REVIEW: Canibus – C True Hollywood Stories

C True Hollywood Stories

Artist: Canibus

Album: C True Hollywood Stories

Label: Artist

Rating: 1 / 10

Reviewer: A to the L

Canibus needs this one to be a success. So far his career has shown him to be little more than a one trick pony, intent on fuelling the beef with LL by any means necessary – going so far as to try to remake ‘Bad’, and including a 10 minute phone conversation with LL on the promo for THIS album. In my eyes though, LL dug deep and drew a line under Canibus’ career, which resulted in the upstart leaving Universal by mutual consent after the poor sales of “2000 BC”. Following a spell where Canibus went the MP3.com rout to try to stay in the public eye, he’s come back with a third album which really needs to be something special for him to salvage some pride, and attract a decent fanbase again.

One problem though. Canibus is still flogging the dead horse of dissing another established star to try to get over. Where the last two albums pushed LL into the firing line, this one has Eminem in the target sights. This whole album is basically themed around the return “from the dead” of Stan, the crazy fan from Em’s last album. The whole thing sounds like a desperate gimmick, but lets give him the benefit of the doubt for now and see what he’s come up with…

After a short intro we are “treated” to a skit where Canibus and his crew are on their way to a concert, and are passed by Stan (just before the point in the Em song where the car goes off the bridge). They’re witnesses to what happens, and after calling 911, Canibus goes into the water to rescue Stan. Crazy huh? Not as crazy as the first actual track on here…

‘U Didn’t Care’ is written from Stan’s point of view, and although some of the lyrics are actually on point, the fact that this is ground that Eminem has already covered is glaringly obvious.

“What up Em, it’s your biggest fan,
Its not even necessary to introduce who I am by now cos we good friends,
Remember the letter I wrote, before Atlanta on Up In Smoke? T
hat was the day I was gonna cut ya throat”

Also the fact that Canibus changes his whole flow and pitch of his voice to “sound” like Eminem is strangely unsettling. What’s going on in this cat’s head? As for the beats? Well, average is being kind.

‘The Rip Off’ is a more simple track featuring a stripped down drum track and a sitar loop running through it. On here, Canibus actually displays an incredible flow, as he namechecks all the famous artists he has worked with. As was the case with the earlier albums, some of the lyrical gems on here suffer from being dropped over an average sounding beat. There’s nothing here to make this track stand out. ‘C True Hollywood Stories’, ‘A Different Vibe In LA’, and ‘Hate U 2’ all suffer from the same horrible production. The latter also features the “rapper-busts-over-video-game-theme” that was majorly played out last year.

Sandwiched in between those last 3 tracks are two other talking points – ‘Stan N Can’ is a skit that kinda speaks for itself. Canibus introduces Stan to the “high life” – drinking Dom P, and eating M&M’s. That’s the life, huh? Basically this comes off like an audio “Dumb And Dumber”. Terrible. Meanwhile ‘I Gotta Story 2 Tell’ is a straight up Rocafella diss, which suffers from terrible production, and some of the worst battle rhymes I’ve EVER heard. Now if LL served his ass, why pick on probably the two best rhymers in Hiphop right now? If this pops off for real, Canibus will get his head handed to him. Damn, this whole album so far, will provide Jigga and Em with enough punchlines for weeks.

Anyways…

The second half of the album, sadly doesn’t improve. ‘Stop Smokin” is an anti drug jam that features Canibus trying to flip that “speedy flow” rhyme style that Busta and Jigga have perfected, and failing dismally. ‘Hott Tonight’ is just terrible – featuring a wailing female chorus, as Canibus goes into pimp mode. “Kiss your left breast cos its next to your heart.” Do I really need to go on?

‘Gotta Get That Doe’ actually does feature Canibus on form, but suffers from the weak production that has plagued the whole LP. Also the fact that Canibus is flipping a Puff Daddy “get the cash” steelo on here pisses me off. ‘R U Lyrically Fit?’ and the terrible ‘Ya Teef Iz Yellow’ can’t pass quick enough. The latter cut is up there as one of the WORST songs I’ve ever heard, featuring Canibus dropping a wack old school styled rhyme over some rejects from a barber shop quartet. ‘Luv U 2’ reuses the earlier wack video game track from ‘Hate U 2’, and it doesn’t sound any better the second time around.

The closing tracks serve to illustrate exactly how bad things have become. ‘Box Cutter Blade Runner’ is almost vintage Canibus – a vicious on-point rhyme over an uptempo beat – almost of ‘Buckingham Palace’ quality.

“Somewhere in Afghanistan, USA survival teams
Keep an eye on their surroundings in the Jihad regime.
A total riot scene, back and forth
They encrypt fiber optic beams on my album out next spring.”

‘Draft Me’ however, is today’s version of Canibus. Poor quality tracks and poor uninspired rhyming. Think of this as a part two for the awful ‘Rip Rock’ and you’ll get the picture.

Overall this is a massive disappointment. Canibus has went straight from using one rapper as a career crutch, to a couple of others. He might get by on this gimmick if he could back it up with a solid album, but for the third time running, he’s doomed to failure by the terrible production. The fact that his unmistakeable talent only appears on here in flashes is another kiss of death. I honestly don’t know if there’s any way back from this. One of the tracks on here is called ‘Lemme Hear Sumthin’ Else’. Canibus, I think you’ve summed it all up.

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