Canibus

Following some underground work and cameo appearances, most notably on Wyclef Jean's "Gone Till November" remix in 1997, hardcore rapper Canibus feuded famously with LL Cool J. The resulting exchanges -- Canibus' "Second Round K.O." and LL's "The Ripper Strikes Back," both spirited battle tracks -- garnered significant attention. Expectations were therefore high when Canibus unleashed his Wyclef-produced debut full-length, Can-I-Bus (1998), shortly afterward on Universal. Most critics panned the album, but it sold over 500,000 copies in the United States alone, earning it gold status. The MC returned two years later with his follow-up for Universal, but it did not fare as well, and Canibus soon found himself without a major-label deal. Through the early 2010s, he retained a cultish following and continued to release albums independently of the majors, occasionally firing off more of the battle raps for which he is most known.