So if you’re a true hip-hop fan like a lot of us here at Rich Kids Brand, the cypher is something you must recognize and respect. According to the urban dictionary a cypher is:
The process of tapping into your subconscious. A state of mind where thoughts and actions flow from your mind rather than being instrumented. Clearly shown in freestyle/beatbox circles and breakdancing.
1. The Shady 2.0 Cypher. Maybe the entire list isn’t in any particular order but this cypher definitely deserves to be #1. Not too many people listen to Slaughterhouse because they don’t make music for the radio but Eminem has got himself a roster full of some of the most amazing lyricist out there. Oh and Marshall Mathers himself shows once again why he’s the king of wordplay.Now what we know about cyphers is taking it way back to the days before recording, finalizing, and publishing your music wasn’t so easy. Aspiring emcees would get in large circles and freestyle together to showcase lyrical skill and try to out-do the guy before them. Even Jay-Z credits the cypher as an important aspect of his lyrical development as a teenager in the book “Decoded”. Cyphers aren’t the same as they used to be because most of the ones we see today are either put on by some corporate television station or everything is pre-written. Even with the given adjustments, some people have been coming out and killing their verse when it’s time to go. So here’s a list of some of the best cyphers out there on YouTube. This is in no particular order and we’re sure there are many more great ones. So if you know of any go ahead and comment below! Here’s our list.
2. The G.O.O.D. Music cypher. This also happened during the BET Awards and went down as one of the best of the night. Kanye brought all his people to rock the mic and not one of them disappointed.
3. Canibus, Big Pun, DMX, Mos Def, Mic Geronimo, and John Forte. Now this battle is really special because Big Pun is not around any more and for those of you that never really listened to his music, this video will really show you how good he was with his words. All the other dudes hip-hop legends also, must have been a fun meal to all be at. “No Beatbox!”.
4. Charles Hamilton gets owned by fan. This freestyle session came out around the time Charles Hamilton was buzzing. He went up against some guy at Penn State University and had no idea that the dude can spit. Hamilton approached it really lazy and got served. Where’s Hamilton now?
5. Notorious B.I.G. at 17 years old. Here’ another clip that’s not so much a cypher but still a great throw-back video. People would perform outside of the corner stores in Brooklyn and this time it was the late great Notorious B.I.G. that had his turn. Killed it as expected.
6. J-Pro and Mos Def. The nice part about this video is that it’s part of a documentary about hip-hop and cyphers. J-Pro and Mos Def go at it way back in the day.
7. MC Supernatural on the spot object-naming freestyle. Some may not know who MC Supernatural is and that’s probably because he one of the best rappers out there that doesn’t rap for fame. Haven’t seen many just rap about anything for this long and with such smooth delivery. He tells people in the crowd just to hold up random objects as the topics for his freestyle. You should be impressed by the end of this one.
8. Team Backpack Cypher. Hopsin and Dizzy Wright are two artists that people really need to start looking into if you enjoy good lyricism. This one is recent too, both artist part of Tech N9ne’s “Strange Music” movement.
9. A$AP Worldwide Cypher. Now lyrically this might not be the best cypher but since A$AP Rocky is anything anyone can talk about these days, you might as well meet the rest of the A$AP Mob. Here’s what happened when they all got together for a cypher.
10. DMX and Jay-Z Backstage. This was an instant classic video right when it dropped. Back when Jay-Z and DMX were touring together they would mess around backstage sometimes and get into these cypher circles. In the beginning of the video there’s a little kid rapping and he’s pretty good too. Here’s some history for ya.