For the most part Award Shows are entirely unwatchable. I say “for the most part” because the only watchable part of any award show is the BET Hip Hop Awards Cyphers.
The Cyphers get a bunch rappers together and have them “freestyle” their best verses. Or maybe I should say, spit some prewritten verses over a DJ Premier beat and pretend like they’re free-styling. Anyway that doesn’t really matter, they’re usually pretty entertaining
You can watch them HERE.
Here’s my grades the 2012 BET Cyphers.
The Ruff Ryders Cypher:
Lineup: DMX, Eve, Mook, Cassidy
I actually got really excited for this one. I was ready to relive the Ruff Ryder Movement. Then everyone spit whack verses, in the most forgettable Cypher of the night. Cassidy turned in the whackest of the whack verses with an amazingly intentional unintentionally hysterical spaghetti dance. On the bright side though, Eve still looks good and DMX can still yell with the best of them. One last thing, Why is DMX the only one with a microphone?
The Grand Hustle Cypher:
Lineup: T.I., B.o.B, Trae Tha Truth, Iggy Azalea, Chipmunk
I was not very excited for this one, and it still came incredibly close to disappointing me, then T.I jumped in and single handedly saved it. Chipmunk (who I never heard of before this and I suspect will probably never hear of after this) did the inconceivable and made Bobby Ray look, sort of, competent in comparison. I’m still not sure whether Iggy Azalea is extremely sexy or just looks like drag queen, I fear that may say more about me then her though. All that said, it was still better than the Ruff Ryders.
The Random Hodge Podge of Rappers Cypher
Lineup: Mac Miller, Schoolboy Q, Jay Bird, Hospin, Mystikal
Best: (tie) Schoolboy Q, Hospin
Worst: Mac Miller
First off this cat Jay Bird needs to button up his shirt. Second, I really don’t like Mac Miller at all and I think he’s an embarrassment to white people. Third, Hospin is freaking me out. Fourth, Schoolboy Q was pretty good. Fifth, I would give everything I own to see a DMX vs Mystikal
freestyle shouting battle. RAHHHHH!
The Talib Kweli Cypher:
Lineup: Jean Grae, Ab Soul, Sarkodie, Talib Kweli
Best: Talib Kweli
Worst: Ab Soul
Talib was probably the best MC of the whole night. From calling out BET for not giving him enough spins or his Frank Ocean-Chick-Fil-A line, Talib beasted. I’m still not sure if Sarkodie was rapping in English or some random Ghanaian language, but at one point he definitely said something like, “Duh di de duh parking lot.” Did anyone else get the sneaking suspicion Jean Grae teaches an African American Literature community college course somewhere, or was that just me? Ab Soul was solid but overall pretty vanilla.
The West Coast Cypher:
Dogg Lion, E-40, Xzibit, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Quik, Kurupt
Best: Snoop Lion
This was undoubtedly the best lineup of the night. First off, the guy from Primp My Ride AKA Xzbit AKA X murdered it, like really murdered it. DJ Quik was doing something with a pen the entire time, which was equally annoying and amazing. Kurupt and E-40 both proved why they’re underground legends. Kendrick, while possibly being the savior of rap music, kind of disappointed but wasn’t bad. And Snoop, like only Snoop could do, stole the show. For some reason whenever Snoop starts rapping I’m mesmerized. The West Coast was a YG away from getting a straight A.
Man with the Iron Fists Cypher
Lineup: A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, Joey Bada$$, Angel Haze, Driicky Graham
Best: Childish Gambino
Worst: Joey Bada$$
CHANGE UP: RZA on the ones and twos. Led by A$AP Rocky and the black kid from Community , the Iron Fists Cypher was the best of the night. Despite spelling their names with dollar symbols instead of “S’s” (pretentious much) and adding unneeded “I’s” to Driicky (just plain stupid), this was a pretty dope group. Joey Bada$$ was ehh, Driicky Graham looked like JoJo from Run’s House, and Angel Haze was arguably the best female MC of the night. A$AP showed off his ridiculous flow and Troy Barnes AKA Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino showcased his knack for laugh out loud punchlines.
Best of the Best
1. Talb Kweli
2. Childish Gambino
3. Snoop Lion
5. A$AP Rocky
Worst of the Worst
5. Joey Bada$$