J. Cole & Canibus Come Together For "Art of War" In D*C

J. Cole & Canibus

Canibus is the ultimate executioner’s dream
Swinging the guillotine
Cause whenever the head is severed from the human body with a sharp enough weapon
The brain remains conscious for ten seconds…
– Canibus, Buckingham Palace

If I told you that this verse made J. Cole what he is today, would you believe me?

J. Cole burst onto the rap scene as a predestined great. Signed under Jay Z’s Roc Nation and garnering respect among rap fans while maintaining mainstream success, we knew we were on to something special since The Warm Up. Cole’s brand of heartfelt music hits home for most, but what makes him special is what he’s able to do lyrically. His wordplay is next level – by the time you’ve caught one line you’ve missed another two. Every time we get Cole on the track, we know we’re in for something special and if we were to compose a list of the top five spitters rapping right now we’d have to put Cole in the top five.

When Canibus burst onto the scene, most of us thought that God had hand crafted a rapper. He is the reason why people categorize certain rappers as “lyrical” (I stress those quotations) if they merely care about how they put words together. His voice complimented his style in its knife-like sharpness. When Canibus went in it was class time for aspiring emcees, ask J. Cole himself.

Rhyming is the nine-to-five that I manipulate best
Eight hours of writing and memorizing a manuscript
Called “The Biography of Canibus”
Subtitled ‘The Ultimate Guide for Teaching Modern Man How to Spit’
– Canibus, Oh No Freestyle

But remember when Canibus dropped a diss track titled “J. Clone” and rescinded his diss two days later? It was awkward and stirred up the rap community due to the fact that the last person you think Canibus would diss is J. Cole. Cole has stated time and time again that Bis was one of his main influences coming up. In fact, when J. Cole heard Canibus’ verse on “Buckingham Palace” it changed his whole entire approach to rapping and made him the artist that he is today.

But beyond that, these two would sound amazing on a record with each other.

Their styles compliment each other so well. Both possess very aggressive styles that seek the eye-widening ooh’s and ahh’s every time they get on the mic to showcase their skills – but they can also switch it up. Cole is known for the introspective side he displays on songs like “Light’s Please” and “Lost One,” and although Canibus is known for being a lyrical assassin, he too possesses a conscious side, take “Niggonometry” for example. These two know what it means to body a record and I couldn’t imagine them doing anything less if they had to stand next to each other on an instrumental.

Niggas dumb to be braggin bout that stupid shit
Nah I don’t stunt on niggas, I show’em how to do this shit
I’m somethin like the light-skin version
Of the very same baby that The Virgin Mary raised
That’s word to everything!
J. Cole, Simba

I can imagine that this one would be a rap off, a la a two man “4,3,2,1.” I know we’re in a time where nobody wants to talk about getting bodied on a track, but this match was made for that conversation. No hook, let these guys go off for 4 minutes plus. This could possibly be one of the greatest displays of rap of all time.

They’re both monsters on the mic and we know there’s a mutual respect level there. These two are fans of the art just like us so I think they can relate to fans wanting two of the best to get on a track for a lyrical jousting. This one needs to come to fruition, but until it happens…

Why haven’t they collaborated yet?