Picks and Pans Review: Can-I-Bus

updated 09/21/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Canibus (Universal)

This debut album by Canibus (real name: Germaine Williams) has landed with a hailstorm of hype. After all, this is the newcomer who taunted longtime rap star LL Cool J on his very first single, "Second-Round KO" (which is contained here), and fired up an already smoldering feud between the two. Although the spatting became big news in rap circles, this disappointing album from Canibus suggests that he may not go the distance as the war of words continues. In short doses his brittle delivery grabs attention, but his venom—mostly against other rappers—soon wears thin, and his rhymes often seem wordy and shapeless, which is partially the fault of producer Wyclef Jean. On "I Honor You" he tries to transform himself from a pit bull into an attentive poodle, without luck. A love man Canibus ain't. Although he may have something to say, and some real rap skills, he also has a ways to go before he's a star.

Bottom Line: Would-be rap heavyweight only floats his first time out

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