. Liberal Arts
13. Mic Club Outro
Canibus - Mic Club: Curriculum
Since coming into the rap game back in 1997, Canibus has long been considered as one of hip hop's most underrated emcees. His debut album, 'Can-I-Bus' was skillfully constructed by Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonder, and debuted at No.2 in the US album chart in September 1998. However, his sophomore effort, '2000 B.C.' didn't do quite as well, and his career seemed to nosedive from there, culminating in the pitiful 'C! True Hollywood Stories'. But, just when you thought you'd heard the last of Canibus, the rapper, whose real name is Germaine Williams, bounced back in late 2002 with his fourth solo album, 'Mic Club - The Curriculum'. Finally getting its UK release, this latest LP sees the Jamaican-born lyricist on top of his game, and, as the title suggests, is taking hip hop back to its roots.
'Mic Club' opens with 'Poet Laureate', on which Canibus unleashes his vicious battle rap over an unusual horn and guitar combination, courtesy of DJ Kemo. The opening line is a good indication of the album's content, as Bis warns off the competition with: "Yo, yo, Houston to Earth / Watch the Ripper crucify you in verse." Then follows just over 55 minutes of continuous beats and rhymes, (minus the hooks and breaks a la Ja Rule), where Bis gives the listener a hard-hitting reality check.
'Master Thesis' and 'Curriculum 101' are undoubtedly two of the stand out tracks on the album, lyrically, with Canibus rapping about his quest to become a more knowledgeable person on 'Master Thesis', and throwing some taunts back at Eminem on the latter track, reigniting the beef between the two artists, which dates back to 2000: "What the f*** is the Mathers with you? / I beat you black and blue, then I give you the tablet, true / Better yet I put a tattoo of me on you / A ten by ten ceelo go neon blue."
Unlike previous albums, 'Mic Club' has a lot of really good production, with Canibus able to spit over catchy, energetic beats, like on the Reggae-influenced 'Behind Enemy Lines', and the fiery 'Drama A/T' featuring Luminati, who shines on producer Kyros' beat.
The legendary Kool G Rap also joins Canibus on 'Allied Meta-Forces', but at times the constant lyricism can be a little monotonous. However, the track 'Bis Vs. Rip' is very cleverly constructed, with Canibus battle rapping with his alter ego, "Rip The Jacker". Brilliant production by underground producer Plus Science, allows Canibus to challenge "Rip" to an all-out verbal duel, showing the rapper's creativity and imagination.
'Mic Club' is definitely the best LP Canibus has released to date, and is a close contender for the 'Best Rap Album of the Decade' award, (seriously). It's a shame that Bis is often overlooked in today's industry, but with just one listen of this album, hardcore hip hop fans will be naming Canibus alongside the likes of 2Pac, Jay-Z, Biggie, LL and Rakim as some of the best emcees the world has ever seen.
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