A couple of years ago, Zilla Rocca wrote a post for this site breaking down what he considered to be the Greatest Verse of All Time, Common's Hungry. Recently, Curly Castro followed that up with his pick of De La Soul's I Am I Be. The original intention was for the "G.v.O.A.T." to be an ongoing series of posts, with various artists writing up brief defenses for whatever they considered to be the best of the best. Convincing non-bloggers to write an essay is harder than I expected, however, so the plan never really took off. I did get one other submission, though, from longtime commenter and friend of the site jb. Jb originally sent this to me last year, but some technical difficulties on my end left it lost in the suffle of things. After recently hearing Killer Bee's (Hot) 97 Mentality (the beat used on the first part of Canibus' freestyle), I was reminded of Jb's post and he graciously resent it to me. So, belatedly and apologetically, here is his pick for the Greatest Verse of All Time:
JB: I grew up in Boston during the 90's where the only radio station we had playing any sort of hip hop was Jam'n 94.5. If you wanted to find out about any new rappers you were out of luck because the only thing they were playing was Will Smith and Missy Elliot records. Every now and then Benzino would manage to save up enough money to buy some spins for the Almighty R.S.O. but that was as close as we got to hearing any kind of underground rap. Anyway when I was in middle school, around the end of '97, DMX and Canibus were coming up as the leaders of the next generation of rappers. This was before either of them dropped their albums and MTV was boycotting Get At Me Dog and they were only playing the shortened version of LL's 1 2 3 4 with Master P and Canibus' verses cut out. So I had no idea who either of them were. One day I got a mixtape from either Juice or Doo Wop and all it had on it was verses from Canibus and DMX. Easily the greatest mixtape I ever owned and I dropped a small fortune on mixtapes growing up. I listened to it so much I literally let that tape rock 'til the tape popped. Word to Biggie.
On the tape was this freestyle from Canibus rapping over a Cappadonna beat [97 Mentality] and a Raekwon beat [Incarcerated Scarfaces]. I remember I had it on my little walkman at lunch time when I first got it and after I heard the verse I just sat there with my jaw dropped. I spent the entire lunch just replaying it over and over.
Now I know some people are going to have beef with this because it's just a freestyle verse. There's no real structure to it and it doesn't have any sort of cohesive theme running throughout. It's just Canibus dropping ill punchlines and metaphors. But the thing is this is the best string of consecutive metaphors and punchlines you'll ever hear! Too bad Canibus couldn't pick a decent beat to save his life, because he should have been my generation's Big Daddy Kane or Rakim. But for just one verse? I'd put this up against any contender.
I jacked the lyrics from the youtube summary and highlighted what I felt were the best lines. They pretty much speak for themselves.
I speak at frequencies dogs would have trouble hearing Canibus is the lyrical version of German engineering
Raw metaphors keep you high for months
Fly around the earth twice without refuelin' once
Ain't too many categories I can fit in
When it comes to spittin
Cuz I'm overqualified for tha position
The laser guided lyrical hybrid Creating scripts so sick I gotta arm wrestle my pen to write it
Don't get excited
Cuz if I ever catch one of you wanna-be's bitin
We're gonna be fist fightin
So muthafuckaz whatchu want?
I got the shotgun pumped
You feel like a frog nigga, then jump
I posess the lyrical ammo to battle
And rip any one of you warm blooded mammals to shambles
I'll make examples of you and eat a mouth full of ya crew
The type of emcee you can't out-do
I'll battle you on the 'net
I'll battle you in the flesh I'll battle you over the phone you can call me collect
I'll battle you for the respect
I'll battle you over a blank check
I'll battle you wit a gun to my neck
I'll battle you standin over the toilet with my dick out I'll battle you jugglin a hand grenade with da pin out In a stolen car with da VIN number ripped out Drinking a Guiness Stout doin' a 360 spinout
I stay righteous like Farrakhan
Puffin' on the Marijuan'
You understand where I'm comin from? You number 1 then I'm negative 2 Basically nigga that means I'm STILL betta than you
Basic mathematics are the verbal mechanics of rhymin'
I crush a peice of coal and create a diamond
On the microphone
I'm sicker than those who've Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome And every word I utter for hip-hop lovers Will reflect forever like 2 mirrors facing each other
The baddest M-utha
Lemme break the style down so you don't have to wonder
I walk the B-lock
With da G-lock
Tryna get da D-R-op on the C-ops
Headshots hit you at 300 nautical knots
You call in da cops
Complainin about da hip hop
Like the L-ox
It don't stop
Put away ya burnas
You can't serve us My whole CAMP is allergic to being murdered
Metaphors are proof
I got more than just a couple screws loose
Latinos call me da black Jesus
So all who believe in telekenesis
I'll touch a parapalegic
And heal him
2/9/2011 8:00:00 PM posted by Fresh
To reduce Spam on this site, I'm testing out Disqus.
Let me know if you like it/dislike it.