By William E. Ketchum III
Canibus’ career has virtually been defined by beef and this weekend he added another target to his list: J. Cole. During interviews, Cole has reminisced about hanging Canibus’ raps on his bedroom walls and playing old songs before his shows to warm up—but apparently that wasn’t enough for Canibus, who directed the diss song “J. Clone” at the Roc Nation rapper on Friday (December 9). By Sunday night however, the backlash prompted Canibus (who has been noticeably absent from the game) to retract his song and comments.
According to Canibus, his “issue” was that instead of simply mentioning him as a favorite and playing music from his old label, artists like J. Cole should do what Canibus did himself: show appreciation for elders by digging into their budgets and reaching out to make a song together. Right. “I can’t help but to think that he is not nearly as sincere or genuine as he would like real hip hop heads to think he is because he speaks about me like I am dead,” Canibus wrote in a letter, on his Facebook page. “What he is doing is underhanded and disingenuous and whether it is his idea or not, I don’t agree with his tactic and I have something to say about it.”
On the song itself, Canibus rhymes, “You said my name so much they think you’re being honest/It’s more than that, we could’ve recorded the track/You could give me a stack for a verse just like that.”
Two days later, Canibus released a video, retracting the words he threw at Cole, after reading fan reactions. “I’ve seen thousands and thousands of comments of [‘J. Cole’], and all the negativity it’s stirring up,” he said. “After 48 hours of, I feel confident enough to say that it’s unanimous. Hip-hop has spoken up loud and clear, it’s a ‘cole world’ right now, and you’re reignin’ champ, J. I take full responsibility for my actions and I apologize for steppin’ over the line. It comes off as tacky, unsophisticated, and it’s just not G. I love hip-hop too much to further justify my selfish behavior.”