Canibus Interview

– How are you doing?
I am good to go, little bit tired, we been in the air for about 14 hours on and off. We just flew out of Orange County, California. You know what’s going on there right?

– Yeah I been watching the news. Those fires ain’t no joke.
You’re a smart one, cause you’re the only one that knows. Everyone else I have been telling them just so they can understand it. When we were leaving there was a lot of smoke in the air. There were ashes falling out the sky everywhere.

– They had satellite photos, where you could see how bad it was.
Daaaamn, that’s what I’m talking about. We flew out of that. The fire was going on 2, 3 days before we left. So there were ashes falling out the sky. But we are here now. Europe is beautiful. Coming out here is a beautiful change of atmosphere. The people, the energy, everything.

– How long has it been since you were last here?
I was here last year. Did some shows in the UK, in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

– You just skipped Amsterdam huh?
No I came out to Amsterdam, visited Amsterdam in the physical for extra curricular activities and then went back to the UK.

– Show-wise you skipped Amsterdam.
It was slow last year man.

– Why was it slow last year?
I didn’t put an album out you know. There was material I was working on but things got slowed up. It was a slow-motion mode. And I came with an album this year called “For whom the beat tolls.” And Sun (Born Sun) is featured on that album, on a track called Liquid Words with Killah Priest. We are really excited about this thing we are doing now. Layering lyrics and layering rhymes. I got a song called Poet Laureate Infinity.

– Are we gonna hear that tomorrow?
Yeah fo sho. And Sun got his 360 Infinity, it’s a groundbreaking technique, layering lyrics and vocals.

– Can I hear that right now?
It’s layered, so unless there are 10 of us sitting here right now, you couldn’t hear it. Haha!

– I thought you were gonna be the second layer.

– I can be the third if you teach me the lyrics.
I don’t know what that means haha. Unless it’s a sandwich I don’t know what you’re talking about.

– Ok ok, I will listen to it tomorrow and see if I can add to it.
No truly, if I explained to you how it was done, or what was done, your mouth would be wide open, looking at that. You’ll be like “whoa.” All jokes aside, the Poet Laureate Infinity, the conclusion to that is insane. Right now I got 367 different verses of that song that fans made. I only made one or two mixes, they made all the other mixes. It’s 24 hours of music, so we could start listening to it right now and tomorrow at the same time we would still be listening to the song but it be different every time. I am excited about it.

– What happened to the Four Horsemen album?
Uhm, from what I can recall, the album was released. Under the label from Killah Priest and that Wu Tang thing…What was it Jason? Oh yeah Think Differently had released that album.

– So people can still get it if they want to?
I mean if someone really wants to get it, they can download it from a torrent site or whatever. If they wanna buy it, the money will go to Freddie Kruger now, not to Canibus! I mean Killah Priest he is on a track on my new album, Kurupt, RassKass, we always be people, we always be friends. I’m just worried about what I am doing right now.

– Something a lot of people wanna know. How was your time in Iraq? How did that affect you?
I can’t talk about that on a hiphop show. Those are two different things.

– I mean, how did it change you as a hiphop artist? Did it change you lyrical wise or music wise?
If someone woulda ask me to ask you that question, you would know that it changed me, cause you can hear that in the rhymes. The rhymes will tell you that it changed me. But in terms of to describe to you, what that experience was like, in the service, that’s neither here or there. This is hiphop right now, this makes me feel good. What you asking right now is something that makes me upset, makes me feel sad and depressed. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I feel that’s sort of counter productive to what I came out here to do. Which is uplift, to build and not destroy and even in my time during the service, I was a team player. If someone asked me why I joined the service or why I enlisted in the military, at the time it was done because I was disenchanted with my music career, I wasn’t doing music. Its not like I made an album and it didn’t do well and I was like fuck this im gonna join the military. That’s not what happened. I’ve been doing albums, when I was in the service. I released an album relatively every year since 1998. One thing has nothing to do with the other. What happened in particular was, all throughout my life I always strove and been driven to be a team player. Whatever the task is, whatever it is that needs to be done, whatever can be done. I’ve always been a team player. My physical actions have shown that I am a team player. And that was yet another phase of my life where I was a team player. Instead of just talking about shit, I just go ahead and do it.

– Right now you are definitely teaming up with a lot of artists. Besides the new album, what other new projects do you have in store right now?
Well the new album like I said it has that track on there Poet Laureate Infinity on there like I told you about. It has some issues on there I touched on. Hiphop has yet to address those issues. I see people do reviews and talking about Canibus dropping albums all the time, but I don’t hear people addressing the issues that I was talking about on the records. As far as I’m concerned, with them, they gotta review and revisit that. Before they come and talk to me about the next project. But, I have moved on. Sun is working on his 360 Infinity, I’m doing shows. We got K-Solo, Canibus, the Sharp Shooters. I love hiphop I do it for them. The energy that they give me, I re-invest that energy by making products that would make them proud.

– Are you looking forward to the Splash Festival tomorrow?
Absolutely. Puba is gonna be there? I grew up on his music. I heard about this kid Black Milk, heard about him. I saw Biz last night. We were hanging out with Biz last night.

– So it’s gonna be interesting for you to see some of the “new” cats perform.
Yeah I am always interested in the new energy that’s out there. But more so I am interested in those that are trying to step it up and go to the next evolutionary level of hiphop and rhyming which is layering your lyrics. And by layering your lyrics, that means, you got one layer and on top of that there’s another layer, like adlibs. So imagine adlibbing a track but you’re not saying the same thing. You’re saying something different, different rhymes.

– I see what you’re saying.
Know what I mean? Poet Laureate Infinity was 1000 bars. 5 layers, 5 channels. Like on a mixing board. Channel 1, channel 2, you know what I mean? 1 through 5, 200 bars per channel, that’s a 1000 bars. Now when I go back to the beginning of the track, vocal layer 1 for 200 bars, vocal layer 2, that’s a whole different rhyme. It rhymes, but its different words. So now I go back to the beginning of the track and all 5 layers are open, I can select what channel I want.

– How did you get that idea?
Well, that comes from listening to….well I was classically trained as a musician. In band class. Honors band 2 years straight in a row. I understand composition. Some of the greatest, Vivaldi, Amadeus, Beethoven, the music that they made was layered. String section, horn section, brass, percussion, write these different sections and then put them together and conduct.

– And you figured you can do that vocally.
I did that with poetry. Riiiiiight! I could kiss you, you’re a genius cause you picked it up quickly.

-Well I am a musician.
See, you got an advantage. But do you see how hard it is for a non musician to understand this?

– Yeah cause you will be using terms that they don’t know.
Youth can pick it up real fast. Being young, the brains absorb quicker. I am not playing all the layers at once, just playing one at the time. But as you switch, the rhyme is still kept to itself. It’s for the youth, it’s for them. So they can write lyrics, and make you say a million things on a song that lasts 5 minutes. Now you don’t have to have people tell you to do 16 bars and 8 bar chorus, 16 bars first then 8 bar chorus. Fuck that. Now you can do whatever you want. It’s for them. And I am grateful for the support over the years and I look forward to add more years to it. I just want to make them realize that the energy that I give them, the music, it comes from them. So don’t stop giving it, and I won’t stop returning it.

Met dank aan:
ROQ Music Group