Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BET Hip Hop Awards 2012 - The Cypher (Talib Kweli & Others)

Well I won't have time to critique all of the cyphers tonight I have yet to study for my Philosophy test tomorrow morning at 8 AM but I will leave you with the best one and my favorite from last year. This cypher had more "lyrical" artists which BET is not a big fan of. Jean Grae, Talib Kweli, Ab-Soul and Sarkodie (?) from Ghana.

Jean Grae has always been one of my favorite female emcees along with Rah Digga and MC Lyte. Out of the three she is currently the most active and starts the cypher off right by first addressing "stop sayin femcee/it's not a word, I'll hop the curb and hit you wit my 10 speed." Not only does she spit her murderous lyrics calmly weaves the complex flows together making it clear that Nicki Minaj does not belong in the same category.  She's a veteran who's "quarter lochness/75% Chuck Norris". That alone should turn some heads. Not much to say about Sarkodie other than he was rapping fast in another language and I didn't feel like reading the subtitles.

Ab-Soul is an artist I've been praising lately for his work on Control System and with TDE. Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar were also featured in separate cyphers and Ab-Soul educated the crowd with his scientific diction like "tickle your brain ventricles" but also entertained with punchlines "gettin faded like smokey/but I'm crazy with the motif". Altogether though his verse falters in cypher form because he is too used to writing punchlines for songs and not riding the beat and just rhyming. He's too technical with basic rhymes like "I used to loiter, these days I need a lawyer/call your employer" just comes off lazy. Than he switches back to scientific lyrics but you shouldn't be talking about orbits and pyramids in a cypher freestyle! 

Winner:  Talib Kweli 
Talib Kweli was the anchor for this cypher and he took the win slightly over Jean Grae. He first calls out BET (Let me show you Black Star power) and saying "it's funny they want me to spit even though they never play me though/this the real the alternative what you hear on the radio". He is the most skilled MC of the group letting off rhyme schemes similar to Eminem in last year's cypher. He even closes with the most memorable line of the year: Like Frank Ocean at a Chick-fil-a I'll never get served". I'll take this over Lil Wayne's "No Frank Ocean, I'm Straight" any day.

And here's the Shady 2.0 cypher from last year. Eminem takes it but Crooked I gets off too.

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