Back in the late 90's a magical day happened in the World of Underground Hip Hop. Several MC's (some of them are legends now) sat together at a table and talk about Rap Music, Individual Ambition, Ego's and what some of their favorite ways to start verses and everything. This dialogue can be viewed on the extended version of the video. You know what else they did? The kicked some crazy rhymes as well. The MC's I'm speaking about is non other than DMX, Big Pun, Canibus, Mos Def, Mic Geronimo and John Forte. This was before international fame. This was during the time many of these dudes were still out in the streets battling and destroying mixtapes. This post of for "Hip Hop Heads" and for some casual fans that never heard or seen the video below. I also added a little commentary in regard to the sequence of the MC's mentioned.
OK....here we go....A Hip Hop Throwback
As a quick note before you watch the video, most of these verses ended up on albums but it doesn't look like anyone recognizes them, meaning we're possibly witnessing the first time they were said in public. Each of the guys reaction kind of support this statement. In all likelihood most of these verses probably weren't on an actual song yet - they were just free standing verses they were waiting to place on the right beat or project, which is dope when looking back at how their upcoming projects turned out.
Mos Def - Most Def, started the cypher off and he is one of my all time favorite MC's. The second verse on Black Star's classic "Redefinition" (which officially dropped in '98) is what you hear Mos spitting. This is one of his best verses to me but he has some many jaw dropping verses so who knows.
DMX: The closing verse of "Ain't No Way". Hearing the acappella is a great reminder of just how unique the man's flow was. I recently posted on Facebook how dope I've always thought DMX was and his personal demons stopped his potential Top 10 status. The lyrics aren't going to blow you away but no one ever rhymed like this, and on one ever will again. DMX passion can rival the passion of Tupac. Last of a dying breed.
John Forte - First off, dude was sick. Go check out Poly Sci. You know what's crazy? About two years after this video Forte was arrested for picking up a briefcase filled with over $1 in liquid cocaine from an airport. Dude was living what a lot of MC's were only rapping about. . For years people seemed to forget about Forte because he was locked up for a minute but his best friend Talib Kweli always kept his name alive. From what I hear, he is doing fine in 2017.
Mic Geronimo - Mic G was a dope MC. A lot of people don't know Irv Gotti use to produce a lot of his music. He was also one of the first rappers to put DMX and Jay-Z on his album before they were famous. Look dude up....Also, he actually freesyled on this video.
Big Pun - It isn't verbatim, but several lines from this ended up on the opening verse of Pun's posthumous "The Dream Shatterer" in 2001. If you're looking for proof that Pun was one of the best ever here it is. He's sitting with some heavyweight emcees and he gets the biggest reaction by far. Dude was an absolute monster.
Canibus - I must admit, Canibus was arrogant on here...lol..In his defense he was destroying every mixtape at the time. Canibus insisting on the "I'm the best rapper here, I'm going last" move. Second, this is obviously the classic "Second Round K.O.", but everyone seems to react like they've never heard it before (or are they reaction to lines they already know?). Could this actually the first time anyone heard Canibus' LL Cool J diss? "Second Round K.O." came out in '98, and while I'm not entirely sure, we've already established that this was filmed around the same time. They also discussed the LL beef on the extended video. Either way, he was the anchor of the cypher and concluded the freestyle.
Looking back, this is what hip hop is all about. I would love to see artist in 2017 carry on tradition.