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Second Round Ko Best Dissertation

Target: LL Cool J
Producer: Wyclef Jean
Label: Universal
Best Line: "Mad at me 'cause I kick that shit real niggas feel/While 99 percent of your fans wear high heels"

In 1997, elder statesman LL Cool J invited the hottest young guns in hip-hop to contribute to his track "4,3,2,1" from his Phenomenon album. After hearing newcomer Canibus' initial verse, LL caught feelings over Canibus' "L, is that a mic on your arm, let me borrow that" line (referencing the microphone LL had tattooed on his arm) and insisted he rewrite the verse.

Canibus agreed and revised, but when the song eventually dropped, Canibus' verse was removed (he was only featured on the remix) and LL Cool's verse included a shot at 'Bis for having the audacity to ask for his mic.

Canibus thoroughly studied his opponent and responded with "2nd Round K.O.," one of the best-written battle raps of all time, with guest vocals from Mike Tyson. Canibus attacked LL for only appealing to females, lying about being a drug-free role model, and being an inferior MC for changing his "4,3,2,1" verse after hearing what Canibus wrote.

"Second Round K.O." is a single from Canibus' debut album, Can-I-Bus. The song was produced by Wyclef Jean and his cousin Jerry Wonder and featured spoken vocals from boxer Mike Tyson.

The song became Canibus's only top 40 single, peaking at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.


"Second Round K.O." is a diss track by Canibus directed at LL Cool J. The feud had started after Canibus' appearance on LL's "4, 3, 2, 1. Canibus' original verse contained the lyrics "L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that", which LL took offense to. LL responded by writing an indirect diss towards Canibus on the same song. Prior to the songs release, LL approached Canibus and told him that if he wanted to remain on the song, he would have to change his lines, to which Canibus agreed, however, LL kept his original verse. When Canibus' original verse leaked, a feud started between the two rappers. LL suggested the two make a song together to squash the beef after he was done filming Any Given Sunday, Canibus, however, recorded and released "Second Round K.O." instead. LL would respond with "The Ripper Strikes Back" and "Back Where I Belong" and even thanked Canibus in the liner notes of his album G.O.A.T. for "inspiration". In the song, Canibus says "the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9." This is a reference to The Notorious B.I.G., who was a legendary rap artist who was brutally murdered on March 9, 1997. Canibus followed up his diss 1 year later, with a record entitled "Rip The Jacker", over a polished remake of the beat from LL Cool J's "I'm Bad".

Single track listing[edit]

  1. "Second Round K.O." (LP Version)- 4:02
  2. "Second Round K.O." (Clean)- 4:02
  3. "Second Round K.O." (Instrumental)- 3:53
  4. "How We Roll" (LP version)- 4:17
  5. "How We Roll" (Clean)- 4:18

12 Single track listing[edit]

Side A

  1. "Second Round K.O." (Main)- 4:02
  2. "Second Round K.O." (Album version)- 4:02

Side B

  1. "How We Roll" (Main version)- 4:17
  2. "How We Roll" (Clean)- 4:18


Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1998)Peak
Billboard Hot 10028
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks13
Billboard Hot Rap Singles3
Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales5
Canada (Canadian Singles Chart)9

Year-End charts[edit]

End of year chart (1998)Position
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks[1]68
Billboard Hot Rap Singles13


External links[edit]