12 Of The 28000 Reasons Why I Am Always In Awe Of “Second Round K.O.”
1. The music video begins with Canibus scaling a mountain (nature’s climbing walls) and visiting a monastery of some sort. After knocking on the door and entering the monestary-type thing, he talks to an ominous figure who is facing away from him. Canibus asks “Sensei Ty” to train him. When asked if he is ready for combat, Canibus takes off his sunglasses to reveal a black eye. Presumably this is done to show that rap videos are not all that different than afterschool specials. It’s at this point Sensei Ty turns and is revealed to be noted pugilist Mike Tyson. He indicates that he will train Canibus by remaining silent and allowing thunder and lightning to serve as his “yes”.
2. The track opens with a confusing answering machine ramble from Tyson. Most of it is cut off from the video, so it’s important to embrace the magic of the album version. Tyson starts his message by saying that he heard “foul slouch ass niggas were talking foul about you the other night on the boulevard” but didn’t feel comfortable stepping in to defend Canibus because he doesn’t really know Canibus that well. It’s fun to think of what Tyson might say if he did know Canibus better. He’d probably tell those guys to “knock it off” or “put a sock in it”. Classic Tyson.
3. Canibus chose Mike Tyson as his guru after the whole rape thing and after Holyfield-Tyson II.
4. Wyclef Jean co-produced this track. He would later go on to put out his own lukewarm diss track aimed at LL called “What’s Clef Got To Do With It”. Naomi Campbell is featured on the song.
5. Canibus talks about reading the book LL Cool J’s book. This shines light on LL Cool J’s literary career. LL’s autobiography (I Make My Own Rules) came out in 1998 so there is a good chance much of it was written while LL was wearing FUBU pleather overalls from the “Phenomenon” video.
6. “You drippin’ with wack juice and you can’t get it off”. I’m not entirely sure what this means. Quite possibly a pre-ejaculate reference.
7. The referee criticizes Canibus for the “wack juice” barb and considers it to be a low blow. The referee also tells Canibus to quit being a bitch in Canibus’s own song. This means Canibus consciously put in a neutral observer telling him to “quit being a bitch” on a track intended to be a chest-pumping diss to another rapper. Is the referee serving as the inner monologue of Canibus? There’s some sort of symbolism here.
8. Mike Tyson hints that if Canibus doesn’t do better Tyson will totally hang out with LL and play Genesis at his house and junk.
9. The sitcom that Canibus is talking about is In the House. The show featured Alfonso Ribeiro as the finicky sidekick to a cocksure California ladies man played by a rapper that first gained public attention in his teens.
10. Canibus will stick LL Cool J for his Vanguard Award. The Vanguard Award is an award given out by MTV for career achievement in music videos and willingness to show up to events like the MTV Video Music Awards. Canibus sees this as the Jenga piece that will topple the stacked tower of sanity within LL Cool J. (He’ll also kick him the groin.)
11. Canibus is declared by the referee (who may or may not be a metaphor) as the new lyricalweight champion. The Ring fails to acknowledge the validity of this championship division.
12. In the music video there were no answers as to how Canibus got his black eye from the start of the clip. I assume it was from LL Cool J, but we never got closure on that issue. I’m kind of bummed out about that.