Over the weekend rapper Canibus added J.Cole to the list of MCs he’s had issue with over the years. What made this latest assault so bizarre is that J. Cole has publicly stated that Canibus is one of his favorite MCs and biggest influences, even playing his music at his shows. Well, it seems that is exactly what Canibus had a problem with.
In an open letter, the artist best known for his battle with LL Cool and the classic diss record “Second Round K.O.”, said he felt disrespected by Cole for not mentioning his newer work.
“Cole might say he does this to pay homage, but in reality, by him playing my older material owned by my former label dating back to 1998, subsequently overlooking my current works and contributions which directly benefit me now, he is treating me less like an artist that has, and continues to contribute, influence, and inspire an even younger generation of MC’s coming up…” (read the full letter here)
Canibus went on to add that Cole speaks about him “like he’s dead.”
The letter was followed by a diss track called “J. Clone”(listen here) where Bis calls Cole out by his government name Jermaine and replays sound bites of interviews where Cole praises him. “If it ain’t a threat, then it must be a promise / You said my name so much they think you’re being honest.”
The entire campaign wreaked of a desperate plea for attention and there was a very vocal outcry from fans and artists alike. Sean Price, who has recorded songs with Canibus on several occasions even Tweeted, “You get no points dissin J. Cole. Leave that man alone Canibus.”
Well, it appears that Canibus got the message loud and clear and issued the following apology via Youtube.
“I’ve seen thousands of comments about this J.Cole track and all of the negativity it’s stirring up, ” he says with Slick Rick’s “Hey Young World” playing in the background. “And after 48 hours of it I feel confident enough to say that it’s unanimous. Hip-Hop has spoken up loud and clear. It’s a “Cole” world right now and you’re the reigning champ, J. I take a full responsibility for my actions and I apologize for stepping over the line.”
Truth be told, Canibus’s gripe is not unique. Many veteran hip-hop artists who still record have publicly wished that fans and DJs would embrace their new work instead of living in the past. But that doesn’t mean they go and attack those who still support them. Furthermore, you have some artists like Lil Kim who have waged war on MCs for NOT paying homage in the way Cole has. What kind of message is this sending to new artists?
Fourteen years ago Canibus was the young buck “paying homage” and the old head took it the wrong way. You’d think he’d remember that. But throughout his career Canibus has morphed into this curmudgeonly, stereotypical mad rapper picking bones with everyone from Eminem, Joe Budden and Royce Da 5′ 9′ to even KRS-ONE. So the collective eye roll at this J.Cole shot seemed to finally shame him into calming down.
“I’m not a hater, I just went too far and I hope hip-hop can forgive me for my foolishness,” he concludes. “I’m gonna go sit my old ass down somewhere right now. Happy Holidays, man.”
Finally Twitter uses its powers for good. (Props to Missinfo.TV for the video)