Canibus Vs Dizaster: Who You Got?
Where is the line between being a battle MC and a general MC? How does one cross it? Historically, more battle MCs have made forays into making music as opposed to established hip hop musicians trying their hand in the lyrical ring.
MCs have “beef” and may even throw diss tracks at one another, but to step inside a ring, surrounded by hundreds of baying fans, where no amount of fame or record sales will help you is entirely different. Reliance upon lyricism is paramount, and many just do not have the capability for it.
Enter Canibus. He’s been in the mainstream, he’s established himself as one of the greatest to ever put pen onto paper and he’s traded on-track punches with the likes of Eminem and L.L. Cool J. Now, he enters the ring with a Dizaster, a man whose ferocity and energy has a reputation of its own. You know the history and you know what these guys are capable of in their respective zones of hip hop. The question on everyone’s minds is simple: Who will win and why?
That is what I am here to talk about.
Much is said about bars Vs jokes. People tend to be on one side, another, or somewhere in between. It all comes down to preference. Me? I respect that performance is a necessity, but I will always take an ok performance with top bars over a massive and grand performance with ok bars. Some put much more emphasis on performance, and that’s fine. I believe it’s about destroying the opponent more than anything. I don’t believe, personally, that you can win a one-on-one battle by winning a crowd alone. That, to me, is like having your boys jump into a one-on-one fight and claiming victory. This article is SOLELY my own, personal point of view.
So, who do I think will win? To keep it absolutely simple: Dizaster.
I think this will be incredible one-sided. Canibus is a greater rapper and lyricist than I think Dizaster will ever be. If you have both verses on paper, Canibus used to triumph over almost any other MC from a mechanically, technically lyrical stance. If you wanted to break it down in terms of linguistic technique and use of vocabulary to structure a verse, it was always going to be Canibus. He performed lyrical gymnastics on his songs.
However, this isn’t a rap contest. This isn’t about how many multi-syllabic, internal, regular or irregular rhyme schemes Canibus can churn out to show us his impressive vocabulary. This is about BATTLING. Can Canibus stand in front of Diz, crowd roaring, and out-battle him?
No. I do not believe he can. My prediction is that we will hear Canibus provide superior lyricism, but nothing aimed at his opponent which will be heavy enough to win. I feel Can will edge more on the side of hyping himself up, as opposed to attacking his opponent. Hopefully, I am wrong. If the Canibus from those first two albums can focus his raw ability with the English language into battle potency, Dizaster may be in for a torrid time.
Diz knows this is a huge opportunity for him, and he will hopefully focus his rounds at Canibus for maximum effect. A well-prepared Dizaster, who we have to assume is going to be the Dizaster that turns up, will be a challenge for anyone. He will aim to get the crowd AND judges riled beyond belief, while serving up a rapid-fire hail of brutal lyricism and heavy punchlines. We’ve seen Diz pepper his opponents with double-time battery, but also deliver more focused, precise assaults (See his first round Vs D.N.A.).
I feel, stylistically, the Diz has it in the bag. Whether I agree with how much emphasis is placed on performance or not, he wins battles with it. You’d be hard pressed to find a performer with a greater incendiary nature than Diz.
One thing people are underestimating, though, is ammo. It’s cool if you have an arsenal of weaponry, but if you have no bullets...you’re shit out of luck. Having been into hip hop long enough to remember the Canibus Vs L.L. feud, I have to guess that it will get brought up. It’s the one thing everyone refers to when dissing Canibus. “He’s washed-up. He got finished by L.L. and Em.” Regardless of whether you agree with that or not, haven’t we heard that enough?
Can Diz afford to start dissing Canibus using the same material that most of us have already heard? How many of us roll our eyes when we hear someone call Diz a terrorist, or Kid Twist a homosexual, or make face jokes about The Saurus? It’s been done. I think Dizaster is going to have to come with way more in his chamber than material used by L.L. all those years ago. If that’s what he does, I will be personally let down. Whether or not that’s all it takes to win over the judges and the crowd in his HOMETOWN? I don’t know. This battle is in Los Angeles, featuring one of their favourite battling sons, Vs a major hip hop legend. Much has been said about the Fresh Coast’s bias, too. So, you’d be a fool to disregard ALL elements.
There are more factors at play here, sadly (Or positively, depending on your stance), than who is the better battle MC.
Likewise, what can Canibus say to Dizaster? You have to wonder if he’s going to resort to the played-out racial angles. We saw Madchild use his success in hip hop as weaponry against Dirtbag Dan. Many consider that corny because record sales mean nothing in the ring, and that’s true. Madchild used that angle creatively, though, and maybe Canibus will approach Dizaster that way.
One thing’s for sure, this is a HIGHLY anticipated battle. Even if you draw a foregone conclusion either way, it’s anticipated if only to see what’ll occur when these two people meet. Despite analysing, predicting and discussing with others, I have NO clue where they’ll go. I have predictions, ideas and such. Hell, that’s why I wrote this prediction piece. Ultimately, neither of these guys can afford to show up with anything we expect them to. They need to surprise themselves AND each other.
I’m just a fan who knows his stuff. Admittedly, a lot of stuff, but a fan who knows stuff nonetheless. This wouldn’t be the article I wanted it to be without peer evaluation. On that note, let’s see what some other MCs thought of this upcoming match:
“I dunno what’s gonna happen, but this battle will be nuts. Dizaster is about to become the biggest battler in the world with this one. Hopefully he comes with his usual level that he’s known for. Being a fan of Canibus since I was a kid is gonna make this legendary for me, and I’ll be happy if he nails it like I know he can.” – Deffinition (@DeffintionMC)
“Personally, I think it's gonna be tough for Canibus being his first time in this modern accapella format, and Dizaster is one of the best in this style and era of battling.” – Sonny Bamboo (@SonnyBamboo)
“I think Dizaster is going to win due to the fact that this is Canibus' first battle in this type of format, whereas Dizaster has COUNTLESS battles in this format, and he has won just about all of them! I feel like Canibus' style may be relatively outdated and that he's probably going to rap about ‘Quite specific scientific rhyme linguistics’, but Dizaster is going to get EXTREMELY personal due to the fact that he has a CRAZY amount of information on Canibus.
Dizaster could also do something out-of-the-box, like battling someone in the crowd, as he did in his battles against Swave Sevah or D.N.A., and that'll shut the place down. My prediction: Dizaster. Just my two cents.” – Hemi (@Hemisphere25)
“Dizaster is one of the best battle rappers on the planet. He knows what will make the crowd go crazy and can execute it with very intricate and damaging schemes. Canibus is known for great rapping ability and lyricism, and I've been a long time fan but if he isn't a ‘written era’ follower and unaware of what's ‘hot’ and/or expected in 2012, he literally has no chance.
What sounds good on a mixtape/cipher, or even diss track, is not enough in a battle against one of the world's elite battle emcees. I don't know how much Canibus knows about the culture, or how much he's into the "written battle era" but I'm gonna guess it's significantly less than Dizaster. I'll be very surprised if Canibus comes away with the win.” – 100 Bulletz (@100Bulletz)
“Dizaster is one of the top five in the world right now. It'll be hard to beat someone like him, especially when he's had 5 months to write for you. However, Canibus is a legend and is going to rap extremely well and he'll have the crowd with him just because. I think Canibus' following, and the fact that he even showed up, is gonna even out any edge Dizaster should have. I feel like the battle'll look like E. Ness Vs Iron Solomon, the big word version: Two completely different styles that boil down to preference of the viewer. Everyone will choose their favourites. However, everyone will also know in their mind who won whether they admit it or not.” – Ness Lee (@NessLee)
“I predict that Dizaster will sacrifice a child and beat Canibus over the head with its remains. Naw, but in all seriousness, Diz is the face of this battle shit. I respect Canibus for taking the battle, but if Dizaster actually prepares writtens like he says he is: it's over. I will say this, Canibus has the advantage. Everyone is expecting him to get bodied. So, if he does semi-good, it will seem great.
Canibus has the ability to surprise some people, but Diz is at the top of his game, and I think he knows that Bus has the ‘Underdog Effect’ going for him, so he's not taking this lightly. I spoke to Diz recently, and he's never been this hungry. This event is huge. I don't think people will realize how big this battle is until it happens. Fuck all the bullshit, I'm excited AS A FAN of hip hop for this. Bus was that dude at one point, and Diz is now. This shit is going to get ugly.” – 24/7 (@247AIMovement)
Perhaps the most profound musing came from the man filming the event. The legendary cameraman himself.
“It’s gonna be intergalactic!” – Avocado (@AvocadoIsGod)
I think Dizaster just has too much experience and too much momentum/reputation in the battle scene to ever lose this, but I do feel Canibus has it in him to come away from this with a win if he does what needs to be done.
The world will be watching this. So, there it is. Canibus Vs Dizaster at Vendetta. Who YOU got, and why?
Be sure to hit up/sign up to the King of the Dot forums, which myself and other great people help to run. I want to give a huge shout-out to Troy (@KingflyKOTD) for letting me do this, and to all the MCs who contributed not only to this article, but to battling in general, all over the world.
This is a huge event for all involved, and I hate you if you have the luxury of attending in person. I hope your cars break-down on the way there.
- The Mast (@TheMastTweets)