Hip-Hop Rap

Classic Non-Album Cuts: Canibus


He was regaled as the future of lyricism.

The top prospect of the acclaimed Class of ’98, Canibus was thought to be a superstar-in-the-making, destroying ciphers, freestyles, and guest appearances at a rapid clip.

His battle with LL Cool J is one of the best in the history of the genre and his scathing track, “2nd Round K.O.,” included a line that has become hip-hop legend – dismissing L as the G.O.A.T. because, as he said, “the greatest rapper of all time died on March ninth.”

While he never fully recovered from his debut album – still considered one of the biggest flops in hip-hop history – Canibus continued to destroy mics and drop albums, even in between stints in the armed forces.

So, sit back and behold the wonder of Canibus superlyricism, including his early guest spots and that infamous original “4, 3, 2, 1” verse.


“Uni-4-Orm” off the Rhyme & Reason soundtrack (1997)

“How Come” (featuring Youssou N’Dour) off the Bulworth soundtrack (1998)

“Blak Iz Blak” (featuring Mos Def, MC Serch, Charli Baltimore, DJ Scratch, Gano Grills & Mums Da Schemer [Mau Maus]) off the Bamboozled soundtrack (2000)


“Canibus Freestyle” off Funkmaster Flex’s The Mix Tape Vol. III (1998)

“Fantastic Four” off DJ Clue’s The Professional (1998)


As Featured Artist

“Music Makes Me High [Remix]” off The Lost Boyz’ “Music Makes Me High” single (1996)

“Beasts from the East” off The Lost Boyz’ Love, Peace & Nappiness (1997)

“My Crew” off The Lost Boyz’ Love, Peace & Nappiness (1997)

“Making a Name for Ourselves” off Common’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense (1997)

“Desparados” off The Firm’s The Album (1997)

“4, 3, 2, 1” off LL Cool J’s Phenomenon (1997)

“Gone Till November” [Remix] off Wyclef’s Greatest Hits (1998)

“Some Shit” off Keith Murray’s It’s a Beautiful Thing (1998)

“Boyz 2 Men” off A+’s Hempstead High (1999)

“King Piece in the Chess Game” off Slick Rick’s The Art of Storytelling (1999)

“Hell” off Pharoahe Monch’s Internal Affairs (1999)

“Horsemen Talk” off Killah Priest’s Priesthood (2001)

“State vs. Kirk Jones” off Sticky Fingaz’s Blacktrash: The Autobiogrphy of Kirk Jones (2001)

“Tibetan Black Magicians” off Jedi Mind Tricks’ Visions of Gandhi (2003)

“Collateral Damage” off Crooked I’s Evolution of a Boss (2006)

“Inner G” off Killah Priest’s The Offering (2007)

“About That Time” off Termanology’s Hood Politics V mixtape (2007)

“Royal Flush” Freestyle off Royce Da 5’9”’s The Bar Exam 2 mixtape (2008)

“Gun Ho City” off Kool G Rap’s The Originator mixtape (2008)

“Clear & Present Danger” off DJ JS 1’s Ground Original 2: No Sell Out (2009)

“This Shit Right Here” off Ras Kass’s A.D.I.D.A.S. (2010)

“Natural Born Skiller” off Thirstin Howl III’s Natural Born Skiller (2011)

“The Bronzemen 2” off Bronze Nazareth’s School for the Blind Man (2011)

“CB4” off JP Beats’s The Warning (2012)

Randoms and Unreleased

“4, 3, 2, 1” [Original] (1997)

“It’s Logic” (1997)

’97 Mentality” Freestyle (1997)

“All Hail Canibus” [“Buckingham Palace” Original] (1998)

“Pure Uncut” [Remix] (featuring 8-Ball, McGruff & DMX) (1998)

Tim Westwood Freestyle (featuring Wyclef) (1998)

“Enemy of the State” (featuring Big Punisher & Tragedy Khadafi) (1999)

Wake Up Show Freestyle (1999)

“Biggie” Freestyle

“Back 2 Back” (featuring Papoose) (2004)

Army Freestyle

“Venomous Ink Emcees” (featuring J1Three & Joell Ortiz) (2012)

“Ctrl+Alt+Del” (featuring Underground Parliament & Influence) (2013)

“Fugitive 9” (featuring Fractal 9) (2014)

All entries in the Classic Non-Album Cuts series:

The LOX | Wu-Tang Clan | Eminem | The Notorious B.I.G. | Ice Cube | André 3000 | 2Pac | Dr. Dre | Nas | Jay-Z | Kendrick Lamar | Tha Dogg Pound | Scarface Canibus | Nate Dogg | Black Thought

Christopher Pierznik’s nine books are available in paperback and Kindle. Check out more of his writing at MediumHis work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business InsiderThe CauldronMedium, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


By Christopher Pierznik

Christopher Pierznik is the author of 9 books and has contributed to numerous websites on a variety of topics including music, sports, movies, TV, personal finance, and life. He works in corporate finance and lives in northern New Jersey with his family. His dream is to one day be a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

3 replies on “Classic Non-Album Cuts: Canibus”

Saying his debut is considered to be one of the biggest flops in hip jop history is a bit hyperbolic. The album did go gold


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