Melatonin Magik Canibus album review

Melatonin Magik? More than a clever use of alliteration, the title conveys several messages about the MC Canibus and his art. Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain, is part of what induces people to fall asleep at night. Even with the major label deal and the publicity that came with the highly publicized battle with LL Cool J, one of hip hop’s power brokers in 1997, Canibus’ debut album Can-I-Bus was largely slept on, and from then on mainstream fans disassociated themselves with the rapper, “sleeping” on a noteworthy catalogue, including his excellent Rip The Jacker and Hip-Hop For $ale albums, and his recent Undergods collaboration effort with Keith Murray.

If you followed the message Canibus put in his music closely you’d know he also believed the world to be sleeping, and that spiritual armament was the only way the fight back against a conspiracy at the highest level to keep us in a state of slumber, hence the “Magik”. Oh yes. Canibus was a card-carrying kill the evil illuminati member a decade before Zeitgeist and endless YouTube videos about Rihanna bringing forth the wrath of Satan. With Canibus’s latest album, he combines the best of the things he does, which is wildly impressive lyricism that few can keep up with, spirituality, “the conspiracy” and of course the art war:

You pushed D12 to the side to sign Voltron 5
If Proof was alive He’d be dying inside
You ain’t no Hip Hop messiah
You a bitch cause you dissed Mariah, shit like that supposed to be private
I’ma fry you on behalf of Mariah and Michael
Put you back on them drugs, make you suicidal
You can’t shut the record down, nigga it’s viral
When you use the word ‘nigga’, just remember your idols

From “Air Strike (Pop Killer)

Whether or not, Canibus is a few years too late to still be taking shots at his nemesis Eminem, he does absolutely obliterate him in one of the most well put together diss tracks I’ve heard in a while, “Air Strike (Pop Killer)”. The track is easily the most ferocious diss track directed at Slim Shady and is one of the highlights of the album, proving that Canibus is an even better battle rapper than the man that had the industry buzzing 13 years ago with “2nd Round KO”. Canibus spits his conspiracy theory subject matter with the same fervor as he battles on this album, many times without even a hook, which has the two pronged effect of antagonizing the listener, but also forcing the listener to listen to his words, rather than just hear them:

I am dead by design, cause nobody tells me what to rhyme
I make up my own fucking mind
There are more of us than them,
But at the same time they are gods, and we are just mortal men
13 levels above 33 let me say it again
They are gods we are just mortal men
I cannot imagine their power
They put a black family in the White House, just so they could take away ours
Try and plan a great escape you a coward
They gon march us into the gas chamber make us think it’s a shower
If you don’t care fine then, I don’t care either
But I ain’t spineless like you I’m a true believer

From “Dead by Design”

Die-hard Canibus fans will love this album for years, as it combines the MCs best talents, the battle, sharp introspective lyrics, and a deep overall theme to dissect with his many songs directed at the ‘conspiracy’. The album has the potential to offend many as well, giving his approach to antagonize the listener, and the subject matter not being varied enough to interest those who do not spend the bulk of their time perusing YouTube for the latest Intel on the ‘New World Order’. Personally I enjoyed it. It escaped the pitfalls of his earlier albums with better beats, and even though most of the guest verses are from dudes I never heard of, they were actually so surprisingly ill I could see myself easily listening to solo albums from these unknown artists. Good lyricism makes any subject matter palatable, and the rhymes ‘Bus spits on his album just further cement him as one of the top lyricist we may have ever had in Hip-Hop. Check it out, and make sure to check out “Air Strike” on You Tube.

Beats: 8 Rhymes: 10


Melatonin Magik
receives a PARL

Rating system
P …Horrible
PA …Tolerable
PAR …Good
PARL …Excellent
PARLÉ …Classic

Parlé Album Pick “Dead by Design”

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