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Canibus

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Biography

Born Germaine Williams in 1974 in Jamaica, Canibus moved to the United States with his mother at a young age. Because his mother’s career required constant relocation, the family moved frequently and the soon-to-be rapper found solace within himself. His rhetorical abilities blossomed later, once hip-hop became the guiding force in his life. He began rhyming and in the mid-’90s joined a group called T.H.E.M. (The Heralds of Extreme Metaphors.)

This group consisted also of his partner Webb. Following a fallout with his partner, Canibus pursued a solo career and began infiltrating the mix-tape circuit. By 1997, he had approached the brink of the major-label rap game, guesting regularly on high-profile releases: He contributed to “Uni-4-orm,” an inclusion on the Rhyme & Reason soundtrack also featuring Heltah Skeltah and Rass Kass; “Love, Peace & Nappiness,” an inclusion on the Lost Boyz’s Love, Peace & Nappiness also featuring Redman and A+; “Making a Name for Ourselves,” an inclusion on Common’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense; the non-album remix of Wyclef Jean’s “Gone Till November.”

And most famously, “4, 3, 2, 1,” an inclusion on LL Cool J’s Phenomenon also featuring Redman, DMX, and Method Man.

Of the several guest appearances, “4, 3, 2, 1” certainly meant the most, as it brought together many of New York’s preeminent hardcore rappers and thus ushered Canibus into that same elite class. At the same time, however, Canibus lashed out shortly afterward with the Mike Tyson-featuring “Second Round K.

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