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From your biggest fan

An open letter to Canibus (sans Dido interludes)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 19, 2009


Dear Canibus,

I e-mailed but you're still not calling. (I left my cell, my office, and my home number at the bottom.) You must not have got 'em; there must have been a problem with your servers or something. I got a roomful of your posters and your albums, man; I even have that shit you did with Lost Boyz — that shit was phat. But even though you never called me before deadline, I'm still your biggest fan, so I'm giving you a headline.

You're an MC who I rocked till the tapes popped. The first victim was Cluemanatti Part I — by DJ Clue, a mixtape titan. You rode " '97 Mentality," and that shit was heightened — the vets and other rookies got herbed like they were biting. Indeed, you were a young and vicious stallion — a New Jersey cat propped from Queens to Staten Island. When you dissed Wyclef, I no longer cared how he was rhyming; but I still can't get you on the phone (and trust me, I've been trying).

On your first cut that got me obsessed, you were busy putting Internet MCs to the test. You'd battle in the flesh, or over a blank check; you'd even rap with a gun to your neck. If your match was met, you'd rap with your dick out, juggling hand grenades that just pulled the pin out, or in a stolen car pulling a spinout while drinking a Guinness. But now you won't even call collect.

What happened to the lyrical genius who has it sewn like a seamstress, who was spitting before Abe freed slaves, or before Neanderthals were painting bulls in their caves? MCs don't just run away when you kick it, they get so chicken they should come with a large drink and a biscuit. (But for some reason you can't handle your business?)

I'm not mad, though, fam — you're still my greatest influence after Wu-Tang Clan. I never read a single book until my second year in college; instead I turned to you for how to turn my knowledge. I learned language through your intricately woven scriptures, but now I'm ready to rip down all of your pictures. I mean, you never sounded like anybody else, and for once I thought that I would get to hear it for myself.

Through the years, as you dropped stinkers and heaters, I copped them all and they blew up my speakers. And except for when you enlisted in the Army, I defended all your moves to any haters getting smarmy. I even went to bat for that track about the fan (on which you oddly wrote from the perspective of "Stan").

All I wanted was a lousy e-mail or a call; I hope you know I ripped your album off the wall. You know that song by Phil Collins called "True Colors"? Well, you showed yours, dog, and you're just like the others. Rappers who make me wait when I got other things to do — I hope you can't sleep tonight because it eats away at you. And I won't even be at Harpers to watch you run rhymes — but only 'cause of South-by. (So maybe next time?)

CANIBUS | Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | March 21 at 9 pm | $15 | 617.254.9743

Related: Photos: Wu-Tang Clan and Bad Rabbits at the Wilbur Theatre, Wu-Tang Clan's essential flavor, Ol' Dirty's dirty side, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Harpers Ferry, Hip-Hop and Rap,  More more >
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