Cagey Caveman

Canibus' 2000 B.C. is a celebration of man as hunter. It's also an unintentionally laughable and disappointing public service announcement against male rage.

The album is striking on for many reasons, including Canibus' sense of insecurity, his hunger for competition, his homophobia and his affirmations of virility. The rapper takes battle-rapping ferocity to new heights, with results that range from the occasionally breathtaking ("Watch Who You Beef Wit" [RealAudio excerpt]) to the often disturbing ("Phuk U") and tiresome ("Chaos"). Ultimately, it seems the album serves just one purpose: the character assassination of anyone who dares to believe they're as good on the mic as Canibus. It's the dirtiest, meanest hip-hop album in a long time.

Given, the 25-year-old hip-hop vagabond has the talent to save himself from looking foolish. His snarling, raspy delivery constitutes one of the genre's most powerful voices. His intelligence sets him apart; 2000 B.C. contains references to biology, physics and other natural sciences. Who else can use a word like "osteoporosis" in a context that actually makes sense (pay attention Raekwon)?

Musically, 2000 B.C. re-establishes the thunderous snares and minimal keyboard work that permeated Canibus' formative work on New York mixtapes and his debut, Can-I-Bus. But it has nothing remotely as close to the power of "I Honor U," the stunning tribute to the rapper's mother, from Can-I-Bus.

It's ironic that for all of his intelligence, passion and obvious talent, Canibus chose to stoop to the caveman mentality so apparent on this release. 2000 B.C., indeed.