Canibus is a name that millennial hip-hop fans will likely recognize. While he may not be as culturally relevant in recent years as he was at the turn of the millennium, the 47-year-old Jamaican-born and New York-raised rapper is still considered one of the greatest lyricists of his time. His musical career, however, was clouded by a lot of drama, including controversial feuds with people like LL Cool J and Eminem.

Still releasing music regularly in 2021, Canibus hasn’t exactly given up on his passion for rap. He did, however, take a break when he enlisted in the military after the release of 2000 BC (Before Can-I-Bus). Speaking to Bootleg Kev about his departure from rap in 2001, Canibus explained his decision to enlist in the US military.

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“It was just after September 11. This experience, at the time I made a record, VS! True Hollywood Stories, that was the album, ”Canibus remembers. “The album was satire, it was. It was just made to, like, allegorically make an album that was – you know, to get into the shoes of people who were like, ‘Yo man, I want the records to be hard! I want you to spit louder. The beats, the lyrics, I want more! ‘ And then I gave them less. To the right? By making a record like that … And the record was strictly something to – it wasn’t serious but it was something that was still acceptable. It was something tangible. You could have gone out and got the artwork, looked at it, opened the flyer [and be like], ‘Who is this guy wearing this shirt? Why is he writing this? We paid 25 groups to advertise The Source and The Source was afraid to run the ad because of relationships they thought could have been ruined, and they did it for the money. And then after that they turn around and do some more blackball on me. And took money to blackball me. The way I felt at that point was like, ‘You know what, rap isn’t it, I’m still young enough to come out and make a difference.’

Watch this part of Bootleg Kev’s interview with Canibus below.