Words by Mass Dosage
Canibus live @ the Milky Way, Amsterdam
As if there wasn't enough cannibis in Amsterdam, Canibus (the MC) and his crew stopped by the infamous Dutch city after gigging in London. I sipped on a Heineken and eyed out the venue while waiting for the renowned lyricist to appear on stage. A smallish crowd half-filled the concert hall, most people standing around the walls, lit by the blaze from an occassional spliff. Hoodies, beenies and big jackets were the attire of choice, with the temperature outside chilling somewhere just a little bit above the big "0". In this city of legalised ganja it was amusing to see the audience consuming about the same amount as at just about any other Hip-Hop event I've been to in less liberal cities.
Canibus was introduced by a DJ from London who also had the task of getting the rather laid-back crowd to move to the front of the stage. Canibus and his hype-man/partner, Pac Man, bust onto stage and relentless MC'ing was the agenda from that point onwards. The 2 MC's took turns reciting battle rhymes inbetween renditions of a mix of tracks off Canibus' 2 albums. The flows and rhymes were dope and Canibus delivered his verses in his customary aggressive voice that was enhanced by a banging sound system so that practically every syllable could be heard. I was a bit surprised by the Dutch crowd who would jump up and down one minute and then suddenly all stand still and listen attentively to a freestyle verse. Not the non-stop madness that goes down at African Hip-Hop gigs...
Canibus delivered an energetic, hyped performance which unfortunately lacked a little something - maybe the energy levels from the crowd weren't much too feed off of. "Second round knock out" recieved the best reception and this was followed by some far more outrageous LL dissage where Canibus renamed the "G.O.A.T." to the "G.L.O.A.T." (Greatest Liar of All Time) - much to the delight of the crowd. The gig ended rather aprubtly and Canibus didn't return for an encore after the crowd made a rather half-hearted effort to bring him back on stage. The DJ put on some Hip-Hop jams but the audience thinned out very quickly - people, including myself, had night buses to catch.
While Canibus lived up to his name as an ill MC and his battle rhymes were definitely up to scratch, it wasn't the hypest concert I've been to. It was just straight up lyrics with no frills and no chaser.