Kool G Rap, Canibus & Chris Rivers Send An Omen That Real Lyricism Is Back (Audio)

One of 2016’s most steadfast MCs, Chris Rivers is a clear disciple of that hard-nosed late ’80s and 1990s lyricism. While the Bronx, New Yorker’s greatest influence would appear to be his father (Big Pun), there are other clear connections. Pun, after all, was a student of Kool G Rap, one of the multi-syllablic master MCs. G Rap’s flow, his compound rhymes, and his clever liberties with cadence evolved the sound of Rap. Pun took that and brought it back to the mainstream at a time when lyricism appeared lost on major TV and radio markets. Canibus, a contemporary of Pun’s also did the same during the tail end of the ’90s. Rivers, who puts emotion into his delivery, could trace that approach back to an MC like the onetime Universal Records sensation.

Chris, G Rap, and ‘Bis come together for the first time thanks to producer Planit Hank. “The Omen” also features Black Moon’s DJ Evil Dee behind the wheels, cuttin’ it up. Canibus kicks it off with a growl in his bars, his trademark vocabulary, and a chip on his shoulder. Canibus vows to be a supporter of Rivers, in honor of Pun. This standout verse from the HRSMN member also shouts out Sean Price, and weaves in an extended reworking of part of Tupac’s “California Love” verse. Rivers follows, with a shorter (by comparison) but just as ravenous verse. He shows why he is a student of the two MCs who surround his contribution. There is high intensity, and no basic bars in there. G Rap comes in last, with his laid back mafioso approach (that he’s used for much of the last 15 years). While the delivery is less aggressive than the other two, G still uses finesse in his rhyme structures and cadences. Evil Dee cuts up a Biz Markie lyric throughout to keep the track bouncing.

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