Grading the 2012 Cyphers

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

Best: DMX

Worst: Cassidy

Grade: D

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

Best: T.I

Worst: Chipmunk

Grade: C

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

Grade: C

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

Grade: B

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:

Lineup: Snoop Dogg Lion, E-40, Xzibit, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Quik, Kurupt

Best:  Snoop Lion

Worst: YG

Grade: A-

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$$

Grade: A

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
4.  E-40
5.  A$AP Rocky

Worst of the Worst

1.  Cassidy
2.  Chipmunk
3.  YG
4.  B.O.B.
5.  Joey Bada$$


One thought on “Grading the 2012 Cyphers

  1. I agree gambino impress me the most, show more then just flow, wit,humor that white people skit was great than we connected it wonderful in the end more G than a kids movie crazy.

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