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  • 11Feb

    Farewell Forever Fresh – Canibus Recap

    Its been quite a journey for The Greatest Rapper That Never Made it.

    The journey continues for Jah C, the mind behind the increasingly popular Forever Fresh concert series.

    Canibus came into the game with Nas-like buzz, blitzkrieg-ing mixtapes and battle cyphers in the mid to late nineties like a German offensive — terrorizing would be lyrical foes metaphor after metaphor.  Had his fortunes been different, had he never brazenly blasted LL Cool J on the infamous diss track “Second Round KO” or teamed up with Wyclef to drop one of the most disappointing debut albums in Hip Hop history (Can-I-Bus), perhaps his legacy would be more substantial.  Perhaps we would remember him less for his untapped promise, and more for those 7 other — rather obscure — albums he dropped over the course of the last decade.

    Frontman for Underground jam band The Antidote, Jah C has financed, organized, and promoted Forever Fresh, a steadily growing, consistently reliable Brooklyn based Hip Hop concert series.  Since 2008 he’s hosted legends like KRS-ONE, Nice & Smooth, Talib Kweli, Styles P, to popular under the radar rappers like R.A. The Rugged Man, AG & OC, to rising stars such as Homeboy Sandman, Wordspit, YC The Cynic.  Had his fortunes been different, had Forever Fresh been less successful and not opened additional doors to more conflicting responsibilities brand managing events for Red Bull, perhaps he would be able to continue crafting and adding to the Forever Fresh legacy.

    This past Monday, Canibus headlined the Forever Fresh Finale, the concert series’ final throw down.

    Bronx native YC The Cynic opened the festivities displaying the slick wordplay and I-can’t-believe-he’s-only-nineteen delivery thats now generating a buzz throughout the 5Boroughs.  With only one mixtape to his name, YC dazzled the crowd with quotables like “I’d rather stick six foot daggers in my lips than be average / or un-adequate, / back from the forefront, / or un-accurate more young dumb rap advocates” and “these wack rap cats double my age. / YC’s in the building like government planes.” Its rare to see opening acts with little notoriety earn immediate respect from fickle rap Hip Hop audiences.  YC raised the bar straight out the gate.

    Brooklyn Bodega December Show & Prove victors St. Joe Louis followed with ample energy, ripping through their set with dreadlocks swinging, closing out with their raucous anthem “Black Magic.”

    Che Grand rocked suitably through his array of mixtape jams.  The undeniable highlight occurred when Brooklynati homies, Von Pea and Don Will of Tanya Morgan joined him for a surprise guest appearance.  During set closer “Live N***** Only”, Che spit his final verse crowd level stating “I don’t even know the rest of this shit. Too much Jameson…” A rather suspect ending to a fairly decent set.

    Two-thirds of rap trio Dominion touched down in a major way.  Pack FM and Mr. Mecca picked up the slack for third member, Substantial (who was snowed in in Baltimore), bringing hard beats and menacing rhymes straight to the face, charisma oozing through every lyric.  Each emcee took time out to kick solo tracks, culminating with Pack FM’s jollily edutaining “Happy Days.”

    As always, Homeboy Sandman delivered with his performance, running through “Not Pop”, “Fuel”, “Lightning Bolt. Lightning Rod”, “Airwave Air Raid”, and the sublime “Parallel Perpendicular”, catching much love all along the way, garnering the night’s second largest crowd response.

    I’ll say this first, Canibus rocked a solid set, hitting the audience with what they paid to hear — “Second Round KO” and “Buckingham Palace” — a hand full of new joints from his recently released LP “Melatonin Magic”, a worthy Big Daddy Kane tribute, and several other tracks that a couple cats seemed to remember.  He looked energized on stage, smiling often, as if he genuinely enjoyed himself.  Occasionally he stumbled through lyrics.  Occasionally he seemed surprised more people didn’t remember more of his other songs from his other albums.  Overall he did what any professional Emcee is supposed to do: rock the mic right.

    The real story is the fact that Canibus still brings heads to the venue.  Cats came out to see The Greatest Rapper That Never Made It on a cold Monday night in Brooklyn — some actually wearing Canibus Tees!  The initial impact that this Emcee had over a decade ago is still enough to interest enough people to pay to see him perform today.  That part is refreshingly surprising.

    Whats not surprising is the overall quality of Forever Fresh’s final lineup.  From YC to “Can-I”, every performer exhibited a solid range of lyrical skill, showmanship and passion for The Culture.  Thats what will be missed most about this concert series: the diversity and reliability of every bill.

    Thats where Jah C deserves credit.

    Whether its KRS or Canibus, Styles P or Hezekiah, Nice & Smooth or Eternia — as an Emcee, you had to be dope to grace this stage.

    As a fan, it was dope to witness each event.

    Farewell Forever Fresh.

Discussion 3 Responses

  1. February 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by TheCompanyMan: FAREWELL FOREVER FRESH. You will be missed http://www.brooklynbodega.com/2010/02/11/farewell-forever-fresh-canibus-recap/

  2. February 11, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Man, sincerely Justin, you are a tremendous asset to our community. To date noone has so intricately observed and eloquently stated the purpose of me making Forever Fresh a reality. I couldn’t have done it without the legitmacy of eery artist’s hustle accompanied with their talent. Shout outs to MIKEY PALMS, My mentor, former employer, and brother.I am truly grateful for this and am going to read http://www.Thequotable.com and work with The Bodega as long as I’m alive man. True brotherhood man, lets continue the movement.

  3. August 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    [...] impossible to put Jah C in a [...]