Label: Def Jam
Producer: Erick Sermon/LL Cool J
Cold Cases: Lost Boyz' “Beasts from the East”
The story behind this song has become hip-hop folklore. Young Canibus gets the chance to rhyme alongside one of his idols, LL Cool J. Bus writes a rhyme with a line asking to "borrow" the mic from LL's arm (referring to the immense tattoo of a microphone and a crown on his right bicep). LL takes offense to his ostentatious request, writes a diss verse in response, but then asks Canibus to re-write his verse. The rookie obliges but then LL then releases the song with his verse still dissing Canibus. As Bus's original verse circulates on New York mixtapes, and an infamous phone call goes down, a beef brews and Canibus ends up making "Second Round K.O." You know the rest. But for the record, Canibus' original verse was 100 times iller. Even LL knew that.
4. LL Cool J f/ Canibus, Method Man, Redman, & DMX "4, 3, 2, 1 (Original)" (1997)