2000 B.C. featured the first collaboration between Canibus and Kurupt, Ras Kass and Killah Priest, a rap supergroup collectively known as the Hrsmn (referring to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), on the track "Horsementality". Though following 2000 B.C.'s release it had been announced that the group would be releasing an album, these plans never materialized, with only an EP of outtakes from 2001 entitled The Horsemen Project released by Killah Priest's management in 2003. Since 2000, however, the members of the group have worked together on various songs and rumors of a full-length HRSMN album have persisted and include speculation about collaborations with Pharoahe Monch, Common and Rakim, among others.
After the critical failure of C True Hollywood Stories, Canibus was subject to criticism and ridicule from the rap industry until the release of Mic Club: The Curriculum, his fourth full-length album, towards the end of 2002. Although the production was handled almost entirely by little-known producers, some of them from Europe, the record proved to be a greater critical success than the previous year's release. Mic Club also saw Canibus return to a more complex rapping style, with a number of concept tracks and few songs with a chorus. The album was released on Mic Club Music, Canibus' own label, but failed to chart, selling relatively few copies.
The following month, after numerous delays, Canibus' seventh solo album, Hip-Hop for Sale, was released, but was panned by critics, who dismissed it as yet another failed attempt to gain mainstream recognition. Additionally, due to the earlier release of Mind Control and the leaking of most of the material in the form of a mixtape entitled The Vitruvian Man, the release date had been pushed back to November, the original date having been May. The production on Hip-Hop for Sale was handled in part by Virginia-based producer Nottz, with several relatively unknown producers handling the remaining tracks after Nottz had cut ties with Canibus due to the appearance of The Vitruvian Man. The day of Hip-Hop for Sale's release, Mic Club Master Volume One, a separate mixtape, appeared in stores, many of the songs receiving more praise than those present on the full-length album.
In January 2007, it was announced that Canibus would release new material in 2007 exclusively on his own imprint, Mic Club Music, in a joint venture with Legion Entertainment and distributed via his former major label, Universal Music Group. A pair of mixtapes, titled Nothing to Prove and Nothing to Lose, were slated for release in March 2007, but were eventually scrapped; instead, Canibus decided to use the best material from each mixtape to create a new full-length album entitled For Whom the Beat Tolls. 2b1af7f3a8