Welcome to the world of a dying breed! Hip Hop has been struggling, not as a culture but as a genre of music, for the last several years. I’m not sure how long it will be before the revival of hip hop arrives but I do understand that certain artists will never sell themselves short from putting out solid records that their fans will enjoy. To me, personally, I gave up on the mainstream of hip hop when acts started making money off ringtones and dance moves but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the culture of hip hop whole heartily because at the end of the day, I’m a hip hop head until I die but the scum has to parish, and soon. With that being said, Canibus is back with his tombstone of a record titled “Lyrical Law” and it’s just one of those records that reminds you of the mid-1990s. No bullshit, no flashy beats, no flashy bars and no gimmick.
“Lyrical Law” is the type of record that most hip hop fans should appreciate considering that Canibus has been dropping meaningful lyrics and records since 1995. While this record lights up many darkened corners and really sets a mood of grittiness, living in an underground lair and dumping bodies into a muddy river, you still come out at the end learning things about Canibus that you may not have known about him before. Now, I can’t say that this record is completely classic or even amazing but it is above-par and from what I gathered, it seems as if Canibus made this record for his real fans.
Since I listened to Canibus through my early teenage years I can vibe to this record and understand everything he drops in his bars but for the average fan of hip hop, “Lyrical Laws” might be a touch pill to swallow. It’s sort of like you have a disease and the medicine the doctors have proscribed you is working but it’s still making your skin fall off at the end of the day. So, the doctors provide you with some new medicine and tell you to take it with a ton of water, just so you don’t get the aftertaste suck in your throat. No, “Lyrical Law” isn’t horrible but if you aren’t careful, yes the aftertaste will ruin things for you.
The production is something I was ready for considering The Architect, DJ Kru & DJ Immortal all did beats on this record but what I wasn’t ready for were the features that he got on the final product. Killah Priest, Royce Da 5’9″, Chino XL and Ras Kass! Are you fucking kidding me right now? Those features alone made me feel like a woman inside of a male strip club with tons of fit dudes with washboard abs while they were rubbing against me, making my vagina soaking wet. Yeah, it’s that serious and if I was judging the features alone this record would be getting a solid one hundred out of ten. On the other hand, Canibus does hold his own on this record, just as he has in the past with other records. “Lyrical Law” isn’t the best thing Canibus has released but I feel that if the hip hop world lets this record pass by without some form of recognition than maybe I was wrong about certain people that enjoy hip hop music.
With all of that said, the first half of this fifteen track record is on point and could of been a classic EP but the further you get into “Lyrical Law”, the more I felt as if something was missing. The last couple tracks, especially “Rip VS Poet Laureate” was making me feel as if Canibus might of fallen off a bit. I can’t judge a full record on one track, plus “Rip VS Poet Laureate”, as bad I thought it was, I was still comparing it to the past stuff Canibus has released. “Lyrical Law” – The one record that most will be able to live without but if you enjoy hip hop with emotion, rawness and grittiness, you might want to check out Canibus on this record among the gang of artists that he’s featuring. Just imagine Canibus in a dark, cold room with no heat and the lights are flickering every time the bass hits the walls. The images that “Lyrics Law” set are real, haunting and at times, somewhat of a disaster if it was storm.
“They slandered my character through the public propaganda, they tell the people I’m Dr. Doppelganger, they ask me shit, did they know I’m not gonna answer, extinction level event, they cant stop the disaster, cocksucker stop the camera, ’cause you know that I’m a miserable bastard, I crack lens, brake microchips and melt plastic, You Canibus? – Who’s asking?”
– lyrics from “Lyrics Noir”
Listen to “Lyrical Noir” below: