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Canibus, Notepad Battle: Rapper Breaks Hip-Hop Rules in Disastrous ‘Freestyle’

Johnny Nunez, WireImage

There aren’t many rules in a rap battle — you can diss the other dude’s broke-ass mom, crippled grandmother, ugly baby momma, etc. — but one thing you don’t do is pull out a notepad. The idea is to freestyle, and that’s what makes Canibus‘ performance on Saturday (June 9) at the “Vendetta: Battle Royale” so puzzling.

After forfeiting to Dizaster, his opponent in the Los Angeles war of words, Canibus whipped out a sheet of paper and tried to save some face — “tried” being the key word. Even in the low-quality video below, the NYC rhymer’s stilted wordplay is sure to induce cringing.

“You trying to battle on some pop shit,” Canibus’ barks, right after comparing Diz, for one reason or another, to “that Indian from ‘Office Space.'” “And you weak!”

As things devolve from there, the crowd loses its patience, leading Canibus to chew everyone out.

“Yo, y’all wanna hear this shit or not?” he asks. “Yo, don’t be a dick, man. I came out here, and you paid me my bread. They paid their bread … let me spit my shit!”

He keeps going, saying this “ain’t no regular battle — this is about your intellectual power.” Let’s hope not.

Watch Canibus’ Ill-Fated “Freestyle” Rap

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