Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crate Digging: Rip the Jacker

by Canibus

Rip the Jacker, is for me, a seminal album. Listening to it today for the first time in years, it puts me right back to 2003, when I saw it as an example of some of the best hip-hop I knew at the time.

Now is the part in most reviews or write-ups where it becomes necessary to talk about how inconsistent an artist Canibus is, or to talk about his history of very public beefs with other, more established people in the industry. I'm not going to bother with that, preferring to talk about just this album, as if it were the only thing the man ever released (which means I can stay positive throughout).

Canibus is a gifted lyricist, which is clear at just about any point on this album. He name-drops from a wide variety of circles, and mentions people like Stephen Jay Gould and Thomas Kincaid, both of whom have probably never been mentioned on any other hip-hop song. He shows knowledge of history, politics, science, and literature in ways that don't usually exist in hip-hop, and he delivers it all in quick, grammatically complex lines.

The true star of this album though is Jedi Mind Trick's Stoupe (The Enemy of Mankind) whose production sounds as fresh today as it did seven years ago. He provides Canibus with a rich sonic background, even switching up beats as needed on the incredible 11 minute 'Poet Laureate II'.

This is a great album, and remains one of my all-time favourites.
- 2-3 - biblical stuff; self-involved
- 5 - story telling; bouncy beat
7 - awesome beat

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