Canibus 2000 B.C. (Before Canibus)

His feud with LL Cool J now a distant episode in hip-hop folklore, Canibus faces the task of reasserting his validity without the blinding hype that surrounded and ultimately sank his Can-I-Bus debut. The bombastic title and the attempt at epic sounds in the production of tracks like "100 Bars" points to Canibus's efforts to generate interest, but the reality is that much hasn't changed. Sure, there's no mentoring from Wyclef Jean this time around, and the sometime Fugee gets fingered as the culprit for screwing up his first album, but Canibus's essential problem, mediocre production, remains. It doesn't help that Canibus's blustery flow and aggressive mood doesn't change up at all for the duration, quickly taking the edge off his mostly tight delivery. His lyrical content is essentially the constant tearing apart of sucker MCs taken to questionable extremes, essentially trading in artistic growth in trying to reclaim the buzz generated by his mix-tape freestyles of a few years back. Appearances by Rakim and his similarly beat-deprived Four Horsemen associates (Ras Kass, Kurupt and Killah Priest) fail to save things and this time around, Canibus has only himself to blame. (Universal)