LL Cool J Wanted To Do A 2nd Collabo With Canibus To Avoid Their Beef (Video)
LL Cool J and Canibus put their beef to bed back in the closing days of 2014. What started out as a rhyme battle (on the very same song) expanded into 17 years of feuding that involved tattoos, subliminal album titles, and a feature on QDIII’s Beef DVD series.
In a snippet of his Drink Champs episode, Uncle L opens up about a turning point in his career, and one for ‘Bus too. The self-proclaimed G.O.A.T. reveals that while he was incensed on the mic, he approached Canibus with several peace offerings long before the war went public.
“I’ll tell you exactly what happened,” LL begins to former Def Jam label-mate N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. “The real honest answer is one day I was on my way to the studio. [Canibus] came up to me… My ego is a little taller than me. I ain’t gonna front… My ego is a little taller than me. A little bit. He walked up to me and was like ‘LL, your tattoo. I like your tattoo. I want to get one like it.’ I said, ‘Nah, homie. You gotta get your own.’ I didn’t understand that. Mentally, I didn’t understand that [so I said] ‘Nah, man. You gotta get your own joint.’ I just didn’t understand it. No disrespect, I was like, ‘you gotta get your own.’ He was like, ‘Nah, I’m gonna get one like that.'”
The song the MCs were working on was “4,3,2,1.” That video single involved Method Man, Redman, and DMX—all part of the Def Jam roster. The opportunity would be a new pinnacle for Canibus, who had made noteworthy appearances on albums by Lost Boyz, Common, and The Firm.
After not getting permission from LL Cool J in the studio lounge, Canibus brought the discussion’s takeaway into the booth. LL continues,”After we had that conversation, when I went in and heard his [verse], he said ‘is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that.‘ I just did not understand; I couldn’t understand it. I blacked [out]. That was it.” After 1995’s Mr. Smith, LL was enjoying the latest resurgence in his career. After famed riffs with Kool Moe Dee and to a lesser extent Ice-T and MC Shan, the MC/actor was floored by the disrespect from the artist he was trying to help.
“A smart guy [like] JAY-Z would have took him off the record,” admits Cool J. “I was an idiot [laughing] Ignorance! ‘Just leave him on the record.'” That’s exactly what LL did, not before changing his own verse and aiming his vocal artillery towards the Refugee Camp and LB Fam disciple. LL made his rap an attempt to son the disrespectful hopeful.
“I went in, I heard what he said and I responded to the shit. Right there,” the latest Drink Champs guest says. “What people don’t know. Afterwards, I saw him, Canibus… Before the battle. He was debating about putting a song [‘Second Round K.O.’] about me out. I said ‘yo, okay, it happened on the record. First of all, nobody’s gonna know if you don’t make a record. That’s the first thing.’ I told him this. Before his reaction record came out, I met with him. I said, ‘Don’t put no record out, nobody’s gonna know. Just leave it. I got a little hot-headed. It’s between us.’ He said, ‘if I don’t put it out, it’ll be politics.’ And Wyclef [Jean] is in the corner aiding and abetting. I love ‘Clef; it’s all good. But he put the record out.”
Whether disinterested in another battle or trying to give game to a talented junior MC, LL Cool J also made an offer with the advice. “I told him ‘let’s do [another] record together,” L says. “I said, ‘Let’s do a record together,’ ’cause I didn’t really want the drama. But it is what it is. And I just responded, and that was it. We did what we did.”
Canibus’ first single as a major label artist was “Second Round K.O.” Featuring Mike Tyson, and produced by Wyclef, the song opened the gates that LL wanted to keep closed. In retaliation, LL Cool J slashed “The Ripper Strikes Back,” and the next 17 years were never the same.
LL Cool J is reportedly 10 songs in on an album produced by Dr. Dre. Last year he released “You Already” featuring another controversial MC from New York’s new class: Troy Ave. Canibus last released Time Flys, Life Dies… Phoenix Rise in 2015 with producer Bronze Nazareth.
The full Drink Champs episode with LL Cool J premiered on REVOLT last night.