I still think that a) Canibus won vs. LL, b) Canibus and Eminem are the best wordsmiths in hip-hop, 3) Canibus has horrible beat selection and 4) I realize I changed from letters to numbers in making this list. Keith Murray has always been moderately entertaining, and moderately skilled. Hopefully, he has a better ear for tracks, so that when Canibus outshines him on every track (in all likliehood), it a) won’t be so bad because the beats are hot, and 2) I did it again.
Read their press release below, announcing their joint album project, The Undergods, scheduled for a Jan. 2010 release, with an EP teaser dropping digitally September 29th on Sound Records for $5.99 at www.SoundRecordsMusic.com.
Listen/Download “Die”, here.
[Shouts to The Wonder TwinZ who sent all this out]
Power. Passion. Poetics.
Hip-Hop is littered with emcees that use those three words as the blueprint for their style. But in reality, the list for the few who actually achieve it is painfully short. Rakim, KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane immediately jump out as emcees from an earlier era that best fused these three traits, joining Eminem, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. from more recent times. You can make arguments about other artists, including but not limited to Chuck D and Mos Def as the most obvious, but there are two artists the mainstream will overlook every time.
KEITH MURRAY & CANIBUS
Keith Murray and Canibus are emcees that define what it is to be underground hip-hop. Each has had a measure of commercial success, toured the world, sold hundreds of thousands of records and established their names to several generations of fans. But more than that, there is no doubting the credibility a 16 carries when it’s attached to their name and it’s made them recognized rap heavyweights for nearly 15 years. Respected for their raw lyrics, unique voices and grimy deliveries, the two have joined together in an era when mainstream hip-hop is dying and independent success is no longer measured by record sales. As The UnderGods, Keith Murray and Canibus are ready to bring their brand of Hip-Hop to a place it’s never been before.
One of hip-hop’s most “beautifullest vocabulists,” there is no mystery about Keith Murray other than you never know what he’s going to say on a record. With a million-plus records sold, Murray comes into this project with the same pure, rhyme ingenuity he’s known for, an eccentric vocabulary, the sandpapery vocals people love and the original edge that endeared him to so many fans sharpened again. For those just jumping on board, Murray smacked Hip-Hop over the head with his Gold-certified debut “The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World.” Catapulted by the album’s dual smashes – the lead single title cut and its follow-up “Get Lifted” – Keith rapidly established himself as one of hip-hop’s most distinctive voices under the sure-handed tutelage and guidance of fellow Def Squad lyrical sharpshooter, Redman, and producer extraordinaire, Erick Sermon.
Canibus came to Hip-Hop by a very different road, albeit a well-traveled one. Born in Jamaica, he called the islands home until he was 13, moving to the Bronx, NY first, then making stops in Washington D.C., Miami, England and Atlanta before eventually settling in New Jersey. With his love for technology in hand, he forayed into the corporate world during the days and quietly honed his craft at night until exploding onto the scene in Atlanta, when he and his partner Webb battled the entire Wu Tang Clan. With respect earned, Canibus parlayed his newly gained props into allegiances with The Lost Boyz, Wyclef, Jay-Z and LL Cool J. The later meeting developed into one of the best rap battles of the 90’s, pointing the spotlight for the first-time on Canibus and setting him up for a prolific run of albums, mixtapes and collaborations that endeared him to fans around the world. An early adopter of the Internet, Canibus’ fans have already begun buzzing about this project on message boards and sites around the web.
The UnderGods debut EP will drop digitally September 29th on Sound Records for $5.99 at www.SoundRecordsMusic.com, with a brand new, full-length album of 12-14 tracks coming in January. The duo’s new music has already hit the Internet with a few early leaks, and the anticipation is building. The projects will feature production from rap icon Erick Sermon of EPMD (Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Redman, Blackstreet), joined by a certified Who’s Who of a production team: Streetrunner (LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Slaughterhouse), Jake One (50 Cent, Brother Ali, De La Soul, M.O.P., Slug), Amadeus (50 Cent, Talib Kweli, member of Bad Boy’s Hitmen), Da Beatminerz (Eminem, Boot Camp Clik, KRS-One), Shuko and Gordo.